Repeat Miscarriage Risk

Dr. Elizabeth Pryor answers the question, If you have a miscarriage, does it make another one likely?

Question

I was pregnant before and had a miscarriage, which was devastating. What are the chances of it happening again?

Answer

Enduring the loss of a pregnancy can be one of the hardest things you will ever go through. Even if the loss is early in pregnancy, it still is very difficult. About 12 to 15 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. If you're over age 40, the miscarriage rate increases to 25 percent. In fact, usually we do not consider miscarriage a medical problem until the woman experiences three first-trimester losses or two second-trimester losses.

The good news is, having one miscarriage does not put you at higher risk for further miscarriages. If there was no identifiable medical problem with your pregnancy -- say, brittle diabetes -- the chances are again approximately 85 percent that you will carry your baby to term. In fact, even among women who have experienced three losses in a row, almost three-quarters of patients will go on to have a normal pregnancy.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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