Recurrent miscarriage is the term used when a woman suffers from three or more miscarriages in a row, and affects one per cent of women.
If a woman suffers from recurrent miscarriage, the situation will need to be investigated in order to understand the causes, of which there are a number.
Commonly understood factors include genetic abnormalities in one or both parents that affect the foetus, or an abnormality within the structure of the woman's uterus. The woman's cervix may also be incompetent and unable to sustain a pregnancy.
Women suffering from illnesses such as diabetes are also at a higher risk of suffering from recurrent miscarriage, and polycystic ovary syndrome (where the ovaries are affected by small cysts) is also a common factor.
Additionally, a rare disorder known as antiphospholid syndrome is a known cause of recurrent miscarriage as it causes the woman's antibodies to attack the placenta.
The encouraging news is that over 80 per cent of women who suffer recurrent miscarriages will go on to give birth once the cause is identified. With advances in medical science, many of the conditions associated with this condition can be treated with great success, enabling the woman to carry a healthy pregnancy to term.
Support groups and counselling is available for women who are in need of emotional care after the trauma of miscarriage, which will be arranged for her by her doctor or hospital unit.