Pregnancy outcome following a previous spontaneous abortion (miscarriage)

Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2006;61(3):167-70. doi: 10.1159/000091074. Epub 2006 Jan 20.


Objective: To determine the pregnancy outcome following a previous spontaneous abortion (miscarriage).

Method: A prospective cohort study was done on 300 gravida-2 patients: 200 patients (case group) whose previous pregnancy was spontaneously aborted (early abortion), and 100 patients (control group) whose previous pregnancy went to term and a live fetus was delivered. All the patients were followed until delivery, and then the pregnancy outcomes, neonatal complications and delivery routes were determined and compared between the 2 groups. Pregnancy outcomes included: maternal complications (e.g. placenta previa, placental abruption, premature rupture of the membranes, preeclampsia and eclampsia, abortion, breech presentation, preterm labor, intrauterine fetal death); neonatal complications (low birth weight, gross congenital malformations, low Apgar score at 1 min), and delivery routes (cesarean delivery or instrumental delivery, e.g. forceps or vacuum). Statistical analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for Social Science.

Results: Statistical analysis showed that the pregnancy complications following a previous spontaneous miscarriage were no different from those of the control group, except for abortion (16.5 vs. 11%, p < 0.003, RR = 1.15, CI 95% = 0.95-1.39), fetal deaths (1.5 vs. 0%, p < 0.004, RR = 1.51, CI 95% = 1.39-1.63), and vaginal bleeding during the first trimester (19 vs. 1%, p < 0.001, RR = 1.57, CI 95% = 1.41-1.75), which were more than those of the control group. Also, the rate of cesarean delivery (28.14 vs. 13.48%) was increased (p = 0.026, RR = 1.25, CI 95% = 1.07-1.47). Neonatal complications were not statistically significantly different in comparison with the control group.

Conclusion: A prior spontaneous miscarriage is a risk for the next pregnancy, and the risk of abortion and intrauterine fetal death will increase. Therefore, careful prenatal care is mandatory.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / epidemiology*
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cesarean Section / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Trial of Labor