Frequency of factors associated with habitual abortion in 197 couples

Fertil Steril. 1996 Jul;66(1):24-9.


Objective: To determine the frequency of factors associated with habitual abortion in 197 couples.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Setting: The British Columbia Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Program, located in a tertiary care academic center.

Interventions: Diagnostic screening protocol.

Main outcome measures: Genetic, endocrine, infectious, anatomical, and autoimmune factors associated with habitual abortion.

Results: A structural genetic factor was identified in 3.5% of the couples. An endocrine factor, including luteal phase deficiency and hypothyroidism, was identified in 20% and an infectious factor was identified in 0.5% of the couples. An anatomical factor, including various müllerian tract anomalies and severe intrauterine adhesions, was found in 16% and an autoimmune factor, including the antiphospholipid antibody syndrome and the undifferentiated connective tissue syndrome, was identified in 20% of the couples. Eighty-four couples who completed the diagnostic screening protocol were classified as having unexplained habitual abortion. Of these 84 couples, 65% were subclassified as primary, 27% were subclassified as secondary, and 7% had unclassified unexplained habitual abortion.

Conclusions: This large-scale study identified genetic, endocrine, infectious, anatomical, or autoimmune factors in approximately 60% of couples with habitual abortion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Habitual / etiology*
  • Abortion, Habitual / genetics*
  • Adult
  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications
  • Cohort Studies
  • Endocrine System Diseases / complications
  • Female
  • Genes
  • Genital Diseases, Female / complications
  • Humans
  • Infections / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies