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40 Miscarriage Statistics and Facts Worth Knowing

Unveiling the truth about miscarriages: Understanding who it affects and what causes it.

Understanding miscarriage, the common yet devastating experience of losing a pregnancy before the 20th week is crucial for both expectant parents and those seeking knowledge.

This loss can profoundly affect anyone, whether you’re currently navigating pregnancy concerns, have endured this hardship, or simply wish to be more informed. Our comprehensive guide compiles 40 essential miscarriage statistics and facts, offering insights into how they impact women, the associated risks, and common causes.

This detailed compilation sheds light on the realities and complexities of miscarriage, helping you understand its prevalence, implications, and preventative measures.

Key Facts About Miscarriage

Below are five of the most critical and vital facts about miscarriage:

  1. Up to 30 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage.
  2. Women under 30 experience an eight percent rate of pregnancy loss.
  3. Eighty percent of miscarriages happen in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Miscarriage is most common in the first eight weeks.
  4. Women over 35 are at an increased risk of a miscarriage.
  5. Women who have a miscarriage may be at risk of depression, grief, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

40 Miscarriage Statistics and Facts

Miscarriage is a common tragedy that affects many women. It’s important to understand this loss, whether you’ve gone through it yourself or know someone who has. We’ve compiled 40 interesting facts about miscarriages across five topics.

Miscarriage Statistics Across the World

People all over the world are affected by miscarriages. We’re going to unpack eight country-specific miscarriage rates.

  1. Miscarriage in the United States: The Mayo Clinic reports that between 10 and 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, but many occur before the pregnancy is realized, so the number is likely higher (1). Other research suggests that more than 30 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage (2).
  2. Risk of repeat miscarriages: Women who have had one miscarriage have a 20 percent chance of having another. Women who have had two in a row have a 28 percent chance of having a third. Women who have had three or more in a row have a 43 percent chance of having another.
  3. U.S. laws for treating miscarriages: Some U.S. states have murky laws about whether or not doctors can treat a miscarriage. In Texas, the new laws make medical staff uncertain whether they are allowed to offer miscarriage treatment since it’s very similar to treatment for abortion (3). This prevents women from getting proper care when they are experiencing a miscarriage.
  4. Miscarriage rates in Canada: In Canada, 15 to 25 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage (4).
  5. Worldwide miscarriage rate: There is a 15 percent chance of miscarriage in the world, accounting for about 23 million miscarriages per year (5). However, the number is thought to be higher than what’s reported.
  6. Miscarriage rates in the United Kingdom: About 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage in the U.K. (6).
  7. Recurrent miscarriage in the U.K.: About one percent of women in the U.K. experience three or more miscarriages in a row.
  8. Recurrent miscarriages in Sweden: More women are experiencing recurrent pregnancy loss in Sweden than ever before. Between 2003 and 2012, the number of women experiencing recurrent miscarriages rose by 58 percent (7). It went from 533 women out of 100,000 pregnant women to 875.

Risk of Miscarriage by Age

The risk of miscarriage varies depending on the mother’s age. Let’s look at the risk of a spontaneous abortion by age in the U.S.

  1. Teenage pregnancies: In the U.S., about 14 percent of teenage pregnancies end in miscarriage (8).
  2. Under 30 years: Women under 30 experience a rate of eight percent for pregnancy loss (9).
  3. 30 to 34 years: Women between 30 and 34 experience a 12 percent rate of pregnancy loss.
  4. 35 to 37 years: Women between 35 and 37 experience a 16 percent rate of pregnancy loss. However, the Mayo Clinic reports about a 20 percent rate of pregnancy loss (10).
  5. 38 to 39 years: Women aged 38 to 39 experience a 22 percent rate of pregnancy loss.
  6. 40 to 41 years: Women aged 40 to 41 experience a 33 percent chance of pregnancy loss.
  7. 42 to 43 years: Women aged 42 and 43 experience a 45 percent rate of miscarriage.
  8. 44 to 46: Women aged 44 to 46 experience a 60 percent rate of miscarriage. Another study reports a 53 percent rate in women over 45 (11). The Mayo Clinic reports the rate as anywhere between 57 and 80 percent.

