FRIDAY, Oct. 9, 2009 (HealthDay News) -- The current treatments for women who've had an early miscarriage don't affect their long-term fertility, new research shows.
About 15 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage in the first trimester. For decades, standard treatment was surgery to remove tissue remaining in the uterus, but now many women are offered expectant (watch and wait) and medical treatment as well, according to background information in the study.
Previous research found that infection rates are about the same for all three methods, but little information was available about their long-term effects on fertility.
The new British study, published online Oct. 9 in the BMJ, included 762 women who had received surgical, medical or expectant management for an early miscarriage. Asked about subsequent pregnancies and live births, 83.6 percent of the women reported a subsequent pregnancy and 82 percent had had a live birth.
Live birth within five years of miscarriage was reported by 78.7 percent of those who received medical treatment, 79 percent who received expectant management, and 81.7 percent of those who had had surgery, the researchers found.
Older women and those who experienced three or more miscarriages were much less likely to have a subsequent live birth, the study authors noted.
"Women can be reassured that long-term fertility concerns need not affect their choice of miscarriage management method," the researchers concluded.
The U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has more about miscarriage.