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Pregnancy Loss & Miscarriage Naturopathic Support

The Prevalence of Pregnancy Loss

Did you know that one in five women in Australia who know they are pregnant will miscarry by 20 weeks? Maybe you've experienced this firsthand, or perhaps someone close to you is silently navigating this process. Pregnancy loss can occur at any stage, from biochemical pregnancies to stillbirths, each carrying its own weight of grief.

Australia is among the safest countries for childbirth, yet perinatal deaths (occurring from 20 weeks of gestation to 28 days after birth) still happen frequently. On average, 6 babies are stillborn and 2 die within the first 28 days after birth (neonatal death) each day in Australia [1].

Despite the advancements in medical care, the journey of pregnancy remains fraught with uncertainties and heartache for many. Understanding the prevalence and impact of pregnancy loss can foster greater empathy and support for those affected, reminding us of the importance of continued research and compassionate care in this delicate area of life.

Different Types of Loss

From biochemical pregnancies to missed miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies, each loss is unique, yet connected by the thread of sorrow. Understanding the nuances of each type of loss can bring clarity amid the confusion and pain.

  • Biochemical pregnancy: A biochemical pregnancy, or "chemical pregnancy," is a very early pregnancy loss detected by a positive pregnancy test (beta hCG level) but not progressing to the point where a gestational sac is visible on an ultrasound. Essentially, it means the pregnancy is confirmed chemically but ends before it can be seen through imaging [2]. 

  • Miscarriage: A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks gestation. It typically occurs early in the pregnancy and can result from various factors, such as chromosomal abnormalities, but often happens without a clear cause.

  • Missed Miscarriage: A missed miscarriage occurs when the embryo or fetus dies but remains in the uterus without the body recognizing the loss. This is often discovered during a routine ultrasound when no heartbeat is detected, despite the absence of miscarriage symptoms.

  • Anembryonic Pregnancy: An anembryonic pregnancy, also known as a blighted ovum, happens when a fertilized egg implants in the uterus but the embryo does not develop. The gestational sac forms and grows, but the embryo does not, leading to an early pregnancy loss [3].

  • Ectopic Pregnancy: An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the uterus, typically in a fallopian tube. This type of pregnancy cannot proceed normally and is dangerous for the mother, requiring immediate medical intervention.

  • Molar Pregnancy (Hydatidiform Mole): A molar pregnancy is a rare complication where abnormal tissue grows inside the uterus instead of a normal embryo. It involves either a complete mole, with no embryo, or a partial mole, where an abnormal embryo is present but cannot survive.

  • Stillbirth: Stillbirth is the loss of a pregnancy after 20 weeks gestation. This tragic event can occur for various reasons, including medical complications and unknown factors, resulting in the birth of a baby who is no longer alive.

  • Termination for Medical Reasons (TFMR): TFMR is a heartbreaking decision made when a pregnancy is ended due to serious fetal abnormalities or health risks to the mother. This medical intervention is often necessary to prevent suffering and serious health complications.

Exploring Underlying Factors

Behind every pregnancy loss, there may lie a myriad of factors, from chromosomal abnormalities to hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases, and more. Unraveling these complexities requires patience, compassion, and comprehensive testing.

Let’s unpack how each of these occur: 

  • Chromosomal Abnormalities: Chromosomal abnormalities are the most common cause of pregnancy loss, often due to random errors during cell division that result in missing or extra chromosomes. These genetic anomalies typically prevent the embryo from developing normally, leading to miscarriage.

  • Autoimmune Disease: Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus or Hashimoto's thyroiditis, can negatively impact pregnancy by causing the immune system to mistakenly attack the body's own tissues, including the developing embryo or placenta. This immune response can lead to inflammation and pregnancy loss [4].

  • Clotting Disorders: Clotting disorders, like antiphospholipid syndrome, increase the risk of blood clots that can impair placental function and blood flow to the fetus. These conditions can lead to complications in pregnancy, including recurrent miscarriages and stillbirth.

  • Immunological Dysfunction: Immunological dysfunction involves an improper immune response to the pregnancy, potentially leading to the rejection of the embryo. Conditions like elevated natural killer cells or abnormal HLA gene interactions can contribute to recurrent pregnancy loss.

  • Hormonal / Endocrine Issues: Hormonal imbalances, such as thyroid dysfunction or insufficient progesterone, can disrupt the normal progression of pregnancy. Proper thyroid function and adequate levels of progesterone are crucial for maintaining a healthy pregnancy [5].

  • Nutritional Issues: Nutritional deficiencies, particularly in key vitamins and minerals like folate, B12, and iron, can compromise the health of the pregnancy. Elevated homocysteine levels, often due to these deficiencies, are associated with increased risk of miscarriage and other complications [6].

