Below are some terms you may hear providers use when talking about recurrent pregnancy loss. For other terms related to miscarriage, see the glossary near the bottom of the
Adenomyosis - a condition in which the endometrial tissue that normally lines the uterus, grows into the muscle of the uterus.
Antiphospholipid syndrome - an autoimmune disease that may affect pregnancy. It is a rare medical condition which may cause your immune system to produce antibodies that work against the new pregnancy.
Arcuate uterus - a minor variation in the shape of the uterus. A typical uterus is pear-shaped, but an arcuate uterus has a small dent at the top. This dent does not cause health concerns nor does it require treatment (unlike the condition called "uterine septum"; see below).
Balanced translocation - a type of genetic variation in which one piece of a chromosome attaches to another piece from a different chromosome pair. The overall number of chromosomes is still correct, so it is considered "balanced" but the chromosome sections are joined in the wrong place. An estimated 1 in 560 people have a balanced translocation. It can be an inherited trait or can occur in a embryo even when neither parent is affected by the condition. People with this condition are at a greater risk of recurrent miscarriage.
Cervical insufficiency - a condition in which the cervix is weakened and may open too soon in the pregnancy leading to miscarriage or a very premature infant.
Cervical cerclage - a surgical treatment to address cervical insufficiency. This involves sewing a stitch using surgical thread in and around the cervix to keep it closed longer.
Chronic histiocytic intervillositis (CHI) - a rare but often recurrent condition in which there are lesions on the placenta. Pregnancies with CHI are at high risk of fetal growth restriction, miscarriage or stillbirth.
Cytogenetic testing - involves testing samples of tissue, blood, or bone marrow in a laboratory to look for changes in chromosomes, including broken, missing, rearranged, or extra chromosomes.
Fibroids - are tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus. They are usually benign (non-cancerous) and can grow as a single tumor, or there can be many of them in the uterus.
Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) - an X-ray of your uterus and fallopian tubes. During this test a special fluid is placed in the uterus so that the walls of the uterus and fallopian tubes can be clearly seen on X-ray. As the fluid moves, your provider looks for any blockages in the fallopian tubes or unusual divisions in the uterus.
Hysteroscopy - a test used to look for physical problems in the uterus. A small tube called a hysteroscope is inserted through your vagina into the uterus. The uterus is filled with a fluid to cause it to expand. The hysteroscope, which contains a camera which allows your provider to look for any anatomical problems with the uterus.
Uterine septum - is a condition you are born with. It occurs when an extra piece of tissue known as a septum hangs from the top of the uterus. It may be small, or it may be large enough to divide the uterus into two halves. A significant uterine septum can cause problems with blood circulation in the lining and may prevent the embryo from implanting or developing fully. Surgery can help to correct this.