A miscarriage is a pregnancy that ends before the baby is able to live outside the womb (before 24 weeks). Sadly, miscarriage in early pregnancy is a very common. It is estimated that 1 in 4 confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage but some estimate that up to 40% of all conceptions result in loss (as miscarriages occur in women who don’t know they are pregnant).
We don’t always know the cause of an early miscarriage. Often, there may have been an abnormality in the baby, meaning the baby was not developing normally. This is usually an isolated genetic mistake and rarely occurs again. Investigations into the cause of a miscarriage are not usually carried out unless there are three or more miscarriages in a row. This is because most women who miscarry will not miscarry again. Even two miscarriages are more likely to be due to chance than to some underlying cause.
Fortunately, the vast majority of women who miscarry go on to have a successful pregnancy next time. Recurrent miscarriages (three or more miscarriages in a row) occur in about 1 in 100 women.