Miscarriage Statistics By Week
After 6 months of trying, we finally conceived, only to miscarriage in the fifth week of pregnancy. This was followed by a long and emotionally exhausting period of keeping track of ovulation, timing the lovemaking, BBT charting and hoping. It took another 9 months before we finally conceived again. I know that this is nothing compared to what many other couples go through, but it was still very tough.
When I finally got pregnant again, I became very worried that I would have another miscarriage. I don't know how many hours I spent on the Internet looking for miscarriage statistics by week of pregnancy.
When I experienced bleeding in week 8 of my pregnancy, I panicked. I called my midwife (I had my first prenatal visit scheduled a couple of weeks later) and she asked me to come in for an early ultrasound. I did and I got to see what was going to be my daughter some months later. I saw her little heart beating and I saw the little embryo moving around. It was a fantastic feeling.
This little peek inside my womb helped me stop worrying somewhat, but I did continue counting the days until week 12 had passed. I also read and learned quite a bit about miscarriage.
If you are feeling anxious like I did, I'd like to help you save a few hours. I have gathered and compiled the most recent miscarriage statistics that I've been able to find.
At the bottom of the page, you'll find references to research as well, in case you want to dig deeper.
Being pregnant is a very special time, and one filled with worrying! If you are very worried about having a miscarriage, or if you already have had one, you can at least take some comfort in that the newest research shows that there is no need to wait 6 months before trying again. You can start trying again almost immediately. You can read about this in this article about getting pregnant after miscarriage. At the bottom of that article several moms and dads who have been through a miscarriage share their thoughts and feelings about it.
Now to the statistics!
Wilcox AJ, Weinberg CR, O'Connor JF, et al. Incidence of early loss of pregnancy. N Engl J Med. Jul 28 1988;319(4):189-94.
According to these figures, the risk of miscarriage right after conception is very high, between 22% and 75%. This wide range reflects that different studies have found different rates of miscarriage. My guess is that the stats have such a wide range for these first few weeks of pregnancy, because it is hard to measure pregnancy this early.
After the 10th week of pregnancy, the risk of miscarriage is really low, especially if a live embryo has been seen with an ultrasound scan.
These miscarriage statistics by week all refer to a woman's first pregnancy. How about the next one? And the next? Recurrent miscarriages are defined as having 3 or more consecutive miscarriages. Only around 1% of all couples will have to endure this, while as many as 25 % of all women will knowingly experience a miscarriage (or even up to 75%, but without knowing, as seen in the table above.) Out of the 1% of recurring miscarriages, 50% go unexplained.
Studies have also shown that the chances of having a sucessful pregnancy are about the same after the second and third miscarriage, but after that the chances go down. It is still of course entirely possible, but after three miscarriages, couples are usually offered an examination to try to exlain the miscarriages and possibly offer medication or other help.
One study showed that the woman's age influences her chances to conceive after miscarriage more so than whether she had suffered from one or more miscarriages before.
ConclusionSo what is the conclusion of all this? First of all, by the time you have a positive pregnancy test, the highest risk of miscarriage is already behind you. Isn't that great to know? Secondly, regardless of your age, unless you are experiencing bleeding, the risk is already down to below 10% at around the seventh week of pregnancy.
If you are very worried, ask for an early ultrasound scan. If you can hold out until the 8th week of pregnancy, a live embryo and no bleeding means that the risk of miscarriage is down to 1.5%!
videos about fetal development here.
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