Table of contents

Recurrent pregnancy loss

What's new

Updated 2023 CAR guidelines for the evaluation of recurrent pregnancy loss.


Key sources

The following summarized guidelines for the evaluation and management of recurrent pregnancy loss are prepared by our editorial team based on guidelines from the Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR 2023), the European Association of Urology (EAU 2023), the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE 2023,2018), the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO 2023), the Royal College of ...
Show more

Screening and diagnosis

As per ASRM 2012 guidelines:
Define RPL as ≥ 2 failed clinical pregnancies. Obtain evaluation after 2 consecutive clinical pregnancy losses.
Recognize that up to 50% of cases of RPL will not have a clearly defined etiology.
Create free account

Classification and risk stratification

As per ESHRE 2023 guidelines:
Base prognosis on the patient's age number and her complete pregnancy history, including the number of previous pregnancy losses, live births, and their sequence.
Consider using prognostic tools (Kolte and Westergaard) to provide an estimate of the subsequent chance of live birth in couples with RPL.

Diagnostic investigations

Diagnostic imaging, pelvic ultrasound
As per CAR 2023 guidelines:
Obtain combined transabdominal and transvaginal ultrasound as the initial imaging in patients with recurrent first-trimester pregnancy loss.
Consider obtaining Doppler as an adjunct.
Consider obtaining a 3D ultrasound in patients with suspected Müllerian duct or intracavitary abnormalities based on initial assessment.

More topics in this section

  • Medical history

  • Diagnostic imaging (further investigations)

  • Thrombophilia evaluation (antiphospholipid syndrome)

  • Thrombophilia evaluation (inherited causes)

  • Endocrinological evaluation (thyroid)

  • Endocrinological evaluation (prolactin)

  • Endocrinological evaluation (other)

  • Immunological evaluation

  • Infection screening

  • Parental karyotyping

  • Preimplantation genetic screening

  • Products of conception genetic testing

  • Male partner evaluation

Medical management

Management of antiphospholipid syndrome: as per RCOG 2023 guidelines, initiate aspirin (75 mg/day) and heparin (UFH or LMWH, such as enoxaparin 40 mg SC) from a positive pregnancy test until at least 34 weeks of gestation in patients with antiphospholipid syndrome.

More topics in this section

  • Management of inherited thrombophilia

  • Management of thyroid dysfunction (overt hypothyroidism)

  • Management of thyroid dysfunction (subclinical hypothyroidism)

  • Management of thyroid dysfunction (thyroid autoimmunity)

  • Management of luteal phase insufficiency

  • Management of vaginal bleeding

  • Management of hyperprolactinemia

  • Management of glucose metabolism impairment

  • Management of cervical insufficiency

  • Management of uterine abnormalities (congenital anomalies)

  • Management of uterine abnormalities (acquired anomalies)

  • Management of uterine abnormalities (uterine septum)

  • Management of uterine abnormalities (intrauterine adhesions)

  • Management of uterine abnormalities (uterine fibroids)

  • Management of chromosomal rearrangements

  • Management of unexplained RPL

  • Management of male partner

Nonpharmacologic interventions

Weight loss: as per RCOG 2023 guidelines, advise maintaining a BMI at 19-25 kg/m² in patients with RPL.

More topics in this section

  • Physical activity

  • Smoking cessation

  • Alcohol restriction

  • Caffeine restriction

  • Vitamin supplements

Patient education

Counseling on risks: as per ESHRE 2018 guidelines, inform females sensitively that the risk of pregnancy loss is lowest in ages 20-35 years, and it rapidly increases after the age of 40 years.
Show 2 more

More topics in this section

  • Psychological counseling

Preventative measures

Thromboprophylaxis: as per SOGC 2014 guidelines, do not administer antithrombotic prophylaxis (low-dose acetylsalicylic acid and LMWH) in patients with a history of RPL without confirmed antiphospholipid syndrome.