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How Many Pregnancies End In Miscarriage?

Miscarriage is a term given to the condition that leads to the loss of fetus or pregnancy. It usually occurs in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is most common in the first trimester and early second trimester of pregnancy. It is also known as spontaneous abortion. It occurs rarely after 20 weeks. Most of the miscarriages occur before 12 weeks.1 It is represented by symptoms like vaginal bleeding, cramps, and pain in the abdomen. Many miscarriages occur in early pregnancy just at the time of menstrual flow and the pregnant lady is not aware. It occurs in 1 in 4 pregnancies.2

How Many Pregnancies End In Miscarriage?

Miscarriage is a spontaneous phenomenon in which fetus is lost within 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is also known as spontaneous abortion.3 Many ladies do not know their pregnancy and miscarriage happens before the next normal menstrual period starts. It happens shortly after the implantation of the fetus that ends through the representation of vaginal bleeding, just at the time of expected period. Such a pregnancy is known as a chemical pregnancy. Most of the cases of miscarriage happen in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy.4

One in four pregnancy ends in miscarriage.5 Current Stats show that 10-20 percentage of pregnancy ends in miscarriage. Most of the cases of miscarriages (80%) occur in the first trimester before 12 weeks. A 30 to 50% of the fetus is lost when the fertilized eggs are implanted in the uterus. Most of the ladies are not aware of their pregnancy as miscarriages happen before the next menstrual period starts.

Miscarriage Causes

50-70% of miscarriages occur due to the chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus. The causes related mother are less likely to induce a miscarriage. Miscarriages occur during the early development of the fetus. The risk factors for miscarriage are-

Age. The age of women determines her fertility status. More the age of women more is the possibility of miscarriage. It also increases with each child the woman bear.

  • The chances of miscarriage increase with an increase in age of the pregnant women.
  • There are 15% chances of miscarriage under the age of 35 years
  • There is 20-35% its chances in between 35-45 years.
  • It increases up to 50% if the pregnant women are above 45 years of age.
  • If a woman has a past history of miscarriage, then there are 25% chances that she may have another one.6

History Of Miscarriages. A woman with two or more miscarriages in a row is more in risk for miscarriage than other women.

Uterine And Cervical Abnormalities. Abnormalities related to uterus and cervix like uterine adhesions or cervical insufficiency etc. can cause miscarriages.

Infections. infections like mumps, rubella, measles, gonorrhea, HIV, etc in pregnant women have a higher risk to induce miscarriages.

Birth Defects Or Genetic Problems- if a pregnant woman or her husband or any family member has birth defects or pregnant woman has given birth to a child with a birth defect, then there is a higher risk for miscarriage.7

Chronic Diseases- diabetes, inherited blood clotting diseases, autoimmune diseases and hormonal disorders increase the chances of miscarriage.

Certain Medicines- some medicines can cause miscarriages.

Environmental Toxins- certain toxins present in the environment such as lead, arsenic, benzene, etc can lead to miscarriages.

Obesity– obesity can induce miscarriages according to some researches.

Smoking Or Drug Abuse- alcohol consumption, smoking, drug abuse during pregnancy can trigger miscarriage. Higher levels of caffeine consumption may increase the risk of miscarriage.8

Paternal Factors – some environmental toxins may damage sperm cells but these sperm cells can fertilize an egg which can get miscarried.


Miscarriage is a condition when a fetus is lost usually in the first trimester and early second trimester. Studies say that one in every four pregnancy gets miscarried. Many women do not know about their pregnancy because miscarriages happen at the time of expected menses.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 19, 2022

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