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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the chances of having a miscarriage?

    Is the risk greater in the first trimester?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1

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    Dr Inna Lieb

    GP (General Practitioner)

    Dr Lieb has over 7 years experience as a GP with special interests in women's health including ante-natal shared care with the Royal Hospital For … View Profile

    A miscarriage in the first trimester is very common. About 15% of pregnancies in the first trimester result in a miscarriage, some so early that it may miscarry after a few days without the women even realising that she has had one. The cause of these most likely is that the pregnancy was “faulty” most likely with severe chromosomal abnormality and the body recognised it on its own and gave a signal not to progress with the pregnancy. Recurrent miscarriages are less common and always investigated for secondary causes such as clotting abnormalities and lupus to name just a few.

  • 1

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    Women's Health Queensland Wide provides free health information for Queensland women. View Profile

    Miscarriage happens when a pregnancy stops growing. Eventually, the pregnancy tissue will pass out of the body. Some women will feel crampy, period-like pain and in most cases there will be vaginal bleeding. Miscarriage is very common in the first few weeks of pregnancy. Studies show that up to one in five women, who know they are pregnant, will have a miscarriage before 20 weeks. Most of these happen in the first 12 weeks. The actual rate of miscarriage is even higher because some women have very early miscarriages without ever realising that they were pregnant.

    If a woman miscarries it is unlikely that she will miscarry again, and very unusual for her to miscarry a third time. When women do miscarry three or more times, tests can be done to look for a cause.

    Brenda
    Women’s Health Educator
    Health Information Line
    Women’s Health Queensland Wide

    Women living in Queensland can also call our Health Information Line - a free information and referral service for Queensland women - on 3839 9988 or 1800 017 676 (toll free outside Brisbane). Please note that all health information provided by Women’s Health Queensland Wide is subject to this disclaimer

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    Dr Gary Sykes

    Obstetrician

    Dr Gary Sykes is a graduate Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (M.B, B.S.) from Sydney University. He commenced his initial postgraduate training at … View Profile

    I agree with the above comments.

    The generally quoted risk is about 20% or 1 in 5 pregnancies.

    But in actuality it is likely to be more. Many women have experienced a ‘funny late period’, which is actually a miscarriage, though she did not realise it / confirm she was pregnant at the time.
     
    To tell a patient this incidence after she has had a miscarriage is very reassuring for her, as she realises that she is not alone.

    Also what is reassuring is when friend or relative tells her after she finds out  “I had one of them”. It is not something that a woman publicly talks about, but she certainly shares this very personal information to support a friend or family member who has just experienced the tragedy of a pregnancy loss.

    Also check out my web site at http://www.obstetricexcellence.com.au/questions-and-answers/miscarriage

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