Home > Getting Pregnant > Miscarriage Statistics by Week And What Affects Your Risk of Miscarriage
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for information.

Miscarriage Statistics by Week And What Affects Your Risk of Miscarriage

miscarriage statistics week 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.

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!

Miscarriage Risk By Week And What The Figures Tell You

The Stats From Week 3 And On

Gestational week
(completed)
All healthy women
Healthy women, one live embryo
seen on ultrasound
% risk of miscarriage
% risk of miscarriage
3-4 weeks
22-75%
n/a
5-8 weeks
10%
n/a
6 weeks
n/a
9.4%
7 weeks
n/a
4.2%
8 weeks
n/a
1.5%
9 weeks
n/a
0.5%
10 weeks
n/a
0.7%
8-14 weeks
5%
n/a
2nd trimester
3%
n/a
3rd trimester
1%
n/a

References: Tong S, Kaur A, Walker SP, Bryant V, Onwude JL, Permezel M. Miscarriage risk for asymptomatic women after a normal first-trimester prenatal visit. Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Mar;111(3):710-4.
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.
http://pregnancyloss.info/statistics/

The Early High Percentage of Miscarriage and What It Means

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.

It also reflects – and this is important – that the studies claiming up to a 75% risk of miscarriage include failed implantation. That is, your egg might very well have been fertilized, but one reason or the other, it never implanted properly. Views certainly vary if this should even be called a miscarriage. These very early miscarriages are same times referred to as chemical pregnancies, as in producing the pregnancy hormones, but not being viable pregnancies that could ever go full-term.

I guess my first pregnancy (and miscarriage) was a textbook example of a chemical pregnancy. Most women probably won’t even know that they were pregnant, but I knew since we actively tried to conceive and I was tracking my basal body temperature very closely.

If I were you, I would not fret too much over the terrible statistics for the first few weeks. The data is highly uncertain and if you do miscarriage,

  • chances are you won’t even know that you were (chemically) pregnant and
  • it is likely that the miscarriage was due to chromosomal abnormalities that make your body stop the pregnancy.

Miscarraige Statistics After Pregnancy Has Been Confirmed

Instead, focus on miscarriage risks after your pregnancy has been confirmed with a test. As you can see, the risk really falls quickly, and especially so if a live embryo has been seen on ultrasound. An embryo that is alive in week 9 is highly likely to become a baby!

And even without knowing if the embryo is alive or not, you can rest assure that the likelihood that your baby is healthy and growing is increasing quickly day by day without a bleeding.

How the number of miscarriages and age affect miscarriage risk

Miscarrariage statistics for recurrent miscarraiges

The miscarriage statistics above all refer to a woman’s first miscarriage. 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 20-30 % 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 successful 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 explain the miscarriages and possibly offer medication or other help.

Miscarriage statistics by age

Another factor that has been shown to affect the risk of miscarriage is the age of the parents-to-be.

The woman’s age is the most obvious here since there will come a time when her eggs simply can’t be fertilized anymore. But the man’s age actually plays a part too.

For a woman, the risk of miscarriage increases dramatically after age 37, with the steepest increase occurring after age 40. By age 45, less than 20% of all recognized pregnancies are viable.

The graph below is from a U.S. study of pregnancies conceived via IVF. The risk of miscarriage is a bit lower per age group in this study than some other similar studies – probably because the stats are derived from women who successfully manage to become pregnant through IVF.

Not all women who undergo IVF have a successful egg retrieval. The embryos that are transferred to the woman’s womb are chosen because they appear to develop normally and hence the risk of miscarriage for these embryos is a bit lower.

miscarriage rates by age
References:Slama et al., 2005. Influence of Paternal Age on the Risk of Spontaneous Abortion. American Journal of Epidemiology

The man’s age matters too. If the dad-to-be is over 40 years old, the chances of miscarriage raise significantly. Studies indicate some 25-50% increase in the risk of miscarriage as dad is approaching 40 years old.

This all seems pretty dark is you are an “older” couple trying to conceive. Older as in approaching 35 years or older. However, it is not all dark. Once a fetal heartbeat has been confirmed, the risk of miscarriage is much more hopeful!

Maternal age
Miscarriage risk in week 12
35-37
2.8%
37-39
7.5%
40+
10.8%

References: Spontaneous abortion rate and advanced maternal age: consequences for prenatal diagnosis, The Lancet, Volume 336, Issue 8706, 7 July 1990, Pages 27-29

Other Factors that affects Pregnancy Outcome

Has this been a lot to digest? I bet! And to make the situation even more complicated, there are of course other factors than luck, age and earlier miscarriages that will affect your pregnancy outcome. Gladly, many of these factors are within your control.

Here are some factors that may increase your risk of miscarriage:

  • Smoking
  • Being underweight before pregnancy
  • High alcohol consumption
  • Severe stress (increasing risk with the number of stressful or traumatic events)
  • and changing partner (which can be quite stressful too!)
  • .

And controllable factors that reduce your risk of miscarriage:

  • Vitamin supplementation
  • Eating fresh fruits and vegetables daily
  • Trying to arrange your life so you feel well enough to fly or have sex (Yes really!)

Conclusion

So what is the conclusion of all this? Miscarriages happen whether we worry or not. Most of the time, they don’t. Trying to let go of the worrying will make your life in early pregnancy happier and may even actually reduce the risk of miscarriage a little bit. (I know, A LOT easier said than done..!)

