Ten Quick Facts About Pregnancy Loss

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and so as part of raising awareness and educating the public about miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss, my posts this month reflect this theme.

For most people, a miscarriage is devastating to go through and it can be hard to accept such a sad outcome, particularly when the pregnancy was very much wanted. Although there are few things that comfort a woman going through a miscarriage, it's important to understand just how commonly they occur. Here are ten quick facts that shed light on the frequency and reasons behind miscarriage and pregnancy loss: 

1.  For the general population, approximately 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage

2.  Over 80% of miscarriages happen before 12 weeks

3.  Approximately 75% of miscarriages are due to abnormalities with the embryo (usually, but not always, chromosomal in nature)

4. The remaining 25% of miscarriages are caused by implantation issues (problems with the uterine lining, the mother’s immune response, or biochemical abnormalities)

5.  Women in their mid-twenties have a 20% chance of miscarrying due to chromosomal issues

6.  Women in their mid-forties have a greater than 50% chance of miscarrying due to chromosomal issues

7.  Once a fetal heartbeat is detected, the risk of miscarriage is approximately 5%

8.  Stillbirth, which is considered fetal death after 20 weeks, occurs in .6% (or 1 in 160) of pregnancies

9.  The risk of stillbirth (the baby dying in utero prior to being born) or neonatal death (the baby is born alive, but dies within 30 days from birth) is about .5% (or 1 in 200)

10. At least 22% of pregnancies end before they can be detected by urine or blood tests