Most recurrent miscarriages are caused by an abnormality in the embryo’s chromosomes. The mother’s age can be a factor, too, but there are steps you can take to increase your odds of a successful pregnancy.
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Smoking tobacco has been linked with reduced fertility in women and a higher risk of miscarriage, in which a pregnancy ends before the 20th week. It’s important to quit smoking before you try to conceive a baby. NYU Langone offers Tobacco Cessation Programs, which can give you the support you need.
Although studies on caffeine’s role in miscarriage have had mixed results, the chemical has been shown to cross the placenta, which provides oxygen and nutrients to the baby in the womb. Caffeine may decrease blood flow to the placenta, so your doctor may recommend limiting your intake to less than 200 milligrams per day. That’s the amount in a 12-ounce cup of coffee.
Certain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) increase your risk of miscarriage. If you have symptoms such as vaginal itching, vaginal discharge, or painful urination, or if you think you may have been exposed to an STD, it’s important to get tested before you try to conceive.
Visit your NYU Langone doctor to be screened for pelvic inflammatory disease, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and herpes, all of which increase the risk of miscarriage.
At NYU Langone, our doctors recommend that all women trying to conceive take folic acid daily. This vitamin B supplement can help reduce your chances of miscarriage and birth defects. Your doctor determines the right amount for you.
If you have insulin resistance, a condition in which the body produces insulin but doesn’t use it effectively, it can lead to prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. These conditions can increase the risk of recurrent miscarriages.
If blood tests reveal that your blood sugar is high or that you have diabetes, losing weight, exercising regularly, and eating nutritious foods may reverse the disease and improve your chances of a successful pregnancy. If needed, your doctor may prescribe medications to help get your diabetes under control before you plan to have a baby.
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