Non-surgical interventions for threatened and recurrent miscarriages

Singapore Med J. 2007 Dec;48(12):1074-90; quiz 1090.


Many surgical and non-surgical interventions are used in the management of threatened and recurrent miscarriages. Evidence-based management of recurrent miscarriages requires investigations into the underlying aetiology. When a specific cause is identified, directed treatment may reduce miscarriage rates. Combined aspirin and heparin for antiphospholipid syndrome, and screening and treatment of bacterial vaginosis between ten and 22 weeks of pregnancy with clindamycin, are the only interventions proven to be useful in randomised controlled trials (RCTs). The use of periconceptional metformin for polycystic ovarian (PCO) syndrome is promising, though data from RCTs are still required. The use of heparin in inherited thrombophilias, bromocriptine in hyperprolactinaemia and luteinising hormone suppression in fertile patients with PCO syndrome are more controversial. In threatened miscarriages, or when no cause is found, treatment becomes empirical. Supportive care may reduce miscarriage rates. Dydrogesterone, a progesterone derivative, may further reduce miscarriage rates. Bed rest and avoidance of sexual intercourse, though commonly advised, are of no proven benefit. Use of uterine relaxing agents, human chorionic gonadotrophin, immunotherapy and vitamins remain controversial in idiopathic recurrent miscarriages.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Habitual / epidemiology
  • Abortion, Habitual / prevention & control
  • Abortion, Habitual / therapy*
  • Abortion, Threatened / epidemiology
  • Abortion, Threatened / prevention & control
  • Abortion, Threatened / therapy*
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Aspirin / administration & dosage
  • Bed Rest
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Heparin / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Metformin / administration & dosage
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Prognosis
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Assessment
  • Singapore


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Heparin
  • Metformin
  • Aspirin