Miscarriage rate

A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy during the first 20 weeks. (After 20 weeks, pregnancy loss is known as a stillbirth.) Overall, miscarriage affects up to 1 in 4 women who become pregnant at some point in their lifetime.1

The risk of miscarriage increases as a woman ages:1

Graph of the risk of miscarriage by age

Other factors also associated with an increased risk of miscarriage include:

  • A personal or family history of miscarriage.
  • Alcohol or drug use.
  • Smoking.
  • Chemical exposure.
  • Caffeine use.
  • Certain gynecological problems.
  • The presence of disease or infection.

1 Schieve LA, et al. (2003). Spontaneous abortion among pregnancies conceived using assisted reproductive technology in the United States. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 101(5, Part 1): 959–967.

Last Updated: March 21, 2008

Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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