Pregnancy Loss (Before 20 Weeks of Pregnancy)

Pregnancy loss occurs when a pregnancy ends unexpectedly before the 20th week. It is sometimes called early pregnancy loss, mid-trimester pregnancy loss, miscarriage, spontaneous abortion, or fetal demise. We use the term "pregnancy loss" throughout this information.

NICHD supports and conducts research on the causes of this type of pregnancy loss and other topics that affect maternal health, fertility, and the likelihood of a successful pregnancy.

Additional research on pregnancy and pregnancy complications also informs our knowledge about pregnancy loss, in keeping with the overarching NICHD goal of helping women have healthy pregnancies that result in healthy babies.

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