Pregnancy and Infant Loss Facts
A miscarriage is when a baby dies in the womb before 20 weeks gestation. Some miscarriages happen before a woman realizes she is pregnant.
The cause of all miscarriages is not known, but most miscarriages are a result of a genetic/chromosomal abnormality.
For women who know they are pregnant, about 10 to 15 in 100 pregnancies (10%-15%) will end in miscarriage. Most of these occur in the first trimester (prior to 12 weeks gestation).
Second trimester miscarriages (13 weeks to 19 weeks gestation) occur in 1 to 5 out of 100 pregnancies (1%-5%).
Most women who miscarry go on the have healthy pregnancies in the future.
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when an embryo (fertilized egg) grows outside the womb. This mostly occurs in the fallopian tube or attached to an ovary.
An ectopic always ends in pregnancy loss.
Ectopic pregnancies occur in about 1 out of 50 pregnancies (2%) in the United States.
Most women who have an ectopic pregnancy go on to have healthy pregnancies in the future.
A molar pregnancy is a tumor that develops in the uterus at the beginning of a pregnancy.
If not treated, it can be dangerous. It almost always ends in pregnancy loss.
In a molar pregnancy, the placenta does not form correctly and develops into a mass of cysts. It cannot properly supply the baby with food and oxygen like it can in a normal pregnancy.
About 1 in 1,000 pregnancies (less than 1%) is a molar pregnancy in the United States.
The risk of having another molar pregnancy is about 1 to 2 in 100 women (1%-2%).
After a molar pregnancy, most women will have a normal pregnancy in the future.
Stillbirth is when a baby dies in the womb after 20 weeks gestation.
Most stillbirths occur before a women goes into labor, but a small number occur during labor and delivery.
The cause of most stillbirths is unknown but some can be related to infection, birth defects and pregnancy complications such as some medical conditions.
Stillbirth occurs in about 1 in 100 pregnancies (1%) each year in the United States which is approximately 24,000 babies.
Less than 1 in 100 women (less than 1%) who have had a stillbirth go on to have another stillbirth.
Most women who have a stillbirth will have a normal pregnancy in the future.
Neonatal death is when a baby passes away in the first 28 days of life.
The most common causes are premature birth (born prior to 37 weeks gestation), low birth weight (born weighing less than 5lbs 8oz) and birth defects (health conditions present at birth).
Premature birth and low birth weight cause approximately 1 in 4 neonatal deaths (25%).
Birth defects cause approximately 1 in 5 neonatal deaths (20%).
Neonatal death happens in about 4 in 1,000 babies (less than 1%) each year in the United States.
March of Dimes. (2017 November) Miscarriage Retrieved from https://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/miscarriage.aspx
March of Dimes. (2017 October) Ectopic Pregnancy Retrieved from https://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/ectopic-pregnancy.aspx
March of Dimes. (2017 October) Molar Pregnancy Retrieved from https://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/molar-pregnancy.aspx
March of Dimes. (2017 October) Stillbirth Retrieved from https://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/stillbirth.aspx
March of Dimes. (2017 October) Neonatal Death Retrieved from https://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/neonatal-death.aspx