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 mean that the risk of miscarriage is down to 1.5% if you are younger than 35 years! I don’t have a figure to present for those older than 35 years, but a live embryo is likely to cut your risks very sharply too.

Remember that by the time you have a positive pregnancy test, the highest risk of miscarriage is already behind you. Isn’t that great to know? Also, unless you are experiencing bleeding, the risk is already down to below 10% at around the seventh week of pregnancy.

Don’t smoke, eat healthy foods, and try to focus on the positive aspects of life.

I hope you found this information on miscarriage statistics useful. Feel free to share any thoughts by leaving a comment below.

More On Miscarriges

 

References

Tong S, Kaur A, Walker SP, Bryant V, Onwude JL, Permezel M. Miscarriage risk for asymptomatic women after a normal first-trimester prenatal visit. Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Mar;111(3):710-4.
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.
PregnancyLoss.info
Allison JL, Schust DJ., Recurrent first trimester pregnancy loss: revised definitions and novel causes. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2009 Dec;16(6):446-50.
Maternal age and fetal loss: population based register linkage study

  • Erin

    Thank you for compiling this information. Very helpful article 🙂

  • Christina

    Yes! Maybe I can relax now, I am SO worried that because of my age (37) , that I will miscarry, when It’s a shock to me that we even conceived at all. But to know that the majority of the risk is already behind us, makes me so grateful. Ty ty ty! For sharing this info. 😀 I’m not going to be afraid to bond for fear of loss.

    • That’s great to hear! I truly hope you will have no problems at all. Congratulations on your pregnancy.

  • BSG

    Thank you very much for this information. I miscarried back in October and am now 6 weeks pregnant and trying not to worry too much. This has been really helpful, thank you.

  • J

    I had an ultrasound at 6 weeks, heart rate was perfect, everything was great, all hcg and progesterone levels were in line, no spotting, no cramping, no issues at all, went in for my 12 week appointment and the baby’s heart had stopped beating at 11 weeks and 5 days. I guess my point is that no matter how much research we do there is always a chance, worry will not help us prevent a miscarriage though either. We all just have to have faith and hope and a great support system that will help us get through.

  • Kelly

    Thank you so much for this article. As this is my 1st pregnancy at 38 I have been worried every second of the day about this. I entered my 9 weeks today and so far all signs point to good. Just so helpful to know I am not alone in the worrying.

  • Hi Kayleigh, I truly hope the spotting was just implanting, just as your doctor said. How are you doing? Spotting is difficult, It doesn’t have to mean anything, but it can. I think you are doing exactly the right thing – bothering your doctor when you feel that you need to. Crossing my fingers for you!

  • Jillian Tucker

    Hello, I realize that these comments on the article are a couple years old…but if anyone is there then I have a question (:

    I am 10w pregnant right now…and last week I had some major bleeding. The dr took me in for an u/s and found a healthy heart beat and no bleeding up in the uterus or around baby. The bleeding was on the cervix and was most likely due to sex/orgasm.

    Does this mean that my chances of miscarriage are still less than 1% since the bleeding isn’t up in the uterus, but only on the cervix? The dr told me that the reason I probably bled is because there is a bunch of new veins up there and an increased blood flow. Or are my chances of a miscarriage different since I was bleeding when I had the u/s?

    • Hi Jilian, bleeding in pregnancy is pure torture! Poor you! But if your Dr told you that the bleeding was not in the uterus and there was a healthy heartbeat, you should probably just rely on you Dr and consider your risk of miscarriage the same as for anyone else who has already found a healthy heartbeat… A very good sign! Please let me know how things proceed. When is your due date?
      Best, Paula

  • Ashleigh

    So happy I came across your post. Thank you so much for sharing this information. I dont think Ive ever been so concerned or worried about anything in my life and I really just want to know that everything is okay. Thanks again!

    • Paula @ EasyBabyLife

      I know, Ashleigh, it can be torture to wait and hope during the first three months… I truly wish you good luck with your pregnancy! 🙂

  • And good luck to you, Kat!! I had exactly the same situation as you – spotting in the early weeks. Up until week 10 or 12, I think. Extremely scary, but it went well. Crossing my fingers for you!

  • Janeway85

    Thanks for this. I’m 5 weeks 5 days along and I wasn’t sure if I should even bother calling my doctor because I thought I’d just have another miscarriage (given I had one a few months ago at 14 weeks). I thought the percentage at my stage of pregnancy was a lot higher but the 10% isn’t that high at all.

  • I am crossing my fingers for you, Kim! Let me know how things go!

  • Germán Vogel

    The wording is wrong here: “According to these figures, the risk of miscarriage right after conception is very high.” No, the risk of miscarriage right after conception is low. Only 10-20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. According to the figures shown, the majority of those 10-20% miscarriages take place in those first weeks. Be careful with scaring people.

    • Thank you German, you’re correct – the overall risk of a miscarriage is low, but the risk is the highest during those first few weeks. Thanks for pointing out how the wording can be misunderstood! I’ll change it!

      • Germán Vogel

        But you didn’t change it ^^

  • Sarah

    An amazing article! Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge that you gained. Insightful and comforting.

  • I have nominated you for the blogger recognition award! http://lovelifelaughmotherhood.com/2017/05/blogger-recognition-award-2017/

  • Amie

    Thankyou for writing this. I am 4 1/2 weeks
    And trying not to worry this article is very helpful x