Under the guidance of A/Prof Tan Heng Hao (left), Head, Department of Reproductive Medicine, KKH, Dr Liu Shuling (centre), Consultant, Department of Reproductive Medicine, KKH, runs the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Clinic with Patient Service Associate Ms Niki Fann.
Recurrent pregnancy loss affects approximately one per cent of couples trying to conceive. To provide a place of care and support for affected couples, KKH has established a dedicated Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Clinic to provide comprehensive assessment, treatment recommendations and psycho-social counselling.
“Recurrent pregnancy loss is defined as the loss of three or more pregnancies, and can be associated with a diverse range of causes such as endocrine problems like thyroid disease, abnormalities of the uterus, chromosomal aberrations and antiphospholipid syndrome,” shares
Dr Liu Shuling, Consultant, Department of Reproductive Medicine, KKH, who leads the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Clinic.
“Common causes of recurrent pregnancy loss seen by KKH include Asherman’s syndrome (scarring of the uterus lining), fibroids, obesity and smoking.”
Due to the complexity of the condition, more than 50 per cent of affected couples may not have the cause of their recurrent pregnancy loss definitively identified, despite extensive investigations.
In addition, prolonged loss and grief can be highly stressful, and couples experiencing recurrent pregnancy loss may refrain from open discussion and avoid seeking support from friends and family, out of fear of the perceived stigma surrounding miscarriage.
“Whilst challenging to treat, there is growing evidence that the management of recurrent pregnancy loss by dedicated clinics can provide excellent prognoses for future pregnancy outcomes among affected patients,” says Dr Liu.
A PLACE OF CARE AND SUPPORT
Many conditions leading to recurrent pregnancy loss, and their treatment options, overlap with care plans for subfertility in couples. Assisted reproductive techniques with in-vitro fertilisation and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis or pre-implantation genetic screening may also be required for these couples.
“The KKH Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Clinic is the first in Singapore to be run by specialists in reproductive medicine – who are experienced in the management of subfertility – with the capacity to refer patients for additional help from medical social workers, psychologists, immunologists and endocrinologists, when necessary,” shares Dr Liu.
Drawing on the expertise of various medical and allied health specialties, KKH is able to provide holistic care for couples with a variety of medical conditions, and be a place of support for them.
“If a couple wishes to and is ready to try for a child again, we will support them through exploring treatment options that are available to prepare them for the next pregnancy," says Dr Liu.
REFER A PATIENT
Polyclinics and community healthcare practitioners can contact KKH at
+65 6294 4050 to refer patients to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology or the Department of Reproductive Medicine for an assessment on their suitability for referral to the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Clinic.