Chances of Problem Pregnancy After a Miscarriage

pregnant woman standing in doctor's office waiting room

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If you've had a miscarriage, your chances of having problems with your next pregnancy are relatively slim. It is more likely than not that your miscarriage was a one-time event and that future pregnancy will be perfectly normal and full term. In fact, only around one to two percent of women will experience multiple miscarriages. All in all, those are pretty good odds.

Still, it's fair to have lingering doubts and to want to understand the factors that can either increase or decrease your likelihood of a normal pregnancy.

The Facts About Miscarriage

Miscarriages during the first trimester are common and about 10% of all pregnancies end this way.

Recurrent pregnancy loss only occurs around one percent of women. Of these, 50 to 75 percent will have no recognizable cause. However, about 65% of those women will go on to get pregnant.

Risk Factors for Miscarriage

If you have had one first-trimester miscarriage without a known cause, you don't face any higher risk for complications in your next pregnancy compared to other women in your age group.

However, there are a number of factors that do place you at higher risk, some of which you can change and others you can't. Among them:

  • Being older than 35, as you get older, your risk continues to increase
  • Smoking tobacco or being exposed to secondhand smoke
  • Drinking alcohol, with five drinks per week nearly quadrupling miscarriage risk
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Previous uterine surgery
  • Uterus abnormalities
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • A body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more (which increases your risk by 25 percent)

How to Decrease Miscarriage Risk

If you have fears about experiencing a second miscarriage, you may be best served to focus on the risk factors you can readily change. Most of them are "good habits" anyway, some of which you can even pass to your spouse and future child.

Here are the most obvious steps you should take:

  • Quit smoking (do not simply taper down or switch to low-nicotine, low-tar brands)
  • Avoid alcohol, which can hurt your child even if the pregnancy is successful
  • Work with a perinatal nutrition expert get down to a healthy weight
  • speak with your clinician about starting prenatal vitamins
  • Exercise regularly appropriate to your stage of pregnancy, but do not overexercise or engage in extreme physical sports or activities
  • Work with your doctor if you have trouble controlling your diabetes
  • Stay engaged in care and keep all of your appointments with your OB/GYN specialist

A Word From Verywell

Deciding when to try again is a personal choice and one that depends on where you are in the coping process. While some couples will want to wait a while, others prefer to start as soon as possible.

Neither is wrong; just be certain that you and your partner have come fully to terms with your loss before trying again. Couples don't necessarily experience grief in the same way, and it may take one more time to heal than the other (men included).

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Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Repeated Miscarriages. Published May 2016.

  2. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Early Pregnancy Loss. Published August 2015.

  3. March of Dimes. Miscarriage. Updated November 2017.

  4. National institute of Child Health and Human Development. Is There a Way to Prevent Pregnancy Loss? Updated September 1, 2017.

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