If my mother had multiple miscarriages, will I?

When you're planning for a baby or already expecting, it's natural to think about your family history and any potential health issues you might encounter. If you have a relative, especially your mom, who has experienced multiple miscarriages, you might wonder if the same could happen to you. Let's talk about some things to consider and possible reasons behind multiple miscarriages.

Healthcare providers, like genetic counsellors, often ask questions to understand your misscarriage situation better:

  • How many miscarriages happened, and when did they occur?
  • Did they all happen with the same partner?
  • Was there an explanation given for any of the miscarriages?
  • Was genetic testing performed on the pregnancy?
  • Were there any abnormalities noted in the babies?
  • Did the living children have any health issues?

It's tough to have answers to these questions because talking about miscarriage is hard, and in the past, there was a lot of stigma around it. Plus, not much investigation was done when someone had a miscarriage, which unfortunately still holds true in some cases today.  

Even if we get answers to these questions, figuring out why someone has had multiple miscarriages can be tricky, and there could be several reasons behind it. Sometimes, even when we have a clue, it's hard to confirm without more information from previous miscarriages.

What can cause a miscarriages? 

About half of first-trimester miscarriages happen because of chromosome abnormalities. Chromosomes carry genetic information, and when there's a glitch in their number, it can lead to miscarriage. Most of the time, these glitches happen randomly and aren't passed down from parents. But if someone has multiple miscarriages in the first trimester, they might have a unique arrangement of chromosomes, which can be checked with a test called a “karyotype”.  

This test shows how the chromosomes look under a microscope. Sometimes, chromosomes are arranged differently, like pieces of them being swapped. This can increase the chances of miscarriage for the person carrying them.


When a parent has had multiple miscarriages because of this chromosome arrangement, there's a possibility they passed it on. Most of the time, this doesn't cause any symptoms except difficulty getting pregnant or having miscarriages. But knowing about it might prompt someone to get tested themselves.

There are other possible reasons for miscarriages, such as; age, certain health conditions, or lifestyle factors (1). Some of these might have genetic factors; some research suggests that having a family history of miscarriage might increase the chances of experiencing one yourself, but more studies need to be conducted to be certain (3).

Should I speak to someone about my miscarriages? 

It's essential to talk to your healthcare provider if you have a family history of recurrent miscarriages. While some assessments might be considered, most of the time, the focus is on the person experiencing the miscarriages. Just because there's a family history, it doesn’t necessarily mean you'll go through the same thing.

If you've had multiple miscarriages, you can consult a specialist for evaluation and consider meeting with a genetic counselor, especially if there's been a chromosome issue identified. But sometimes, even after tests, we can't find a cause for multiple miscarriages. Not knowing why can be tough, and the uncertainty of future pregnancies can be distressing. Counseling and therapy can help address these emotions and find healthy ways to cope.

In conclusion, looking into your family history is an important step when planning for pregnancy or being pregnant. If there's a history of multiple miscarriages, especially in your mom's case, it's natural to have concerns. Consulting healthcare professionals, including genetic counselors, can be helpful in understanding and addressing these concerns.

You can book a free 15 min educational session with our genetic counsellor Kim. 

You can book here

Written By: Kim Skellington, MS,LCGC


  1. https://www.asrm.org/globalassets/_asrm/practice-guidance/practice-guidelines/pdf/evaluation_and_treatment_of_recurrent_pregnancy_loss.pdf
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10380966/pdf/jcm-12-04768.pdf
  3. https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/aogs.13940

*This blog constitutes general information about genetic testing and medical screening. This blog does not offer or provide medical advice or diagnosis, and nothing in this blog should be construed as medical advice or diagnosis. Do not rely on the information in this blog/article to make medical management decisions. Please consult with a medical professional before making those decisions. Do not delay in seeking professional medical advice if you think you have a medical concern. Do not disregard professional medical advice based on any information received in this blog.

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