Miscarriage is the loss of an unborn baby in the womb. Technically, most miscarriages are classified as losses before 20 weeks of pregnancy. If a baby dies in the womb after this time, it’s known as a stillbirth. How common are miscarriages before 20 weeks and what are some miscarriage rates? What are some of the potential causes of miscarriages? Understanding these facts can help provide clarity on this tragic circumstance.
Most miscarriages do not have a known cause. Many occur in the earliest weeks of pregnancy, often before a woman knows she is expecting. One commonly cited reason that a miscarriage occurs is a genetic abnormality in the embryo. Sometimes chronic health conditions in the mother can lead to a miscarriage. Smoking, alcohol consumption, and illicit drug use are also associated with an increased rate of miscarriage.
Miscarriage Signs and Symptoms
Not every miscarriage has symptoms. For example, a missed miscarriage occurs when a baby passes away in the womb, but symptoms do not happen until a few weeks later. These miscarriages are diagnosed in your doctor’s office or at a prenatal visit. Many miscarriages present with some of these symptoms:
- Bleeding or spotting
- Abdominal pain
- Back pain and cramps
If you are pregnant and concerned about your baby, call your doctor right away.
When Do Most Miscarriages Happen?
Statistics show that up to 80% of miscarriages happen in the first trimester up until around 12 weeks of pregnancy. Generally, the risk decreases significantly after the first trimester, but losses can still happen at any time during pregnancy. Losses after 20 weeks of pregnancy are more rare than miscarriages that take place within the first few weeks. Many women experience pregnancy loss before taking a pregnancy test.
It is estimated that as many as 31% of pregnancies within the first-trimester end in miscarriage. However, this estimate includes women who did not even know they were pregnant. That estimate drops to approximately 10% of confirmed pregnancies within the first trimester ending in miscarriage.
Unexpectedly pregnant and have questions or concerns? Schedule a free consultation with our medical team at Clearway Clinic.