How common are miscarriage and stillbirth?
Pregnancy loss, in the form of early or late miscarriage, or stillbirth, occurs in 20-25% of pregnancies. It is estimated that at least 15% of clinically recognised pregnancies miscarry, while the risk of stillbirth is 1 in 200. In addition, up to 3% of all pregnancies end in second trimester miscarriage (>14 weeks). Despite many improvements in medical care, these rates have remained nearly constant for decades.
There are some medical reasons why miscarriage or stillbirth occurs, but frequently, clinicians cannot attribute loss of the pregnancy to any particular cause. Numerous social, behavioural and lifestyle risk factors are also reported to be associated with pregnancy loss, but these links are complex and not fully understood.