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Endocrinology of recurrent pregnancy loss.

Following implantation, the maintenance of the pregnancy is dependent on a multitude of endocrinological events that will eventually aid in the successful growth and development of the fetus. Although the great majority of pregnant women have no pre-existing endocrine abnormalities, a small number of women can have certain endocrine alterations that could potentially lead to recurrent pregnancy losses. It is estimated that approximately 8 to 12% of all pregnancy losses are the result of endocrine factors. During the preimplantation period, the uterus undergoes important developmental changes stimulated by estrogen, and more importantly, progesterone. Progesterone is essential for the successful implantation and maintenance of pregnancy. Therefore, disorders related to inadequate progesterone secretion by the corpus luteum are likely to affect the outcome of the pregnancy. Luteal phase deficiency, hyperprolactinemia, and polycystic ovarian syndrome are some examples. Several other endocrinological abnormalities such as thyroid disease, hypoparathyroidism, uncontrolled diabetes, and decreased ovarian reserve have been implicated as etiologic factors for recurrent pregnancy loss.

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