Secondary recurrent miscarriage is associated with previous male birth.
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AffiliationAnu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College, Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland.
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CitationJ Reprod Immunol. 2011 Jan;88(1):38-41. Epub 2010 Dec 3.
JournalJournal of reproductive immunology
AbstractSecondary recurrent miscarriage (RM) is defined as three or more consecutive pregnancy losses after delivery of a viable infant. Previous reports suggest that a firstborn male child is associated with less favourable subsequent reproductive potential, possibly due to maternal immunisation against male-specific minor histocompatibility antigens. In a retrospective cohort study of 85 cases of secondary RM we aimed to determine if secondary RM was associated with (i) gender of previous child, maternal age, or duration of miscarriage history, and (ii) increased risk of pregnancy complications. Fifty-three women (62.0%; 53/85) gave birth to a male child prior to RM compared to 32 (38.0%; 32/85) who gave birth to a female child (p=0.002). The majority (91.7%; 78/85) had uncomplicated, term deliveries and normal birth weight neonates, with one quarter of the women previously delivered by Caesarean section. All had routine RM investigations and 19.0% (16/85) had an abnormal result. Fifty-seven women conceived again and 33.3% (19/57) miscarried, but there was no significant difference in failure rates between those with a previous male or female child (13/32 vs. 6/25, p=0.2). When patients with abnormal results were excluded, or when women with only one previous child were considered, there was still no difference in these rates. A previous male birth may be associated with an increased risk of secondary RM but numbers preclude concluding whether this increases recurrence risk. The suggested association with previous male birth provides a basis for further investigations at a molecular level.