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Pregnancy Loss: Overview

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Pregnancy loss or miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy. The NICHD supports and conducts research on the causes of pregnancy loss and other related topics that affect maternal health, fertility, and the likelihood of a successful pregnancy. NICHD research on normal pregnancy and those with complications has made great progress in improving prenatal care. Ongoing investigations seek to find ways to prevent these problems and help women have healthier pregnancies and healthier fetuses. 

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Common Names

  • Pregnancy loss 
  • Miscarriage

Medical or Scientific Name

  • Spontaneous abortion
Last Reviewed: 07/15/2013
Vision National Institutes of Health Home BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Storz Lab: Section on Environmental Gene Regulation Home Machner Lab: Unit on Microbial Pathogenesis Home Division of Intramural Population Health Research Home Bonifacino Lab: Section on Intracellular Protein Trafficking Home Lilly Lab: Section on Gamete Development Home Lippincott-Schwartz Lab: Section on Organelle Biology