Recurrent Abortion Clinic


When a miscarriage happens three or more times in a row, it is called recurrent miscarriage.

What is the cause of recurrent miscarriage?

The simple answer is that quite often, nobody knows. In about half of cases, no cause is found after doing all the tests. In the other half, causes can be found and these include:

Recurrent Abortion Clinic
  • Abnormalities of the pregnant woman’s womb (uterus). For example, long-standing infection or inflammation of the womb (endometritis), scarring of the lining of the womb, lumps.
  • A weak (incompetent) neck of the womb (cervix), also known as cervical insufficiency. The cervix normally only opens at the time of labour to let the baby come out. In some women the cervix is lax and opens too early. This can be a cause of late miscarriages.
  • Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). This is an abnormality of the immune system which results in blood being more likely than normal to clot (a thrombophilia). This can lead to unwanted blood clots (called thromboses) forming within blood vessels. This can affect the blood supply to the placenta and developing baby. You can read more about it in the separate leaflet called Antiphospholipid Syndrome. About 5 to 20 out of every 100 women with recurrent miscarriage have APS. This is an important cause, particularly as it can be treated.
  • Other abnormalities of the clotting system of the pregnant woman. Inherited conditions, such as factor V Leiden deficiency, can also make blood more likely to clot and it may be that this contributes to recurrent miscarriage, although this is not known for sure.
  • Abnormalities of the genes or chromosomes of the parents. Chromosomes are the structures that contain genes with the genetic information that we inherit from our parents. If a baby (fetus) has abnormal chromosomes it may not develop properly and so the pregnancy will end. Many miscarriages can be caused by abnormal chromosomes but it is usually a one-off abnormality which has occurred in the baby. Sometimes the parents have mild abnormalities of their chromosomes, which do not affect the parent, but which, when combined or divided to create a baby, can cause a major chromosome problem for the developing baby. If this is the case then recurrent miscarriages can happen.
  • Hormone problems. Lack of hormones needed for pregnancy may be involved in some cases. A condition called hyperprolactinaemia, and low thyroid hormone levels (hypothyroidism), can affect hormones needed to maintain pregnancy. Low progesterone levels in the early stages of pregnancy may affect the way the developing baby embeds (implants) in the womb.
  • Lifestyle factors. It may be that factors such as smoking, drinking excessive alcohol regularly or being very overweight contribute to the likelihood of having miscarriages.

What is the treatment for recurrent miscarriage?

This will depend on whether a specific cause has been found after the tests.

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