Stillbirth refers to the death of a fetus at or after the 20th week of pregnancy.
Research has found risk factors, such as the age of a pregnant person, and causes, such as genetic problems, for some stillbirths. However, in many cases, the cause remains unknown even after an autopsy and other follow-up tests. Some stillbirths may be preventable, but most are not.
NICHD supports and conducts research on many aspects of stillbirth, including mechanisms, causes, risk factors, possible prevention and intervention approaches, and how often it happens.