Summary: Increased Risk of Future Miscarriages

Previous abortion is a factor that contributes to increasing a woman’s risk in having a first-trimester miscarriage.

  • In a study conducted by researchers at the London School of Hygiene, a selected number of women between ages 18-55 years old whose most recent pregnancy had ended in first trimester miscarriage were studied as well as women aged 18-55 years old whose most recent pregnancy had progressed beyond 12 weeks. The aim of this study was to examine the association between biological, behavioral, and lifestyle risk factors and risk of miscarriage. These women were questioned about socio-demographic, behavioral and other factors in their most recent pregnancy. The researchers of the study found the following to be independently associated with an increased risk in first trimester miscarriages: high maternal age, previous miscarriage, abortion and infertility, assisted conception, low pre-pregnancy body mass index, regular or high alcohol consumption, feeling stressed , high paternal age and changing partners. The results of this study confirm the advice to encourage a healthy diet, reduce stress and promote emotional well-being which might help women in early pregnancy (or planning a pregnancy) reduce their risk of miscarriage. Findings of increased risk of miscarriages associated with previous abortions, stress, change of partner and low pre-pregnancy weight are noteworthy and the researchers of this study recommend further work to confirm these findings in other study populations.1

1Risk Factors for First Trimester Miscarriage-Results From a UK-Population-Based Case-Control Study, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, December 4, 2006, pp. 1-17.


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