What is early miscarriage?
An early miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy in the first 12 weeks.
How common is early miscarriage?
Sadly, early miscarriages are very common. It’s perfectly possible to have a miscarriage before you even realise you’re pregnant. About half of all fertilised eggs are thought to be lost in the earliest days of pregnancy, before a pregnancy test has been done.
After a positive pregnancy test, between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Most miscarriages happen in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Miscarriage at any stage of pregnancy can be a terrible blow. Even if it happens very early on in pregnancy, it’s only natural that it comes as a shock. Don’t feel you’re not allowed to grieve over your loss.
What causes early miscarriage?
Early miscarriages usually happen because the embryo is not developing as it should. Chromosome problems are thought to be the most common cause. These problems usually happen for no reason and are unlikely to happen again.
To develop properly, a baby needs the right number of normal chromosomes. He’ll need 23 from his mum and 23 from his dad. Chromosomal abnormalities can prevent a baby from developing. These abnormalities may happen because there are too many chromosomes or not enough chromosomes, or because there are changes to a chromosome’s structure. In that case, the pregnancy will come to an end at the embryo stage. It’s thought that up to 95 per cent of pregnancies with chromosomal abnormalities end in miscarriage.
How do I know if I’m having an early miscarriage?
The most common signs and symptoms of miscarriage are vaginal bleeding and strong period-type cramps.
The bleeding can vary from light to heavy, perhaps with blood clots, and may come and go for a few days.