How Common is First Trimester Miscarriage?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 26 September 2019
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First trimester miscarriage is very common. Most miscarriages occur during the first trimester of pregnancy and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology estimates that approximately 10 to 25% of known pregnancies result in miscarriage. This number is generally understood to be an underestimate, because many women miscarry before they are aware they are pregnant, and may mistake the miscarriage for a normal menstrual period.

Certain risk factors can increase the chances of experiencing a first trimester miscarriage. If one or both parents is older, miscarriage chances increase significantly. Likewise, environmental exposures can contribute to miscarriage. In many cases, there are no known risk factors and the pregnancy simply fails to implant, a situation known as a chemical pregnancy. Likewise, many first trimester miscarriages are the result of chromosomal abnormalities. These abnormalities are usually spontaneous in nature and are not the result of genetic conditions on the part of either parent.

If a woman has experienced a first trimester miscarriage, she most likely can still carry a healthy pregnancy in the future. Miscarriage risks for women with a history of a single miscarriage are relatively comparable to those for women who have never been pregnant before. If women experience repeated miscarriages, they may want to consider testing to identify potential causes, such as an inherited condition or another medical problem that may be making it difficult to retain a pregnancy.


Signs of a first trimester miscarriage include bleeding, cramping, and nausea. Women who know they are pregnant and experience these symptoms should contact an obstetrician for treatment. The doctor can confirm that a miscarriage is occurring, offer testing for genetic causes, and provide treatment with Rhogam® if the mother is Rhesus negative. The doctor can also confirm that the uterus is completely cleared, to reduce the risks of developing an infection.

Miscarriage at any stage of pregnancy can be traumatic. Women who experience first trimester miscarriage sometimes find it helpful to meet with counselors to discuss the experience. Because miscarriage at this stage is so common, many women are also encouraged to avoid disclosing the pregnancy to friends and family until after the 12th week, when the risks of having a miscarriage will decrease dramatically.

Friends and family members looking for ways to support women after a first trimester miscarriage can send condolence cards as they would in the case of any loss. Offers of cooked meals, assistance with errands, and other support can also be appreciated by parents grieving the loss of a pregnancy.


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Post 3

@ Parmnparsley- I knew nothing about miscarriages until this holiday season. My fiancée just had a miscarriage the day after Christmas. We were planning to hear the heart beat for the first time today. It made for a sad holiday season for me, but it was not as emotionally taxing for me as it was for her.

We had decided to tell everyone that we were expecting our second child on Christmas Eve, and she began to miscarry two days later. It was almost a week of torment for both of us, and we found out at the doctor’s office the baby had been lost since about week seven (ultrasounds etc.).

The worst part of it all is the fact

that we told all of our family, including my two year old daughter who still thinks there is a baby. We had started buying new things for the baby, and we even had names picked out from my fiancée’s last pregnancy. This has been one of those life experiences where I wish we knew how common miscarriages were in the first trimester beforehand so we didn't start doing all of this stuff so soon. It makes it harder to deal with after you have become used to the idea of having a baby.
Post 2

@ Anon109245- I think it all depends on the situation. My fiancée and I got into a car accident when she was about five months pregnant and our daughter was born perfectly healthy. She had her feet on the dash of the truck when it happened, and we also got lucky because the suburban that rear-ended us went under the bumper, sending most of the force up rather than straight into the back of her seat.

On the other hand, I have heard of people miscarrying from repeated jarring bumps like riding atv's or things of that sort. If you are worried you may want to speak to your doctor about the symptoms of miscarriage. Symptoms may also be delayed for a while so regular checkups are should be a priority.

Post 1

I'm just wondering. I'm four months pregnant and i wonder if i take a hard fall will i miscarry my baby?

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