  • Maternal Infection: Maternal infections, such as those caused by bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens, can adversely affect pregnancy. Infections like cytomegalovirus, Zika virus, or bacterial vaginosis can lead to pregnancy loss or serious health issues for the fetus [7].

  • Age (Maternal and Paternal): Advanced maternal age (over 35) is linked to a higher risk of chromosomal abnormalities and reduced egg quality, increasing the likelihood of pregnancy loss. Similarly, paternal age (over 40) can contribute to genetic mutations and sperm DNA fragmentation, impacting embryo viability and pregnancy outcomes.

  • Lifestyle: Lifestyle factors, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and drug use, can negatively impact pregnancy by reducing fertility and increasing the risk of miscarriage [9]. Additionally, high levels of stress, poor diet, and lack of exercise can contribute to pregnancy complications and loss [8].

  • Endometrial/Uterine Factors: Issues with the endometrium (lining of the uterus) or uterine abnormalities, such as fibroids, polyps, or congenital malformations, can hinder the implantation and growth of the embryo [10]. Scarring from surgeries or infections can also interfere with a successful pregnancy, leading to miscarriage or other complications.

  • Male Factor: Male fertility issues, such as low sperm count, poor sperm motility, or high levels of DNA fragmentation, can affect the quality of the embryo and its ability to develop properly. Genetic issues or health conditions affecting the male partner can also contribute to pregnancy loss and difficulty in achieving a successful pregnancy [11].

Embracing Support and Treatment

In the aftermath of pregnancy loss, seeking support and treatment becomes paramount. Whether it's through counseling, herbal and nutritional medicine, or lifestyle adjustments, there are avenues to explore on the path to healing.

No two stories of loss are the same, and therein lies the beauty of individualised care. By honouring each person's unique journey, we pave the way for healing that is both profound and personal.

In the realm of fertility support, collaboration is key. By working hand-in-hand with healthcare providers, naturopaths, and specialists, we create a network of support that uplifts and empowers.

Finding Hope in the Journey & Moving Forward with Resilience 

Amidst the darkness of loss, there is always a glimmer of hope. It's the hope that fuels our journey forward, guiding us toward a future filled with possibility and promise.

As we navigate the terrain of pregnancy loss, we do so with resilience and grace. We acknowledge the pain of the past while embracing the potential of the future, knowing that with each step, we grow stronger.

Supporting Others on the Journey

Just as we receive support in our time of need, so too do we offer it to others. By extending a hand of compassion and understanding, we create a community bound together by empathy and shared experiences.

Pregnancy loss may cast a shadow, but it does not define us. It is but a chapter in a larger story, one marked by resilience, courage, and unwavering hope. And as we turn the pages, we do so with the knowledge that our journey is far from over, and that with each step, we move closer to healing, understanding, and the possibility of new beginnings.

If you are in need of some support, where you would like to discuss how to reduce miscarriage risk or to receive my support  if you are trying to conceive after experiencing a pregnancy loss, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Connect with me and let’s chat. 

With love, 

Suzzi <3



  2. Annan, J, et. al. 2013, Biochemical pregnancy during assisted conception: A little bit pregnant, J Clin Med Res. 5(4): 269–274. doi: 10.4021/jocmr1008w, PMID: 23864915

  3. Chaudry, K, et. al. 2021, Anembryonic Pregnancy, Stat Pearls [Internet]

  4. Meena, M, et. al. 2016, The Effect of Anti-Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies on Pregnancy Outcomes in Euthyroid Women, J Clin Diagn Res, 10(9):QC04-QC07. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2016/19009.8403. PMCID: PMC5072023

  5. Coomarasamy, A, et. al, 2020, Micronized vaginal progesterone to prevent miscarriage: a critical evaluation of randomized evidence, American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 223(2)167-176, DOI:

  6. Moll, S & Varga, E, 2015, Homocysteine and MTHFR Mutations, Circulation, 132(1),

  7. Giakoumelou, S, et. al, 2016, The role of infection in miscarriage, Human Reprod Update, 22(1)116–133, doi: 10.1093/humupd/dmv041

  8. Brandt, N, et. al. 2021, Effect of paternal health on pregnancy loss—A review of current evidence, Andrologia, 2021 Oct 2,

  9. Zimmer, C, 2015 Sept 10, A pregnancy souvenir: Cells that are not your own, The New York Times,

  10. Hlinecka, K, et. al. 2021, Comparison of clinical and reproductive outcomes between adenomyomectomy and myomectomy, Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynaecology, DOI:

  11. Xu, Y, et. al, 2019, Relationship between unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss and 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphisms, Fertility and Sterility, 111(3)597-603, DOI:


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