How Common Are Miscarriages?

Miscarriages are involuntary losses of a fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy. About half of all pregnancies spontaneously end before a woman even realizes she is expecting, according to the March of Dimes. About 15 percent of women who know they are pregnant lose the fetus through miscarriage.

The risk of losing a pregnancy dramatically increases with age. About 25 percent of miscarried pregnancies happen to women older than 40. On the other hand, about 12 percent of miscarriages occur among women in their 20s. More than 80 percent of involuntary pregnancy losses occur during the first three months after conception.

There are many potential causes of miscarriages and women who have lost past pregnancies are more likely to once again lose a fetus. The good news is that about 85 percent of women with a history of pregnancy losses will eventually successfully deliver a child.

One of the most common causes of a miscarriage is congenital abnormalities in the developing fetus.  Most of these types of problems are not the result of the mother or father’s lifestyle habits. However, some types of habits and health conditions can increase a mother’s risk of losing her baby.  Even the proper usage of some medications, like the acne treatment Accutane, can cause a miscarried pregnancy. domain data Uncontrolled diabetes, exposure to an excessive amount of pollutants, smoking, drinking alcohol, abusing prescription drugs, and using illegal drugs are also common causes of miscarried pregnancies. Though stress is not good for any expectant mother, studies do not support some people’s theories that emotional distress is a common cause of miscarriages.