Multiple Miscarriages: A Look at Recurrent Miscarriage Statistics 10

6 months after my first miscarriage, I had another. I was dumbfounded. I had three previous problem-free healthy pregnancies that went beyond full term, and I was only 28. If you’ve suffered multiple miscarriages, often referred to as “recurrent miscarriage” when the loss number reaches three, I know whether or not your next pregnancy will end in miscarriage is at the forefront of your mind. Part of you wants to try again so very badly, and another part is terrified that it will be a fruitless endeavor wrought with pain-again. The question is: what are your odds?

What are the chances of multiple miscarriages?miscarriage statistics

Think of getting pregnant like the roll of a dice. The chance you’ll roll a 1 is 1 in 6 on that first roll, but if you roll again probability starts to come into play, your chances just got higher. This is true when it comes to miscarriage. On that first roll, around 10 and 25 percent of women miscarry depending on age. On that second roll, only about 5 percent of women miscarry a second consecutive time. Of the unlucky 5 percent of women that have to roll a third time, only 1 percent miscarry. Once you’ve had three consecutive miscarriages, it’s safe to assume someone’s cheating, and you should seek medical testing to determine if there is an underlying cause. Unfortunately, most medical professionals will not actually do any testing before this point.

What are the chances of a successful pregnancy after multiple miscarriages?

Now, this is where things get confusing. While only 5 percent of women suffer two consecutive miscarriages, the chances of a successful pregnancy after one miscarriage is 90 percent, and while only 1 percent of women suffer three consecutive miscarriages, the chance of a successful pregnancy after two losses is 75 percent. The chance of a successful pregnancy after three losses is even lower at 65 percent, and lower still after 4 losses at 55 percent. How does that work? One statistic is looking at the overall probability weighed against all pregnancy data. Of all pregnant women only 1 percent of those miscarried three times in a row. The other statistic looks at rates of miscarriage within categories. A woman in the category of “two consecutive losses” has a 25 percent chance of miscarrying again (75 percent chance of a successful pregnancy).

So, does a miscarriage increase your risk of miscarriage?

Not exactly. The reason that your chances of a successful pregnancy decrease as you have more miscarriages is that the chance that you’re getting a fair roll decreases. For example, after one miscarriage it’s likely that it was just bad luck. Something went wrong on a genetic level and nothing could have been done to prevent it. You just rolled a 1. However, after three losses, chances are far higher there is an underlying cause such as poor egg quality, unusual uterine shape, or other health issues. You had a weighted dice and just didn’t know it until you kept rolling 1’s. Bad analogy aside, the cut and dry?

Your chances of consecutive miscarriage are low, and get lower the more losses you suffer, unless you have an underlying health issue, which can lead to the appearance of higher rates of loss in women who have had more losses. Sadly, you won’t know if you have an underlying health issue until three losses, and even then many women never find the cause. I had two losses, then a beautiful baby girl this month.


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10 thoughts on “Multiple Miscarriages: A Look at Recurrent Miscarriage Statistics

  • shawnie

    Congrats on your wee one! Thanks for this past. Just had a D&C yesterday after my 3rd pregnancy in 9 months – all miscarriages. Decided to do a little digging into stats and came across your blog post. I’m 40 this summer which may play a factor. After January’s d&c, docs found no abnormalities with fetus (we had seen heartbeat before loss) so figured my factory was offline, so to speak. Started progesterone suppositories for 3rd pregnancy and really thought it’d do the trick. My OB was really surprised when I lost this third one. Me, too! Very curious to hear what pathology says this time. Unfortunately, didn’t get any info on first mc because I had at home. Sorry to blab all over… guess I just wanna talk about it without all the well- intentioned but not – ready – for sympathy and emotions. Anyway, cheers!

    • unwirklich admin

      :( I’m very sorry to hear that. Two losses was hard enough, I can only imagine how three feels. Have they done any hormone level testing on you? or had a look at egg/sperm quality at all? I know that can play a factor as you get older (though I consider 40 young, I suppose nature doesn’t cause she certainly makes it harder to conceive). I hope you get things figured out. My mom had my youngest sister at 46, so it’s possible. Her pregnancy was hard and she had to be on bed rest for over 3 months, but my sister is 14 now and a brat.

    • Christine

      Thanks for the article and so sorry to hear about your losses Shawnie. I am wondering the same thing. This article gave me hope, but the article did list age/egg quality as a factor (which applies to me at 41), somehow my beautiful baby boy made his way out when I was 38. I just wonder if a good egg is somewhere in there. Or how is my batch quality….? I hope so. I just had my 3rd miscarriage today too.

  • H.Floyd

    I’m pregnant again after 4 losses. The first pregnancy ended in miscarrage, then an ectopic, then two more chemical pregnancies. I’m just 4weeks now and I’m terrified. I’m 24 years old and I have done all the test. Everything came out normal. The fertility clinic can’t help me. Has anyone gone through this and ended up with a successful pregnancy. The good thing about this pregnancy is we conceived within one cycle. I really hope this one sticks.

    • unwirklich admin

      I had a missed at 10 weeks, an abrupt at 8, and 2 chemicals all in a row after 3 healthy boys and still went on to have a healthy baby girl last March. I won’t lie, the entire pregnancy I was terrified I’d lose her. I hope this is your sticky bean, and I’m sorry for your losses

  • Ms Beasley

    Hello there… I am just finding out today that I am pregnant, YAY, but, :/ last year 2015, I had three miscarriages, I’ve gotten test done and everything returned back normal, except, my doctor told me something about a anticoagulant syndrome that is coming back just below my normal range which causes the recurrent miscarriages, has anyone heard of this before? He also mentioned a medication called Lovenox, that I should start taking immediately after becoming pregnant, I am currently taking baby asprin, I’ve tried to contact him regarding this issue but because of course I have no insurance I get no help.. I am just a nervous and super scared person right now, anyone have a similar situation or have heard of anything like this before?

    • unwirklich admin

      I’m not familiar with blood clotting disorders during pregnancy I’m afraid, but the baby aspirin should help. I would recommend trying to find perhaps a free clinic at the very least, like Planned Parenthood depending on your income. You are a high-risk pregnancy for sure, and need prenatal care.

    • rachel.johnson

      I’ve just found out that I’m in the process of our third loss after having three healthy boys. At this point they are beginning to do blood tests to rule out the most common reasons and they will test for anticoagulant syndrome as well which was all new to me. I am 41 and definitely nervous that something is wrong but I hope it’s easily diagnosed and can be fixed.

      • Life with Gremlins admin

        I know it’s probably not what you want to hear, but pregnancy after 35 holds a higher chance of miscarriage all on it’s own. It’s possible that there’s nothing “wrong” exactly, just you’ve entered a high-risk age range for pregnancy. Either way, I’m very sorry for your losses. One loss is hard enough, repeated losses are heart breaking.