Mary Stephenson, MD MSc

Theresa S. Falcon-Cullinan Professor and Department Head
Director, University of Illinois Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Program



best docs

Castle Connoly America Top Doctors

Board Certification

Obstetrics & Gynecology,
Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility

BS in Biology and Chemistry University of British Columbia

Medical School
University of British Columbia

University of British Columbia

University of British Columbia

University of British Columbia; Masters of Science in Experimental Medicine/Reproductive Immunology and Genetics

Obstetrics and Gynecology; Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility

Contact information

Center for Women's Health
P 312.996.4322
F 312.996.4238

Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology

820 S. Wood Street, M/C 808, Chicago, IL 60612 

P 312.996.7006
F 312.996.4238


Dr. Mary Stephenson is internationally renowned for her clinical and research expertise in Recurrent Pregnancy Loss. Her postgraduate training in reproductive immunology and genetics has facilitated her “bench to bedside” approach to patient care.

She is Board Certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology, and in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility.

Dr. Stephenson is an expert in the management of early pregnancy loss, recurrent pregnancy loss, fetal demise, Antiphospholipid Syndrome, autoimmune disorders in pregnancy, and recurrent IVF failure.  Click here to learn more about the UI Health Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Program.

Over the past two decades, Dr. Stephenson has assessed therapeutic interventions for recurrent pregnancy loss and infertility. She recently completed the largest trial to date on the use of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) in recurrent miscarriage. Although the results showed IVIG was not of benefit, preconception care and close monitoring resulted in a live birth rate of 94%, once a pregnancy was seen on ultrasound.

Dr. Stephenson emphasizes the importance of finding out why miscarriage occurs. She recommends sending miscarriage tissue for chromosome testing to determine whether the miscarriage is “explained,” due to an abnormal number of chromosomes, or “unexplained,” when the normal number of chromosomes are found. 

Dr. Stephenson has a longstanding research collaboration with the University of British Columbia, to identify submicroscopic chromosomal imbalances in miscarriages which may lead to the discovery of “miscarriage genes”.

In 2010, Dr. Stephenson co-authored the textbook, “Early Pregnancy”, which embraces a multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation and management of recurrent pregnancy loss. The second edition is in press. Dr. Stephenson is featured in the popular book by Jon Cohen, “Coming to Term: Uncovering the Truth about Miscarriage”.

Dr. Stephenson is Associate Editor for the journal Human Reproduction Update, Associate Editor for the journal Fertility & Sterility, and past Associate Editor for the journal Human Reproduction. Dr. Stephenson is the International Advisor, Early Pregnancy, for the European Society for Human Reproduction & Embryology (ESHRE). In 2016, Dr. Stephenson became the President of the International Gynecologic Society.

Dr. Stephenson has been awarded Best Doctors® (top 5% nationally) since 2005, America’s Top Doctors® Castle Connolly’s (top 1% nationally) since 2014, and Chicago Magazine's Top Doctors for Women: Reproductive Endocrinology (top 1% in Chicago) since 2014.

Recent Publications

Sahoo T, Dzidic N, Strecker MN, Commander S, Travis MK, Doherty C, Tyson RW, Mendoza AE, Stephenson M, Dise CA, Benito CW, Ziadie MS, Hovanes K. “Comprehensive genetic analysis of pregnancy loss by chromosomal microarrays: outcomes, benefits and challenges.” Genetics in Medicine 2016;Jun 23; [ePub]

Yelnik CM, Porter TF, Branch DW, Laskin CA, Merrill JT, Guerra MM, Lockshin MD, Buyon JP, Petri M, Sammaritano LR, Stephenson MD, Kim MY, Salmon JE. “Brief report: changes in antiphospholipid antibody titers during pregnancy: effects on pregnancy outcomes”. Arthritis & Rheumatology 2016;68(8):1964-1969.

Qiao Y, Wen J, Tang F, Martell S, Shomer N, Leung PC, Stephenson MD, Rajcan-Separovic E. “Whole exome sequencing in recurrent early pregnancy loss”. Molecular Human Reproduction 2016;22(5):364-72.

Kim MY, Buyon JP, Guerra MM, Rana S, Zhang D, Laskin CA, Petri M, Lockshin MD, Sammaritano LR, Branch Dw, Porter TF, Merrill JT, Stephenson MD, Gao Q, Karumanchi SA, Salmon JE. “Angiogenic factor imbalance early in pregnancy predicts adverse outcomes in patients with lupus and antiphospholipid antibodies: results of the PROMISSE study”. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 2016;214(1):108.e1-14.

Wen J, Hanna C, Martell S, Leung P, Robinson W, Stephenson MD, Rajcan-Separovic E. “Functional consequences of a miscarriage CNV disrupting the TIMP2 gene”. Molecular Cytogenetics 2015;8(6):1-9.                                                                                                  
Gammill HS, Stephenson MD, Aydelotte TM, Nelson JL. “Microchimerism in women with recurrent miscarriage”. Chimerism 2015;5(3-4):103-105.

