The Aftermath of Miscarriage

Robin Marantz Henig is to be congratulated on her sensitive, informative article on the mysteries of miscarriage {Cover, July 10}. As she points out, a woman who has experienced miscarriage will usually spare no expense to diagnose and correct the problem. There are less expensive ways, however, of initially detecting a hormonal problem than a $250 blood test. Women who suffer from infertility are encouraged to chart their fertility cycle in order to find the best time in the cycle to achieve pregnancy; this can be just as important for the woman who miscarries.

The article also draws attention to the effects of chlamydia, "which has reached epidemic proportions." Women need to do more to protect their own fertility from puberty onward. By and large, this message is not reaching adolescent women. Someone who begins sexual activity in middle adolescence is likely to have multiple sexual partners before marriage, which increases the risk of both chlamydia and immunological problems in the later reproductive years. Mary Shivanandan Certified Family Life Educator National Council on Family Relations Bethesda Miscarriage doesn't always happen in the first trimester of pregnancy. The results are so much more than a feeling of frustration, and the prospect of a future pregnancy doesn't necessarily bring dread.

I lost my twin babies during the fourth month of a fragile and precious pregnancy achieved after nine years of infertility and multiple high-tech interventions. The exquisite sadness of delivering my too-tiny babies, who will never know the beauty of a Mozart piano concerto or the wonder of fireflies on a warm summer evening, pierces my heart every day. Miscarriage is the death of a loved child.

I would treasure, not dread, another pregnancy. But despite the optimistic statistics and examples in your article, not all miscarriage stories have happy endings. Rosemarie Sweeney Bethesda The article on miscarriage -- involuntary abortion -- throws dramatic light on the administration's "no research on fetal tissue" policy. Clearly, as the medical world has always known, aborted fetuses are not the only source of fetal tissue -- tissue that has shown such great promise in the treatment of diseases of the aging. In this time of positive devotion to the benefits of "high tech" and of biological revolution bordering on the miraculous, the policy of walling off fetal-tissue research bears a resemblance to the follies of the Berlin Wall, the Great Wall of China and the Maginot Line, all of which failed in their purpose in the end. Joshua M. Levine Washington Letters intended for publication must be signed and include the writer's home address and home and business telephone numbers. Letters may be edited. Although we are unable to acknowledge all letters, we appreciate the time and value the viewpoints of those who write. Send letters to Health Section, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.