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What is a miscarriage?

A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy during the first 23 weeks.

They are fairly common with 1 in 8 pregnancies ending in miscarriage. Most people who experience a miscarriage go on to have successful pregnancies.

Losing 3 or more pregnancies in a row (recurrent miscarriages) is uncommon and only affects around 1 in 100 women.

What are the symptoms of a miscarriage?

The main sign of a miscarriage is bleeding, which may be followed by cramping and pain in your lower abdomen.


Light bleeding is common in the first 3 months of pregnancy and can occur throughout pregnancy for other reasons such as a low placenta so do not worry straight away but contact your maternity care team for advise.

What causes a miscarriage?

There are several reasons why a miscarriage may happen, although it is often unknown.


Generally it is thought miscarriages are caused by the abnormal chromosomes in the baby which means it will develop properly.

What happens during a miscarriage?

You will have an ultrasound scan to check on the baby.

If a miscarriage is confirmed, you will discuss the next steps for the management of the miscarriage with your midwife as it will depend on the stage of pregnancy that you are in.


Pregnancy tissue will often naturally pass out of the body in a few weeks, but sometimes medicine or minor surgery is required from a Gynaecologist Consultant.

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