What is a Miscarriage

What is a Miscarriage
What is a Miscarriage

Miscarriage, often referred to as spontaneous abortion, entails the loss of pregnancy before 24 weeks of gestation. Approximately 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies culminate in miscarriage, as stated by Mayo Clinic.

The primary cause of miscarriage is chromosome abnormalities, hindering the baby’s proper development and growth in the uterus. These issues typically arise independently of the parents’ genetic makeup. However, several other common factors contribute to miscarriage, including:

  • Lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug abuse.
  •  Exposure to environmental toxins.
  • Hormonal imbalances.
  • Infections.
  •  Obesity.
  • Structural abnormalities in the mother’s reproductive organs, like uterine abnormalities or cervical insufficiency.
  •  Abnormal immune response of the body.
  •  Certain systemic diseases in the mother, such as uncontrolled diabetes or lupus.

Research indicates that roughly half of all fertilized eggs are spontaneously aborted, often before the woman is aware of her pregnancy. Following confirmation of pregnancy, the miscarriage rate ranges from 15 to 20 percent. Most miscarriages occur within the first few weeks of pregnancy.


Age and personal history are significant factors influencing the likelihood of miscarriage:

1. Age: The risk of miscarriage escalates with age, starting around 30 years old. It becomes more pronounced between 35 and 40 years old, with a 20-35% chance of miscarriage. Beyond 40, the risk further increases, with up to a 50% chance of miscarriage.

2. Personal History: Women with a history of miscarriages are more prone to experiencing subsequent miscarriages.


Miscarriage encompasses various types, each distinguished by specific signs and symptoms that your doctor can identify through examination, including assessing the cervix. Here are the common types:

1. Complete abortion: All products of conception are expelled from the body.
2. Incomplete abortion: Some products of conception are expelled, while remnants remain in the uterus.
3. Inevitable abortion: Symptoms of miscarriage commence and cannot be halted with medical intervention, leading to an inevitable miscarriage.
4. Infected (septic) abortion: Infection is present in the uterine lining and any remaining products of conception.
5. Missed abortion: Pregnancy loss occurs, but products of conception are not expelled from the body.

Experiencing a miscarriage does not necessarily indicate infertility. In fact, many women who have had a miscarriage go on to have successful pregnancies later on. Research published in the British Medical Journal suggests that women who conceive within six months of a miscarriage are more likely to have a successful pregnancy.