Updated February 2014

Miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy statistics

  • A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy that happens sometime during the first 23 weeks [1]. An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that develops in the fallopian tubes instead of in the womb. Sometimes an ectopic pregnancy can also develop in the abdominal cavity. An ectopic pregnancy is a serious life-threatening condition and will end in miscarriage [1].
  • It is difficult to know exactly how many miscarriages take place because often a miscarriage occurs before the mother realises she is pregnant. However, it is estimated that approximately 20 percent of all pregnancies miscarry, with the majority (up to 85 percent) doing so in the first trimester (weeks 1 to 12) [2].
  • 1 in 100 women will experience recurrent miscarriages (three or more successive miscarriages) [3].
  • A women with a body mass index of 30 or more has a 25 percent (1 in 4) more risk of having a miscarriage that a woman with a normal BMI for her height [4].
  • From a mental health point of view, up to and 1 in 5 women who experience miscarriage have anxiety levels similar to people attending psychiatric outpatient services, and up to a third of women attending specialist clinics as a result of miscarriage are clinically depressed [5].

England and Wales

  • Between 2012-2013, there were 39,800 miscarriages that led to a hospital stay (a rate of 5.9 miscarriages per 100 deliveries) [6]. This is a drop from 43,005 miscarriages leading to a hospital stay in 2011-2012 (6.4 miscarriages in every 100 deliveries) [7].
  • In 1997 the overall rate of miscarriage was 7.0 in every 100 deliveries. In  2008-2009, the rate was 6.6 [7].
  • Miscarriages are more common in teenagers 14 years old or under (15.2 miscarriages per 100 deliveries), and women aged 40 years or more (18.4 miscarriages in 100 deliveries) [6].
  • Between 2012-2013 there were 11,199 ectopic pregnancies leading to a hospital stay (1.7 ectopic pregnancies per 100 deliveries) [6]. 
  • The rate of ectopic pregnancies has increased in the last 5 years (1.6 per 100 deliveries in 2006-2007 compared to 1.7 per 100 deliveries in 2010-2011) [7].


  • Between April 2009 and March 2010 there were 5,708 miscarriages recorded in Scotland hospitals, the equivalent of 5.5 per 1,000 women aged between 15 and 44 years [8]


[1] NHS Choices, Miscarriage. NHS CHoices, London, 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Miscarriage/Pages/Introduction.aspx (accessed 18 February 2014)

[2] National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage, clinical guideline CG154, London NICE, 2012. Available at: http://guidance.nice.org.uk/CG154 (accessed 18 February 2014) 

[3] Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, The effectsof a miscarriage on future pregnancies, London RCOG, 2008. Available at:http://www.rcog.org.uk/news/effects-first-miscarriage-future-pregnancies (accessed 18 February 2014) 

[4] Public Health Wales, A healthier North Wales: a healthy and safe weight for pregnancy, Cardiff PHW, 2013. Available from: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/66628 (accessed 25 February 2014)

[5] Rai R, Regan L, Recurrent miscarriage. Lancet 2006; 368(9535): 601-11

[6] Health and Social Care Information Center, Hospital episode statistics, NHS maternity statistics 2012-2013, London HSCIC, 2013. Available at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB12744  (accessed 18 February 2014)

[7] Health and Social Care Information Centre, NHS Maternity statistics England April 2010 to March 2011, London HSCIC, 2012. Available at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/article/2021/Website-Search?productid=10061&q=miscarriage&sort=Relevance&size=10&page=3&area=both#top (accessed 18 February 2014)

[8] Information Services Division Scotland, Scottish hospitals, healthy weight birth, Edinburgh ISD, 2012

In this section

Lifestyle statistics

Miscarriage statistics

Pre-eclampsia statistics

Premature birth statistics

Stillbirth statistics

Toxoplasmosis statistics

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On this page

Incidence of miscarriage

Relative risk of miscarriage

Risk of miscarriage at various ages

Repeated miscarriage

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