A recent report on Reuters Health suggests that women who have had a miscarriage may be more likely to have complications with future pregnancies, even if they have only had one miscarriage.
Dr. Sohinee Bhattacharya of the Aberdeen Maternity Hospital and her colleagues looked at the records for 32,000 pregnant women, and found that even one miscarriage increases the risk of pregnancy complications in a woman’s next pregnancy. The study, published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, examined the outcomes the 32,000 women’s pregnancies. The study divided the women into three groups: 1561 were pregnant but their first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, 10,549 were pregnant with their second but their first pregnancy resulted in a live birth, and 21,118 were pregnant for the first time.
When the three groups were compared, researchers found that the women who had a previous miscarriage were at higher risk of having pregnancy complications that included: threatened miscarriage, preterm delivery, the need for labor induction, and postpartum hemorrhage.
Previous research on miscarriage has focused on the risks of miscarrying again, but not examined the effects on subsequent pregnancies. The study’s findings showed that women who have had a miscarriage should be aware that subsequent pregnancies might require closer monitoring. While this might sound frightening to women who have had a history of miscarriage, one or multiple losses, this information can be used to alert them to be more diligent with getting early prenatal care and to be watchful for potential pregnancy complications with subsequent pregnancies.
Bhattacharya told Reuters that even though the risks might be small, vigilance "should not be restricted only to women with multiple miscarriages."