Recurrent Miscarriages - Physical and Emotional Concerns

What to Expect and How to Heal After Multiple Pregnancy Losses

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If you have had two or more miscarriages - known as recurrent miscarriages - you might be wondering how to heal and move forward. We'll discuss some of the emotional and physical concerns of dealing with recurrent miscarriages. 

Emotional Concerns After Multiple Miscarriages

The first concern is your mental health. You may have an even harder time dealing with your second loss than you did with your first one, given that you may understandably find no comfort in statistical reassurances (even though statistics remain in favor of your next pregnancy being normal).

At this stage, in addition to feeling sad, you are probably deeply jaded and frustrated. The first time you miscarried, your doctor probably told you the odds were low that it would happen again. Your friends and relatives may have tried to reassure you that, “everything will be fine next time.” You may have even reassured yourself by believing that.

Recurrent miscarriages may shake your belief in any type of favorable statistical odds. The American Pregnancy Association claims that only 1 percent of all couples have multiple losses. Truly it feels like winning a bad lottery.

Recurrent miscarriages can also feel like a betrayal by your body - everything was supposed to be fine and then it was not. 

Women who have more than one miscarriage may experience:

  • Anxiety and Depression. Women who have had recurrent pregnancy losses do have higher than average odds of developing anxiety and depression for obvious reasons. You may find yourself especially anxious about the prospect of trying to get pregnant again. 

  • Relationship Strain. Your relationship with your partner may face additional strain after multiple miscarriages. Men often cope more quickly with pregnancy loss than women do, and this can be a source of conflict if the woman interprets this as the man not caring rather than merely handling his feelings differently. In couples, sometimes the man may tend to feel that the woman is dwelling too much on the experience. He may not give her room to grieve the way she needs to.

    Whether you’re trying to conceive again or not, numerous online support groups exist for recurrent pregnancy loss. As with any type of loss, you should not have to face your experience alone.

    Physical Concerns After Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

    If you have had two miscarriages in a row, you should see a medical practitioner for a basic testing workup for miscarriage causes, such as uterine shape problems, blood clotting disorders and possible hormonal imbalances. The tests will include a number of blood tests and possibly imaging tests of your uterus. You may want to hold off on trying to conceive again until you have completed the testing.

    Your practitioner may tell you that you need to have three miscarriages in order to have any testing. Although some doctors may still follow this guideline, in February 2001 the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) changed its recommendations for miscarriage management to say that practitioners should run tests after two consecutive losses.

    If you're not comfortable with your current practitioner, you can look for a new one. You might want to consider a miscarriage specialist or reproductive endocrinologist. Supportive care is very important and some studies suggest that it may even reduce incidence of pregnancy loss for couples with recurrent miscarriages.

    Remember that even though your experience may feel overwhelming and unmanageable right now, odds are still in your favor that you will have a baby someday. Even after six or more losses, the majority of women do eventually go on to have a successful pregnancy. Every day that passes is closer to that day when you will have a baby and when what you are experiencing right now will be just a bad memory.

    Search the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility to find a medical specialist in your area. 


    Management of Recurrent Early Pregnancy Loss. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG Practice Bulletin, number 24. February 2001.

    Miscarriage. American Pregnancy Association. September 26, 2007.

    Swanson, K., Karmali, Z. A., Powell, S.H., et al. (2003). Miscarriage Effects on Couples’ Interpersonal and Sexual Relationships During the First Year After Loss: Women’s Perceptions. Psychosomatic Medicine.

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