Although the terms sterility and infertility are often used as synonyms, according to the SEF (Spanish Fertility Society), sterility is defined as the inability to achieve gestation after one year of sexual intercourse with normal frequency and without the use of any contraceptive method. On the other hand, infertility
is understood as the inability to achieve gestations capable of progressing to fetal viability. Therefore, within the concept of infertility, we would include repeated miscarriages, intrauterine fetal death, etc.
According to specialists, repeat miscarriages are considered to occur after two gestational losses that have not reached the 20th week, whether consecutive or not. This is a complex situation, since the cause of most repeat abortions is of unknown origin (50%). However, in addition to genetic and immunological factors, which are the most established reasons to be studied in these cases, miscarriages may be due to thrombophilias.
What are thrombophilias?
Thrombophilias are health problems due to coagulation abnormalities that increase the risk of thrombosis, i.e., increase the likelihood of having abnormal blood clots. The body normally produces blood clots to stop possible bleeding, however, in case of thrombophilia, the body may produce extra clots in the blood vessels.
These anomalies can therefore cause complications during pregnancy, and have been associated with different complications during pregnancy, among which we can mention: recurrent miscarriage, preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction and fetal death in utero, among others.
When should thrombophilia studies be performed in assisted reproduction?
This type of study would be recommended when there has been difficulty in achieving pregnancy, repeated IVF failures, multiple biochemical pregnancies or repeated miscarriages. To diagnose a thrombophilia, a conventional blood test is not always enough; specific thrombophilia tests are required. These tests are expensive, but in addition to providing information on altered clotting factors, they also provide information on the genes involved in the blood system and blood circulation, making it easier to detect any abnormalities.
What tests are performed?
Some of the tests include the study of specific blood antibodies, factor V Leiden, factor VIII, factor XIII, homocysteine, genes involved in blood group type (ABO genotype) and polymorphisms in coagulation factors.
Currently in our unit we perform almost routinely a basic study of thrombophilias that can be extended depending on each specific case of our patients to offer them the appropriate treatment to get to achieve a pregnancy and, most importantly, a healthy baby.
If you would like more information, you can make an appointment with our specialists for a free, no-obligation first visit.
C. Orjuela, Embryologist.
Contact our fertility clinic.
Hospital Vithas Perpetuo Internacional. Plaza del Doctor Gómez Ulla 15, Alicante.
Phone: 965230397 / +34 606437458