Signs Of A Miscarriage

It’s important to be aware of miscarriage symptoms so you can get in touch with your healthcare provider immediately. Symptoms include vaginal bleeding, spotting, pain or cramping in the lower back or pelvic area, passing fluid or tissue from the vagina, and having a fast heartbeat.

Risk of Miscarriage by Week

The risk of pregnancy loss varies depending on the stage of pregnancy. We’re going to look at the probability of a miscarriage by week.

  1. Miscarriages in the first trimester: Eighty percent of miscarriages happen in the first trimester (first 12 weeks of pregnancy).
  2. Miscarriage in the second trimester: Only one to five percent of miscarriages occur between 13 and 19 weeks of pregnancy.
  3. Weeks three to four: Between 50 and 75 percent of pregnancies end in early miscarriage during weeks three to four, often before women even know they are pregnant (12).
  4. Week five: The rate of miscarriage after week five is about 21.3 percent.
  5. Week six and seven: The risk of miscarriage during weeks six and seven is just over 16 percent.
  6. Week eight to 13: The rate of miscarriage during weeks eight to thirteen is about two to four percent. Around weeks 10 to 13, most women will have an ultrasound. The rate of a miscarriage after heartbeat confirmation is much lower.
  7. Week zero to six by age: During the first six weeks, women aged 35 to 39 have a 75 percent increase in experiencing pregnancy loss (13). Women over 40 are at five times the risk.
  8. After 20 weeks: If a woman loses her pregnancy after 20 weeks, it’s no longer classified as a miscarriage. Instead, it is known as a stillbirth.

Prevention and Risk Factors

We’ve walked through a few common causes of miscarriages, but we’re going to go into more depth now. Below are eight risk factors associated with miscarriages, as well as possible prevention methods.

  1. Age: One of the main risk factors of pregnancy loss is the pregnant person’s age. After the age of 35, the risk of a miscarriage significantly jumps from eight percent to up to 20 percent. The risk of a miscarriage is even higher for women over 44, with up to 80 percent risk.
  2. Past miscarriages: If a woman has had a miscarriage before, she is at higher risk of having another one.
  3. Attend prenatal appointments: It’s crucial for a pregnant woman to attend all prenatal care appointments to access the proper care and check on the baby. Your healthcare team will ask appropriate questions to gauge the risk of your pregnancy, as well as advise you on the right vitamins to take while pregnant.
  4. Health conditions increase risk: Health conditions, like diabetes or congenital heart conditions, can increase the likelihood of experiencing a miscarriage.
  5. Don’t smoke or drink: During pregnancy, don’t smoke or drink alcohol. You should also avoid using illegal drugs or medications not approved by your doctor.
  6. Eating healthy: Eating healthy is thought to reduce the chances of pregnancy loss. You should aim to eat a balanced diet with at least five portions of fruit and vegetables. Avoiding obesity or malnourishment is important in preventing miscarriage.
  7. Infections increase miscarriage: Some infections can increase the chance of a miscarriage, including syphilis, parvovirus B19, Zika virus, and cytomegalovirus infections (14).
  8. Avoid certain foods: There are certain foods that you shouldn’t eat during pregnancy as they can harm your baby or increase your risk of miscarriage (15). This includes but is not limited to, soft-ripened goats’ cheese, brie, camembert, cold cured meats, liver products, raw or partially cooked duck, goose or quail eggs, more than two portions of oily fish per week, raw shellfish, alcohol, licorice root, and vitamin A.

Miscarriages and Mental Health

Many women who experience a miscarriage suffer emotional and psychological effects. Below are eight facts about how miscarriages affect mental health and some possible coping mechanisms.

