In the UK, any pregnancy loss before 24 weeks is termed a miscarriage, whilst after 24 weeks it's known as a stillbirth. Recurrent miscarriage seems to be on the increase. Reasons for this are unknown and unfortunately the NHS will not investigate the causes until a woman has had three miscarriages. Miscarriage can be devastating, and can take time to recover emotionally. Counselling, as well as acupuncture, is important during this time as it gives support and helps the body find its hormonal balance again.
Roughly 20% of pregnancies fail in the first trimester. This rate increases by 10 in women 40 years of age compared to those of 35. In about half of all first trimester miscarriages, chromosomal abnormalities are present; 50% are autosomal trisomy, 20% 45XO monosomy, 20% polyploidy and 10% other various abnormalities. In such cases, it is best that these abnormalities miscarry early on rather than go on and develop any further. In the second trimester, the chance of chromosomal abnormalities drops to 20% overall. In Chinese medicine, chromosome abnormalities are related to a jing deficiency, where the amount of jing contained in the embryo was too low. This can be due to a deficiency from either parent's gamete. The incidence of this occurring is often greater in IVF cycles where the woman’s ovaries have been forced to produce multiple eggs and the egg quality is then reduced. In such cases, it is advisable to prepare the body before undergoing another IVF cycle.