Miscarriage explained – What is miscarriage?

Heartbreaking as they can be, sadly miscarriages are not uncommon. While we realise it’s of little comfort, if you’ve lost a baby through miscarriage, you are not alone. Approximately 15 to 20 per cent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage - often in the first trimester. The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health found for every three women who have given birth in their early 30s, one has had a miscarriage. These figures increase with age, so in your late 30s the risk of miscarriage is close to 25 per cent and by the time you’re in your 40s, you have only a 50 per cent chance of carrying a baby to term. Miscarriage is a sad but normal part of human reproduction.

Miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks and most miscarriages can’t be prevented. Most of these babies will have already died in the uterus before the miscarriage occurs - unfair as it seems sometimes it’s nature’s way of ending a pregnancy that isn’t developing as it should.

The loss of a pregnancy, at any stage, can be an extremely difficult and emotional time for many couples, particularly if it happens repeatedly or following infertility. But most miscarriages are what we call a single pregnancy loss - an isolated instance of miscarriage that conversely enough actually shows your body’s reproductive system is working. Most women who miscarry can conceive again and go on to deliver a healthy baby.

However, some women devastatingly experience more than one miscarriage. We call this recurrent pregnancy loss or recurrent miscarriage and while still not unusual – one in 20 couples experience two miscarriages in a row - it is obviously a sign that something isn’t working. If you’ve experienced two or three miscarriages in a row, come and talk to one of our Fertility Specialists with miscarriage management expertise about how we can help you achieve your dream of having a baby.

The Science
The Good News
What are my chances of a successful pregnancy after miscarriage?
Is IVF an option?
Next Steps