A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy during the first 23 weeks. The main sign of a miscarriage is vaginal bleeding. This may be followed by cramping and pain in the lower abdomen.
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.
- As many as 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage .
- Among women who know they are pregnant, it is estimated that 1 in 6 pregnancies end in miscarriage .
- 1 in 4 women experience a miscarriage in their lifetime .
- The majority of miscarriages happen in the first trimester - about three in every four miscarriages happen during this period. (This is why the Tommy’s National Miscarriage Research Centre is dedicated to exploring the causes of early miscarriage) .
- Most miscarriages in the first trimester are caused by chromosomal abnormalities in the baby .
- The overall risk of miscarriage under 12 weeks in known pregnancies is 1 in 5 .
- In women with a BMI over 30, the risk is 1 in 4 .
- 1 in every 80-90 pregnancies is ectopic, which is around 12,000 pregnancies a year .
- About 1 in 100 women in the UK experience recurrent miscarriages (three or more in a row) and more than 60% of these women go on to have a successful pregnancy .
The age of the mother also influences the risk of miscarriage :
- In women under 30, 1 in 10 pregnancies will end in miscarriage.
- In women aged 35-39, this increases to up to 2 in 10 pregnancies.
- In women over 45, more than half of all pregnancies will end in miscarriage.
- In 2016, the average age of mothers increased to 30.4 years, compared with 30.3 years in 2015 .
Research into why miscarriage happens is the only way we can save lives and prevent future loss. In 2016, Tommy’s opened the UK’s first national centre dedicated to miscarriage research.
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Marty Hayes wrote about his experience of miscarriage after not knowing where else to turn; 'miscarriage isn’t really the thing you chat about down the pub, or with your mates.'
We need to break the silence around men and miscarriage so fathers do not feel guilty for showing their grief.
Nicola Sturgeon’s miscarriage revelation is just one of the reasons women should not be asked why they don’t have children
Women should not have to explain, or worse, defend their lack of children.
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8. NHS Choices [accessed 10/01/2018] Ectopic pregnancy overview, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Ectopic-pregnancy/
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10. NHS Choices [accessed 10/01/2018] Miscarriage overview, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/miscarriage/
11. ONS (2017) Births in England and Wales 2016, Office of National Statistics, London, England, https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarri...Hide details