What is the prevalence of early pregnancy loss in the US?

Updated: Jun 08, 2018
  • Author: Elizabeth E Puscheck, MD; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Answer

The overall miscarriage rate is reported as 15-20%, which means 15-20% of recognized pregnancies result in miscarriage. The frequency of spontaneous miscarriage increases further with maternal age. With the development of highly sensitive assays for hCG levels, pregnancies can be detected prior to the expected next period. When these highly sensitive hCG assays are used early, the magnitude of pregnancy loss significantly increases to about 60-70%. Late implantation by the conceptus beyond the usual 8-10 days after ovulation also has an increased risk of miscarriage.

About 80% of miscarriages occur within the first trimester. The frequency of miscarriage decreases with increasing gestational age. Recurrent early pregnancy loss, defined as 2-3 consecutive losses of clinical pregnancies, affects about 1% of all couples.


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