Recurrent miscarriage is defined as three or more consecutive miscarriages before 12 weeks, and affects 1 out of 100 of all couples trying for a pregnancy. Sometimes a treatable cause can be found, and sometimes not. But in either case, most couples are more likely to have a successful pregnancy next time than to miscarry again. Overall, 75% of affected women will have a successful subsequent pregnancy, but this rate falls for older mothers and with increasing number of miscarriages. Notwithstanding this, recurrent miscarriage takes a heavy emotional toll on the couple and their family.
Investigations and tests are usually not offered after one or two early miscarriages (12 weeks or less), as they are thought to be due to chance occurrences. Tests are offered after the third miscarriage and after two miscarriages in women in their late 30s or older and in women who have taken a long time to conceive.