Miscarriage statistics

Here, we talk about the statistics related to early miscarriage, second trimester loss (late miscarriage), recurrent miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.

What is a miscarriage?

A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy before the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. The most common symptom of miscarriage is vaginal bleeding, but there are other signs and symptoms to be aware of.

Find out more about types of miscarriage here.

Things that affect your risk of miscarriage

We don’t always know why miscarriage happens. But there are some things we know can increase the risk. This can include things like: 

It is important to know that there is a difference between risk and cause. Just because something increases the risk of miscarriage, it does not mean that it will necessarily cause a miscarriage.  

Find out more about causes of miscarriage.

Find out your chance of a successful pregnancy after miscarriage with our research-based Miscarriage Support Tool.

It is not your fault

Miscarriages very rarely happen because of something you did or didn’t do. The most common cause of early miscarriages (the most common type of miscarriage) is problems with the baby’s chromosomes, and these happen by chance.

Reducing the risk of miscarriage

Unfortunately, there isn’t anything you can do to guarantee a healthy pregnancy and most miscarriages cannot be prevented. But there are some things that will lower the risk of miscarriage.


General UK miscarriage statistics

An estimated 1 in 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage.

Most miscarriages happen in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (known as early miscarriage).

Early miscarriages happen to 10-20 in 100 (10 to 20%) of pregnancies.  

Second trimester loss (late miscarriage) happens to 1-2 in 100 (1 to 2%) of pregnancies.

Around 1 in 80 (1.25%) pregnancies are ectopic.

Most miscarriages are a ‘one-off’ and there is a good chance of having a successful pregnancy in the future.


Risk of miscarriage by week of pregnancy

There’s a lot of research showing that your risk of having a miscarriage goes down dramatically after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Beyond this, reliable research and statistics breaking down the risk of miscarriage by week of pregnancy don’t really exist.

Most people are very aware of the rate of miscarriage falling by the end of week 12 and this is supported by a lot of research, but there is another point earlier that the risk also goes down.

According to one study, once a pregnancy gets past 6/7 weeks and has a heartbeat, the risk of having a miscarriage drops to around 10%.

Many women will not be aware of this point and commonly the heartbeat is not checked until the first ultrasound scan around week 11/12. Those who have had fertility treatment or are having early scans for other reasons will be able to date their pregnancy accurately and will know when they have passed this milestone.

Find out your chance of a successful pregnancy after miscarriage with our research-based Miscarriage Support Tool.


Risk of recurrent miscarriage

When an early miscarriage happens 3 or more times it is called recurrent miscarriage.

The chance of having a miscarriage increases slightly with each miscarriage.

If the cause is unknown, 6 out of 10 women and birthing people who have had 3 miscarriages will go on to have a baby.

Sometimes there is a reason found for recurrent miscarriage, which may or may not be possible to treat. Sometimes no cause for recurrent miscarriage is found.

Most couples will have a successful pregnancy the next time, even after 3 miscarriages in a row.


Study shows risk decreases as pregnancy progresses

One research study of more than 300 women with a history of recurrent miscarriage showed that those who saw a heartbeat at 6 weeks of pregnancy had a 78% chance of the pregnancy continuing. It also showed that seeing a heartbeat at 8 weeks increased the chance of a continuing pregnancy to 98% and at 10 weeks that went up to 99.4%.15


Risk of miscarriage and fertility treatment/IVF

If you have had fertility problems in the past, you have a slightly higher risk of having an ectopic pregnancy

Research suggests that assisted reproduction (in vitro fertilisation etc) has a small, if any, increased risk of miscarriage in itself as a treatment. The usual risks of the women or birthing person’s age, biological father's age and previous pregnancy history apply.


Why miscarriage happens

Sometimes, doctors may be able to offer you tests and find out the cause of your miscarriage. If this happens, you may be able to have treatment to help prevent it from happening again. 

Unfortunately, sometimes doctors will not be able to find a reason why someone has miscarried.  

This area of research is underfunded, with many taking an unhelpful (and unique to pregnancy) approach of ‘It was not meant to be’.  

Research into why miscarriage happens is the only way we can save lives and prevent future loss.  

Tommy’s is funding the cost of the UK’s first national Miscarriage Research Centre and aims to halve the number of miscarriages by 2030 by funding medical research.



Join us for change  

Together we can make a difference. We need everyone's help to change the statistics and find out why miscarriages happen. You can sign up today to support Tommy's work.

“Having undertaken a huge amount of research and investigation throughout our journey, we have been advised and helped by, as well as undergone trials with, some of the best Tommy’s clinics in the country, run by the most amazing professors, consultants and midwives. ” 

Read Rubie's story here.

Tommy's has more information and support for those who have had a miscarriage here.


Media requests about miscarriage

We have clinicians, scientists, researchers and case studies available to speak about miscarriage for press and media. If you are interested in speaking to a clinician from the Tommy's miscarriage research centre, please contact the press office on 0207 398 3436 or email [email protected].


NHS. Miscarriage. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/miscarriage/ (Page last reviewed: 9 March 2022 Next review due: 9 March 2025)

Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists. Early miscarriage. https://www.rcog.org.uk/for-the-public/browse-all-patient-information-leaflets/early-miscarriage-patient-information-leaflet/ Published Sept 16 Reviewed every 3 years. Accessed March 2024. 

Prevalence | Background information | Miscarriage | CKS | NICE (Last revised Oct 2023) Accessed March 2024 

What Is An Ectopic Pregnancy? - The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust Accessed March 2024

Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists. Recurrent and late miscarriage. https://www.rcog.org.uk/for-the-public/browse-all-patient-information-leaflets/recurrent-and-late-miscarriage-patient-information-leaflet/. Published June 2023. Next review June 2026. Accessed March 2024.

Regan, Lesley (2019) Your pregnancy week by week: what to expect from conception to birth. Penguin Random House, London 

Tong S1, Kaur A, Walker SP, Bryant V, Onwude JL, Permezel M.  Miscarriage risk for asymptomatic women after a normal first-trimester prenatal visit. Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Mar;111(3):710-4. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e318163747c.

Recurrent Miscarriage Green-top Guideline No. 17 Lesley Regan, Rajendra Rai, Sotirios Saravelos, Tin-Chiu Li, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. First published: 19 June 2023. https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.17515

Brigham SA, Conlon C, Farquharson RG. A longitudinal study of pregnancy outcome following idiopathic recurrent miscarriage. Hum Reprod. 1999 Nov;14(11):2868-71. doi: 10.1093/humrep/14.11.2868. PMID: 10548638. 

Causes and risk factors | Background information | Ectopic pregnancy | CKS | NICE (Reviewed Feb 2023, Accessed March 2024) 

NHS. IVF. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ivf/risks/ (Page last reviewed: 18 October 2021 Next page due: 18 October 2024)

Schieve, Laura A. PhD; Tatham, Lilith DVM et al (2003) Spontaneous Abortion Among Pregnancies Conceived Using Assisted Reproductive Technology in the United States. Obstetrics & Gynecology: May 2003 - Volume 101 - Issue 5 - p 959–967

Wang JX1, Norman RJ et al (2004) Incidence of spontaneous abortion among pregnancies produced by assisted reproductive technology. Hum Reprod. 2004 Feb;19(2):272-7.

Jansen RP (1982) Spontaneous abortion incidence in the treatment of infertility. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1982 Jun 15;143(4):451-73.


Review dates
Reviewed: 07 March 2024
Next review: 07 March 2027