Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Impact of Initial Miscarriage on Future Pregnancies

A new study from the University of Aberdeen studied the impact that an initial miscarriage can have on a woman's next pregnancy.

Results revealed that a woman is 3.3 times as likely to have preeclampsia and 1.5 times as likely to have a premature baby. Women who previously had a miscarriage were 1.7 times as likely to experience bleeding or other signs of threatened miscarriage and 1.3 times as likely to experience bleeding later than 24 weeks gestation.

In a study of 33,000 women published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, women who suffered a single miscarriage experienced nearly double the rate of inductions and 6 times as many instrumental deliveries with forceps or vacuum extraction.

Preterm birth after 34 weeks and birthweight less than 2500 grams was 1.6 times as likely.

Professor Philip Steer, BJOG editor-in-chief stated:

"The findings from this research are helpful to healthcare professionals caring for pregnant women.

"They provide us with an idea of the complications that may arise as a result of a previous miscarriage. This will help doctors in the management of the subsequent pregnancy."

One factor not assessed was the span of time between pregnancies, which does not decrease substantially until 1.5-2 years and increases with less than 6 months between pregnancies.

The moral of the story...don't let a care provider dismiss your concerns if you've suffered a past miscarriage. Most women go on to have successful pregnancies, but a past history of miscarriage can increase the risks with subsequent pregnancies.


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