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How many people are affected by or at risk for pregnancy loss or miscarriage?

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The estimated rate of miscarriage is 15% to 20% in women who know they are pregnant,1 but as many as half of all fertilized eggs may spontaneously abort, often before the women realize they are pregnant.2 Women who have had previous miscarriages are at a higher risk for miscarriage.3 The risk of miscarriage also increases with maternal age beginning at age 30 and becoming greater after age 35.4


  1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2002). ACOG practice bulletin. management of recurrent pregnancy loss. number 24, february 2001. (replaces technical bulletin number 212, september 1995). International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics: The Official Organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, 78(2), 179-190. [top]
  2. Michels, T. C., & Tiu, A. Y. (2007). Second trimester pregnancy loss. American Family Physician, 76(9), 1341-1346. [top]
  3. Risch, H. A., Weiss, N. S., Clarke, E. A., & Miller, A. B. (1988). Risk factors for spontaneous abortion and its recurrence. American Journal of Epidemiology, 128(2), 420-430. [top]
  4. Nybo Andersen, A. M., Wohlfahrt, J., Christens, P., Olsen, J., & Melbye, M. (2000). Maternal age and fetal loss: Population based register linkage study. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 320(7251), 1708-1712. [top]

Last Updated Date: 11/30/2012
Last Reviewed Date: 07/15/2013
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