n South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology - An evidence-based approach to recurrent pregnancy loss : review

Volume 19, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0038-2329
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) can be defined as more than two to three consecutive miscarriages before 24 weeks' gestation. A literature review was done to provide an evidence-based approach to RPL, identifying the risk factors and causes and also looking at the various special investigations that form part of the work-up and trying to assess which have been proven to be effective or of negative impact, and which of the management options lead to a better outcome. We concluded that the following special investigations should be part of the work-up for all patients with RPL: () genetic counselling and karyotyping of the abortus; () anticardiolipin antibodies and lupus anticoagulant testing must be done on two occasions, 6 - 8 weeks apart; () all patients qualify for a pelvic ultrasound scan and hysteroscopy; () syphilis testing must be done routinely; and () testing of thyroid function and glucose monitoring/glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) measurement must be done in all patients with a history of thyroid disease or diabetes mellitus, or clinical manifestations thereof. In approximately 50% of couples the cause of RPL remains unexplained, even after evaluation.

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