Miscarriage Facts & FAQs
This information is for general purposes only. If you have any medical problems or complications during pregnancy this information may not be applicable. Approximately 15 to
20% of all pregancies end in miscarriage. Although miscarriage can happen any time before 20 weeks, most take place in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy.

1) About 60% of the miscarriages occurring during the first thirteen weeks of pregnancy are caused by problems in the chromosomes of the embryo. This is nature's way of
eliminating embroyos with genetic problems. Often the miscarriage occurs before the woman is aware she is pregnant. Most chromosomal problems happen by chance and
are not likely to happen again.

2) Sometimes, though, the chromosomal problem is inherited from the parents. This is more likely with repeated miscarriages or in families where there is a history of
birth defects. Genetic testing can be ordered on the fetal tissue from the miscarriage, or on blood from the parents.

3) Study results are conflicting on the association of smoking, use of alcohol, and use of caffeine with sporadic pregnancy loss. They may act in a dose-dependent fashion or
synergistically to increase the rate of sporadic pregnancy loss. However, none of these habits has been associated with recurrent pregnancy loss.

4) Exercise does not appear to increase the rate of sporadic pregnancy loss, particularly in women in good physical condition, and there are no studies of exercise effects in
women with recurrent pregnancy loss.

5) Ideally all women should take folic acid for one to three months before conception. Deficiencies in folic acid have been associated with neural tube defects.

6) The most common symptoms of impending miscarriage are vaginal bleeding and cramping. Not all pregnancies with bleeding end in miscarriage, though. About 30% of
pregnancies with early vaginal bleeding go on to term and end with a healthy baby. Because the threat of miscarriage exists with bleeding, your doctor will want to watch
you more carefully over the next few days. You may be followed with ultrasounds or blood tests.

7) It is difficult to determine when a miscarriage will occur. Sometimes this can occur within a day or two of the diagnosis of a failed pregnancy, but other times it can take a
few weeks to occur.

8) If the pregnancy has ended early and you meet certain criteria, you may be elligible to take a medication to induce your body to pass the miscarriage. The medication is
called Misoprostol and works about 80-90% of the time. Most people have some heavy bleeding and cramping a few hours after taking this medication and will pass the
pregnancy in 12-24 hours. A small percentage of women may take up to a week to pass the pregnancy.

9) You need to be aware that most of the time there was nothing you could have done to prevent the loss. Most women go on to have a normal pregnancy in the future. If you
need help or support in recovering from the loss of a pregnancy, talk to your physician. There are resources and support groups available.

10) Whenever a pregnancy ends too early, the emotional healing can take longer than the physical healing. Both parents need time to grieve the lost pregnancy before
moving on. Only you can decide how long you will take to be emotionally ready. Physically, it may take four to six weeks for your body to return to normal. We generally
recommend that you wait until you have had one normal period before you try to conceive again.