Buyon J, Kim M, Aslam A, Branch D, Cohn E, Garabet L, Guerra M, Laskin C, Lockshin M, Merrill J, Petri M, Porter T, Sammaritano L, Sawitzke A, Stephenson MD, Salmon J. “Predictors of pregnancy outcomes in patients with lupus”. Annals of Internal Medicine 2015;163(3):153-163                                                                                                                                   
Bagheri H, Mercier E, Qiao Y, Stephenson MD, Rajcan-Separovic E. “Genomic characteristics of miscarriage copy number variants”. Molecular Human Reproduction 2015;21(8):655-661.            
de Jong PG, Quenby S, Bioemenkamp KWM, Braams-Lisman BAM, de Bruin JP, Coomarasamy A, David M, DeSancho MT, van der Heijden OWH, Hoek A, Hutten BA, Jochmans K, Koks CAM, Kuchenbecher WKH, Mol BWJ, Torrance HL, Scheepers HCJ, Stephenson MD, Verhoeve HR, Visser J, de Vries JIP, Goddijn M, Middeldopr S. “ALIFE2 study: Low molecular-weight heparin for women with recurrent miscarriage and inherited thrombophilia. Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial”. Trials Journal 2015;16:208.

Kosova G, Stephenson MD, Lynch VJ, Ober C. “Evolutionary forward genomics reveals novel insights into the genes and pathways dysregulated in recurrent early pregnancy loss”. Human Reproduction 2015;30(3):519-529.

Kutteh WH, Stephenson MD. Recurrent pregnancy loss. In: Bieber EJ, Sanfilippo JS, Horowitz IR, eds. Clinical Gynecology. 2015:918-928.

Kolte AM, Bernardi LA, Christiansen OB, Quenby S, Farquharson RG, Goddijn M, Stephenson MD. “Terminology for pregnancy loss prior to viability: a consensus statement from the ESHRE early pregnancy special interest group”. Human Reproduction 2015;30(3):495-498. 

Boots CE, Bernardi LA, Stephenson MD. “Frequency of euploid miscarriage is increased in obese women with recurrent early pregnancy loss”. Fertility & Sterility. 2014;102(2):455-459. 

Gammill HS, Stephenson MD, Aydelotte TM, Lee Nelson J. “Microchimerism in recurrent miscarriage”. Cellular & Molecular Immunology 2014;11(6):589-594. 

McQueen D, Bernardi L, Stephenson MD. “Chronic endometritis in women with recurrent early pregnancy loss and/or fetal demise”. Fertility & Sterility 2014;101(4):1026-1030.          
Mathur N, Triplett L, Stephenson MD. “Miscarriage chromosome testing: Utility of comparative genomic hybridization with reflex microsatellite analysis in preserved miscarriage tissue”. Fertility & Sterility 2014;101(5):1349-1352.                                                                                                    
Boots C, Bernardi L, Stephenson MD. “Frequency of euploid miscarriage is increased in obese women with recurrent early pregnancy loss”. Fertility & Sterility 2014;102(2):455-459.

Recent Presentations


13th International Congress on Human Genetics, Kyoto, Japan, April 3-7, 2016                                                          
Co-Chair and invited faculty, “Reproductive Genetics Symposium” and “Genetics of Couples and Miscarriages in Recurrent Pregnancy Loss”

41st Annual DA Boyes Society Meeting & Obstetrics and Gynaecology Clinical Review, Vancouver, Canada, November 5-6, 2015.
Invited faculty, “Update on Evaluation and Management of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss”.

The 71st Annual Meeting of the America Society for Reproductive Medicine, Baltimore, MD, October 17-21, 2015     
Invited faculty, Postgraduate Course, “Interprofessional Course: Helping Patients Cope with the Psychological and Medical Sequelae of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss”
Lectures: ”Medical Causes of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss” and “Evaluation and Management of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss”
Interactive Session (Debate), “Is IVF/PGS Useful for Recurrent Pregnancy?”
Founding Chair, Early Pregnancy Special Interest Group.

XXI Annual Meeting of the International Federation of Gynaecology & Obstetrics (FIGO) World Congress, Vancouver, Canada, October 4-9, 2015.
Invited faculty, “Recurrent Pregnancy Loss”.

The 31st Annual Meeting of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), Lisbon, Portugal, June 14-17, 2015                                                                                         
Invited faculty, “Recurrent Miscarriage: Optimizing Care and Research Opportunities”.

Columbia University, New York, NY, April 15-16, 2015 
Distinguished Professor   
Distinguished Lecturer Series, Grand Rounds and Resident Seminar.
Invited faculty, “Recent Advances in Recurrent Pregnancy Loss” 

The 6th Biannual Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Congress, Antalya, Turkey, November 6-9, 2014
Invited faculty, “Genetic Evaluation for Recurrent Pregnancy Loss” and  “Controversial Issues in Recurrent Pregnancy Loss”.

The 70th Annual Meeting of the America Society for Reproductive Medicine, Honolulu, HI, October 18-20, 2014  
Invited faculty, Postgraduate Course, “Genetic Evaluation of Miscarriage” and “Nonvisualized   Pregnancy Loss”
Interactive Session (Debate), “Recurrent pregnancy loss: One should evaluate for chronic endometritis”.


 ZonMW VIDI grant, The Netherlands
ALIFE2:  Anticoagulants for living fetuses in women with recurrent miscarriage and inherited thrombophilia.  Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam
Site Investigator 

Reproductive Medicine Network, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institutes of Health Research, 2U10HD027049, 2014-2019
ACTorNOT:  Optimal treatment for women with a persisting pregnancy of unknown location, a randomized clinical trial. 
Site Investigator  

March of Dimes, Illinois Branch
Healthy babies are worth the wait (Illinois’ first hospital site). 2015-2018


Mary Stephenson, MD MSc

Theresa S. Falcon-Cullinan Professor and Department Head

Director, University of Illinois Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Program


Mary Stephenson, MD MSc

Theresa S. Falcon-Cullinan Professor and Department Head

Director, University of Illinois Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Program