UPMC Magee-Womens new Virtual Care Center helps women across Pennsylvania take the next steps after a recurring or late trimester pregnancy loss.
For women experiencing multiple first trimester miscarriages (known as recurrent pregnancy loss) — or a loss in the second or third trimester — their sorrow is often accompanied by the fear of not being able to give birth successfully in the future.
The new UPMC Magee-Womens Virtual Care Center offers expert medical support to women across Pennsylvania. Its online Pregnancy Loss Clinic enables women to directly schedule a video visit with a maternal fetal medicine (MFM) doctor — a specialist in high risk pregnancies.
“Pregnancy loss can tremendously affect a woman’s well-being,” says Arun Jeyabalan, MD, division director of MFM at Magee. “These women often grieve alone, without any resources to share their experience. Most of all, they lack a way to find out why their loss happened and how they can plan for the future. Our online Pregnancy Loss Clinic gives women that opportunity anywhere they’re located.”
“While the Virtual Care Center is new, Magee has offered MFM specialty care since 1974. We also have provided telemedicine services in MFM care to women and their providers for more than a decade,” says Lynn Garver, MPH, director of operations for MFM at Magee. “Patients often learn about our program from their family doctor or general ob-gyn.”
About 1 in every 4 pregnancies ends in a miscarriage — but only about 1% of all women experience recurrent pregnancy loss. Reasons for a first trimester pregnancy loss include:
- Genetic or chromosome abnormalities
- Undiagnosed or untreated medical conditions
- Abnormalities of the uterine cavity
Second and third trimester pregnancy loss can be the result of:
- Premature labor
- Autoimmune problems
- Problems with the cervix, uterus, or placenta
The cause of some miscarriages will never be known, especially when they occur very early on when a woman may be unaware of the pregnancy. The good news is that more than half of all women who experience a miscarriage go on to successfully deliver a baby without medical intervention.
“But when there is a pattern of 2 or more consecutive pregnancy losses, it’s important to see if there is an underlying problem or condition that can be resolved,” says Dr. Jeyabalan. “Our Pregnancy Loss Clinic focuses on reviewing the course of events of a pregnancy. We look for ways to optimize future pregnancies, and develop a plan of care that is focused on the health of the mother and baby.”
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What to Expect During a Pregnancy Loss Virtual Visit
“An online visit with a Magee MFM specialist is just like meeting with the doctor in person in Pittsburgh — without the need to travel here,” explains Garver. “The appointment lasts about 40 minutes and includes collecting a detailed medical and pregnancy history. The MFM specialist may order some lab tests, such as an ultrasound, that ideally can be done locally.” Depending on the need, a follow-up inpatient or virtual visit may be suggested.
“We help women openly discuss their experience with the goal of creating a plan that allows them to move forward,” says Dr. Jeyabalan. “We collaborate in the development of a care plan that can be shared with her primary care doctor, ob-gyn, and other caregivers.”
NOTE: The Pregnancy Loss Clinic is not for women who are currently pregnant.
About the UPMC Magee-Womens Virtual Care Center
The new UPMC Magee-Womens Virtual Care Center combines Magee’s deep expertise in telemedicine with its nationally ranked services in advanced specialty care for women.
The center’s services currently are limited to Pennsylvania residents. As with any specialty care service, the video visit is billed to a patient’s insurance provider. A copay may be required.
In addition to pregnancy loss, virtual specialty care appointments can be scheduled online for:
- Bladder and pelvic health
- Family planning
- Fibroid treatment
- Midlife health
- Preconception counseling
- Vulvar and vaginal disorders
To participate in a UPMC Magee-Womens Virtual Care Center visit, patients must download the MyUPMC application on their smart phone or tablet, and have a scheduled video appointment.
For more information, go to UPMCMagee.com/VirtualCare.
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About UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital
For more than a century, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital has provided high-quality medical care to women at all stages of life. UPMC Magee is long-renowned for its services to women and babies but also offers a wide range of care to men as well. Our patient-first approach ensures you and your loved ones get the care you need. Nearly 10,000 babies are born each year at Magee, and our NICU is one of the largest in the country. Our network of care – from imaging centers to hospital services – provides care throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland, giving you a chance to get the expert care you need close to home. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognizes UPMC Magee as a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, and the Magee-Womens Research Institute is the largest research institute in the U.S. devoted exclusively to women’s health and reproductive biology.