Recurrent miscarriage, habitual abortion, or Recurrent Pregnancy Loss is three or more consecutive pregnancy losses. About 1% of couples trying to have children are affected by recurrent miscarriage. The risk increases with each successive abortion reaching over 30% after three consecutive losses.

Causes:

There are various causes for recurrent miscarriage, and some can be treated. Some couples never have a cause identified, often after extensive investigations. About 50-75% of cases of Recurrent Miscarriage are unexplained. Factors may be recurrent or non-recurrent.

At present, there exist a small number of accepted etiologies for Recurrent Pregnancy Loss. These include parental chromosomal abnormalities, untreated hypothyroidism, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, certain uterine anatomic abnormalities, and antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS).

Other probable or possible etiologies include additional endocrine disorders, heritable and/or acquired thrombophilias, immunologic abnormalities, infections, and environmental factors. After evaluation for these causes, approximately half of all cases will remain unexplained.

Treatment and prognosis:

Although the diagnosis of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss can be quite devastating, it can be helpful for the physician and patient to keep in mind the relatively high likelihood that the next pregnancy will be successful. A particular individual’s prognosis will depend on both the underlying cause for pregnancy losses and the number of prior losses. Correction of endocrine disorders, APA, and anatomic anomalies enjoy the highest success rates, approximately 60% to 90%. Patients with a genetic basis for loss experience a wide range of success (20%–80%) that depends on the type of abnormality present.