Recurrent miscarriage is associated with inherited blood clotting disorders that could interfere with the placental blood circulation. It can also be unexplained, with no known cause.
Anticoagulant drugs such as aspirin or low molecular weight heparin may help women with recurrent miscarriage and such an underlying blood clotting problem. These drugs may also cause bleeding (including nose bleeds and haematomas) in the mother, though not in the baby.
Data from nine included randomised controlled trials (involving 1228 women) analysed in this review, provided no evidence to support the use of anticoagulants in women with recurrent miscarriage, regardless of the presence of inherited blood clotting disorders (thrombophilia).
Irrespective of the type or combination of anticoagulant, no benefit of anticoagulant treatment was found for live births. Obstetric complications were not clearly affected by any treatment regimen. Injection of low molecular weight heparin caused local skin reactions (pain, itching, swelling) in one study. In the nine reviewed studies quality varied and different treatments were studied. Three studies were considered at high risk of bias. The number of studies on this topic remains limited. Thrombophilia refers to blood clotting disorders associated with a predisposition to thrombosis and thus increased the risk of thrombotic events. It can be inherited as well as acquired, as is the case in the antiphospholipid syndrome. Both inherited and acquired thrombophilia are associated with vascular thrombosis as well as pregnancy complications including recurrent miscarriage and premature delivery.