What are the Most Common Causes of Multiple Miscarriages?

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  • Written By: Lindsay Kahl
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 26 September 2019
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A single miscarriage can be a devastating event for expectant parents, and multiple miscarriages can be increasingly traumatic. When a woman has multiple miscarriages, it often indicates an underlying problem that will require diagnosis and treatment before she can have a successful pregnancy. Some of the most common underlying causes of multiple miscarriages include chromosomal, hormonal or uterine abnormalities. Additional possible causes include immunological issues, illness or exposure to environmental toxins.

The most common cause of miscarriages occurring in the first trimester is the presence of chromosomal or genetic abnormalities. These abnormalities interfere with the development of the embryo and could be present in either the mother’s chromosomes or the father’s chromosomes. The risk of these abnormalities increases for women older than 35. If a couple experiences multiple miscarriages because of chromosomal abnormalities, the couple might consider visiting a genetic counselor for guidance.

A hormonal imbalance referred to as luteal phase defect can lead to multiple miscarriages for some women. With this problem, a woman’s body does not create enough progesterone to sustain a successful pregnancy. Other issues with the thyroid or adrenal glands can affect a woman’s hormone levels and possibly can lead to miscarriage. Some women might benefit from hormone therapy as directed by a physician.


Structural abnormalities in the uterus also can lead to repeated miscarriages. In some cases, a miscarriage might occur because of the size, shape or formation of the uterus. If a woman has uterine fibroids, or growths, she also could have difficulty sustaining a pregnancy. For some women, these issues can be addressed with surgery.

Some immunological issues can keep a pregnancy from progressing. In some cases, the woman’s immune system views the developing embryo as a foreign object and attacks it. This might occur if the parents’ genetic material is too similar. Couples who experience multiple miscarriages often are encouraged to undergo immunological testing.

Women with chronic health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure could experience repeated miscarriages if their health is not under control. Untreated infections, such as rubella or herpes, also can lead to problems sustaining a pregnancy. Women with health conditions should work with their doctors to manage the conditions in order to help prevent recurrent miscarriages.

Exposure to environmental toxins also can lead to miscarriage. This includes chemicals, radiation or substances such as alcohol, tobacco or drugs. Expectant mothers should limit their exposure to any of these toxins.

If a woman experiences multiple miscarriages, she should work with her doctor to determine the underlying cause and make a plan for treatment, if possible. She might be able to lower her risk of another pregnancy loss. Many women recover from miscarriages and go on to sustain successful pregnancies.


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Post 2

I wonder if there's not a connection between extreme morning sickness and miscarriages, sometimes.

My cousin has had five pregnancies, two of which she carried to term. With her first child, she was sick as a dog for six months. With the second child, she was sick the whole time. She had two miscarriages in between.

With her last pregnancy, she said she was a little relieved when she miscarried because it was very early, but she had already started getting very sick. Her obstetrician said it was almost like her body was allergic to the fetus and was trying to expel it. I wonder if that's the case with other women who have had multiple miscarriages?

Post 1

I think there are just some women whom nature did not mean to have their own children. I'm not saying they deserve it or anything like that, but I have known women who had so much trouble getting pregnant, and then when they did, lost the baby. It has to be devastating. But, for some reason, their bodies just don't seem to be designed to carry a child to term. That has to be a hard realization.

A friend of mine had a miscarriage, but also has two healthy children. She said the miscarriage devastated her at the time, but she has come to accept the fact that there was something seriously wrong with the fetus and she could never have carried the baby to term.

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