  1. Depression: About 55 percent of women experience symptoms of depression after a miscarriage (16). The increased risk of experiencing depression includes being of low socioeconomic status, having no other children, and having had a miscarriage in the past six months.
  2. Perinatal grief: Up to twenty-seven percent of women who have had a miscarriage experience perinatal grief. They may go through five stages of grief, from shock to disorientation to sadness to emptiness to finally, acceptance.
  3. Mental health in couples: About 10 percent of couples affected by miscarriage experience symptoms of depression. Couples who have experienced recurrent miscarriages experience more severe symptoms of depression and stress for longer periods.
  4. Length of symptoms: Of women who experience depression or anxiety, symptoms may last for one to three years (17).
  5. Proper care after miscarriage: Clinicians should screen women regularly for depression starting six weeks after a miscarriage until two months have passed. If symptoms persist after two months, the patient should receive a formal mental health evaluation and treatment.
  6. Women who get follow-up care: Ninety percent of women who had a miscarriage wished for specific follow-up care from their care team, but only 30 percent of them got the required attention.
  7. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): One study found that 40 percent of women who lost a pregnancy experienced PTSD symptoms within three months of the loss (18). This included nightmares, flashbacks, and reliving the feelings associated with the miscarriage.
  8. Coping with miscarriage: Women who are suffering after a miscarriage should allow themselves to experience their emotions. Not only are they grieving, but the mother is going through a hormonal shift. The women and couples should also allow themselves to grieve, as for most people, a miscarriage is a huge loss.

What Can Cause a Miscarriage?

The exact cause of a miscarriage is often unknown and is usually not due to the mother’s actions. However, here are some of the potential causes of a miscarriage, whether it’s your first pregnancy or not:

  • Chromosomal abnormalities of the fetus (19).
  • Genetic factors.
  • An abnormally shaped uterus.
  • Health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • A weak cervix.
  • Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS).
  • Thrombophilia.
  • Food poisoning.
  • Infection.
  • Development problems with the fetus.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
  • Certain medications can increase the odds of miscarriage.
  • The mother’s age.
  • Obesity (20).
  • Uterus problems.
  • Hormonal imbalances (21).
  • The fertilized egg implanting improperly.
  • Smoking, drinking, or using drugs.
  • Severe kidney disease.
  • Congenital heart disease.
  • Radiation.
  • Malnutrition.
  • Placenta problems (22).
  • Increased caffeine intake.
  • Lupus.

Here are some things that aren’t linked to miscarriages, contrary to popular belief:

  • Stress or depression.
  • Getting a shock during pregnancy.
  • Exercise.
  • Heavy lifting.
  • Working during pregnancy.
  • Having sex.
  • Flying in an airplane.
  • Eating spicy food.
  • Arguments.
  • Using birth control before getting pregnant.

If you have had a miscarriage, do not blame yourself.

What Are the Types of Miscarriage?

There are various types of miscarriage, including:

  • Threatened: This is when your body shows signs of a miscarriage, including light spotting or lower abdominal pain. It may resolve, and you can continue with a healthy pregnancy, or you might go on to have a miscarriage.
  • Inevitable miscarriage: This involves heavy vaginal bleeding and strong lower stomach pain. The developing fetus will come away with the bleeding.
  • Complete miscarriage: This is when all the pregnancy tissue has exited the uterus. You may experience bleeding for a few days, alongside cramping. You should get a checkup with your healthcare team to ensure your miscarriage is complete.
  • Incomplete miscarriage: In some cases, pregnancy tissue stays in the uterus. The body will continue with vaginal bleeding and cramping. You may need a D&C (dilatation of the cervix and curettage of the uterus) to complete the miscarriage.
  • Missed miscarriage: Sometimes, the baby has passed, but it doesn’t leave the uterus. You may experience brown discharge and pregnancy symptoms. You should discuss treatment options with your healthcare team.
  • Recurrent miscarriage: If you have three or more miscarriages in a row, this is considered recurrent miscarriages.
  • Septic miscarriage: Some miscarriages can happen with a uterus infection. Women must have urgent treatment to prevent shock and death. The symptoms include a fever, abdominal pain, bleeding, and odorous discharge.


If you experience a fast heartbeat, dizziness, low blood pressure, tiredness, or weakness, you may be at increased risk of a hemorrhage. If you feel unwell after a miscarriage, you should always call your healthcare team for a consultation or visit the emergency department.

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About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a Scottish freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism and English literature. She is a mum to a young boy, and believes that it truly takes a village. When she’s not parenting, writing about parenting, or working, she can be found reading, working on her novel, taking photos, playing board games or wandering through the countryside with her family.