Secondary recurrent miscarriage is associated with previous male birth

Previous reports suggest there may be a link between recurrent miscarriage and previous delivery of a viable male infant. This retrospective review did not demonstrate a significant association, but warrants further review with larger numbers of women.

Poh Veh Ooi, Noirin Russell, Keelin O'Donoghue
Journal Name
Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Journal Article
Recurrent miscarriage
Full Citation
Ooi PV, Russell N, O’Donoghue K. Secondary recurrent miscarriage is associated with previous male birth. Journal of Reproductive Immunology. 2011;88(1):38-41.
Link to Publication


Secondary recurrent miscarriage (RM) is defined as three or more consecutive pregnancy losses after delivery of a live infant. Previous reports suggest that a firstborn male child is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, possibly due to incompatibility between maternal immune cells and male fetal immune cells. In a retrospective 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. Of 85 women included, more women gave birth to a male child prior to RM (53 women vs 32 women). Most women had uncomplicated, full term deliveries and normal birth weight infants. All had routine investigations for RM and 19% of women had an abnormal result. 57 women conceived again and 19 women miscarried, but there was no significant difference in miscarriage rates between those with a previous male or female child. When women with abnormal results, or only one previous child, were excluded, there was still no difference in miscarriage rates. A previous male birth may be associated with an increased risk of secondary RM but this study did not demonstrate this.

Pregnancy Loss Research Group

Pregnancy Loss Research Group, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University College Cork, Fifth Floor, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, T12 YE02, Ireland,