Miscarriage may spell trouble in next pregnancy

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Some women have the misfortune to suffer numerous miscarriages and are known to have risky pregnancies, but women who suffer even one miscarriage seem to be more likely to have complications in their next pregnancy, Scottish researchers report.

“Our work, based on the analysis of pregnancy records of more than 32,000 women, shows that a single initial miscarriage increases the risks of pregnancy complications in the next continuing pregnancy,” Dr. Sohinee Bhattacharya of the Aberdeen Maternity Hospital told Reuters Health.

For their study, in the medical journal BJOG, Bhattacharya and colleagues analyzed the pregnancy outcomes of 1561 women who had previously had a first miscarriage, 10,549 women who had had a previous live birth, and 21,118 women who were pregnant for the first time.

Compared with the women with a previous live birth and the women with a first pregnancy, the miscarriage group was at greater risk of a variety of adverse outcomes. These included threatened miscarriage, the need to induce labor, instrumental delivery, postpartum hemorrhage, and preterm delivery.

“While for most women these risks are small,” Bhattacharya commented, extra vigilance “should not be restricted only to women with multiple miscarriages.”

SOURCE: BJOG, December 2008.

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