Miscarriage

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: David Perlstein, MD, MBA, FAAP
    David Perlstein, MD, MBA, FAAP

    David Perlstein, MD, MBA, FAAP

    Dr. Perlstein received his Medical Degree from the University of Cincinnati and then completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at The New York Hospital, Cornell medical Center in New York City. After serving an additional year as Chief Pediatric Resident, he worked as a private practitioner and then was appointed Director of Ambulatory Pediatrics at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx.

What is the outlook for future pregnancies after a miscarriage?

Most women who miscarry subsequently go on to have a successful pregnancy. The likelihood of a miscarriage in a future pregnancy increases with the total number of miscarriages a woman has previously experienced. In general, the risk of recurrence in women who have had a previous miscarriage is about 15%. The risk is about 30% in women who have had two miscarriages. Most women will have their menstrual period within 4 to 6 weeks after a miscarriage. Your doctor can advise you when you may start trying to conceive again. While it is possible to conceive again after your menstrual period has returned, some doctors advise waiting a bit longer, such as another menstrual cycle or more, to provide enough time for physical and emotional recovery.

Can miscarriage be prevented?

There is no evidence that bed rest can help prevent miscarriage, but women who have vaginal bleeding during pregnancy are often advised to rest and limit sexual activity until there are no more potential signs of miscarriage. It is possible that some risk factors for miscarriage can be minimized by maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding the use of alcohol, illicit drugs, or tobacco. Screening for, and treatment of, any sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) can also reduce the risk of a miscarriage. In most instances, the prevention of a miscarriage is outside of the woman's control.

Medically reviewed by Wayne Blocker, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology

REFERENCE:

Medscape. Recurrent Early Pregnancy Loss.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/4/2015
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