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The most common type is first-trimester miscarriage, but there are other types. There are many reasons why pregnancy loss can occur, but the most common reason is a chromosomal anomaly. Although it is less likely to miscarry as you get older, there are still chances of losing your baby.


Chemical Pregnancy

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Chemical pregnancy is not false pregnancy. It’s actually a very early miscarriage. This is a pregnancy that has occurred after a positive pregnancy test, before the doctor’s ultrasound verification, or any other confirmation of pregnancy.

Chemical pregnancies are often caused by chromosomal abnormalities. Exposure to toxic chemicals, structural problems in the cervix, uterus, and placenta are other possible causes.

Many women who experience a chemical pregnancy don’t know they are pregnant. The time that the bleeding occurs from a pregnancy loss is often the same as the expected period. Home pregnancy tests have become quite sensitive and some women discover that they are pregnant even before their period. This makes it possible to detect more chemical pregnancies.


Ectopic Pregnancy

When a fertilized egg implanted somewhere other than the uterus (also known as a tubal pregnancy), an ectopic pregnancy is also called. There may be risk factors such as inflammation and structural problems in the fallopian tubes. Other times the cause is not known. An ectopic pregnancy can cause severe abdominal pain or dizziness.

A life-threatening emergency can arise from an ectopic pregnancy. It is thought to affect between 1.3% to 2.4% of all pregnancies.3 Call your doctor immediately or go to the emergency department.

Ectopic Pregnancies : Risk Factors


First-Trimester Miscarriage

Although miscarriage in the first trimester, also known as spontaneous abortion, can be very common. However, this fact doesn’t make it any less tragic. Miscarriage is a common outcome in around 15% of all pregnancies. The incidence of miscarriage is lower in younger mothers (around 10%) and higher in older women (women over 40 have an approximately 50% chance of losing a pregnancy).

Many miscarriages are also thought to be caused by chromosomal or maternal structural abnormalities. Other factors that could contribute to miscarriages include hormonal irregularities, chronic illness, hormones, drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, environmental factors, excess maternal weight, advanced maternal aging, and infection.

There are many things you can ask about miscarriage. Talk to your doctor about your concerns and answer all your questions.


Blighted Ovum

Anembryonic miscarriage, also called a blighted ovum or an anembryonic pregnancy, is a common type of early miscarriage. A blighted egg means that the embryo does not develop but the gestational sac grows. A blighted ovum is responsible for approximately one-third of all miscarriages within the first eight weeks.

A blighted ovum can cause pregnancy symptoms, even though you have not had a viable pregnancy. Blighted ovum may be caused by missed miscarriage. This can be treated with dilation and curettage (D&C) or ended naturally.


Missed Miscarriage

Missed miscarriage occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy and is quite common. This is when the doctor diagnoses miscarriage using lab results or clinical evidence. However, you haven’t experienced any miscarriage symptoms such as bleeding or cramping.


Molar Pregnancy

Molar pregnancy, a rare condition in which pregnancy tissue (primarily from the placenta), grows abnormally or excessively, is a rare one. It can happen without fetal cells (a full mole), or with some abnormally growing tissue (a partial mole). Molar pregnancies cannot be viable. A chromosomal abnormality occurs during fertilization.6

Most miscarriages are caused by chromosomal anomalies. However, this type of pregnancy loss requires close monitoring with your obstetrician to ensure that all pregnancy tissue has been removed.


Second-Trimester Miscarriage

There are many reasons why late miscarriages (those in the second trimester) can occur. About 4% of pregnancies result in miscarriage within 12 to 22 weeks.1 These can be due to chromosomal abnormalities or cervical insufficiency.


Preterm Delivery from Cervical Insufficiency

A condition known as cervical insufficiency or an incompetent Cervix is when the cervix dilates prematurely during pregnancy. This can lead to pregnancy loss and premature births. An incompetent cervical is responsible for 8% of second-trimester preterm births and pregnancy losses.

Genetic disorders, cervical trauma and complications after dilation & curettage (D&C) are all risk factors for cervical insufficiency. A D&C does not increase the risk of cervical insufficiency, but complications can result from the procedure.

Miscarriage and Insufficiency



Stillbirth refers to the death of a foetus before birth in the womb. Stillbirth, or fetal death, is a pregnancy that occurs after 20 weeks of gestation. This is not a miscarriage. Stillbirth can be caused by infection, congenital problems, placenta problems, high blood pressure, maternal medical complications, and umbilical cord issues.


Neonatal Infant Death

Neonatal infant death or loss refers to the death a newborn baby less than 28 days of age (regardless if it was born at a gestational date). The baby is still alive when it is born, but pregnancy loss is also possible. Prematurity and congenital disability are the most common causes of neonatal infant death.9


Termination for Medical Reasons of Desired Pregnancy

A termination of a wanted pregnancy for medical reasons is when parents decide to end a pregnancy. This can be for a variety of reasons such as severe congenital disabilities or health problems that could threaten the mother or baby’s lives.10

Prenatal screening can result in a diagnosis that is not good for the baby. This is called elective or therapeutic abortion. Only you, with the help of your doctor, can decide what is best for you and your family.

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