Impact of the sex of first child on the prognosis in secondary recurrent miscarriage

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BACKGROUND: The carriage of a male fetus often initiates maternal immunological reactions against male-specific minor histocompatibility (HY) antigens, which, in theory, could result in subsequent recurrent miscarriage (RM). METHODS: Information about subsequent pregnancy outcome was procured among 182 women with RM after a birth (secondary RM) referred since 1986 using questionnaires, telephone interviews and registers. RESULTS: Significantly more of the women had had a male first-born as compared with a female first-born (110 versus 72; P < 0.02). By January 2002, 58% of those who had a male first-born had given birth to a second live infant compared with 76% of those who previously had had a female first-born (P = 0.01). Women in the former group had a significantly lower chance of having a second child than those in the latter (adjusted hazard ratio 0.59; 95% confidence interval 0.41-0.86). The number of miscarriages after admission and the risk of secondary infertility were significantly greater in women with a male first-born than among those with a female first-born (P < 0.001 and P = 0.02; respectively). CONCLUSIONS: A male first-born seems to be associated with a less favourable reproductive potential among women with secondary RM. Maternal immunization against HY antigens may be responsible for these findings.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)2946-2951
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

ID: 21161943