What is pregnancy loss?

Published: 06/04/2023

Signs of miscarriage and signposting for support groups

According to the miscarriage association more than 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage. That is approximately a quarter of a million pregnancies a year. 

There are many types of pregnancy loss that you can experience such as:

  • Recurrent miscarriage 
  • Missed miscarriage 
  • Ectopic pregnancy 
  • Biochemical pregnancies 
  • Molar pregnancy 
  • Still birth

What do the different types of pregnancy loss mean?

A miscarriage is defined as the loss of a baby before 20 weeks.

A Recurrent miscarriage is where you have 3 or more miscarriages in a row. 

A Missed miscarriage is when the baby has passed away but is still in the women. Women often have no signs that this has happened. 

Ectopic pregnancy is when the pregnancy has grown in the fallopian tube instead of the womb. This pregnancy is a great danger to the women because of its location. 

Biochemical pregnancy is when the pregnancy fails at the very earlier stages. Most women receive a positive pregnancy test and then loss of symptoms followed by a negative test. 

A Molar pregnancy is when there is an abnormality with the fertilised egg meaning that the baby and placenta do not develop the way that they should after conception. 

Still birth is defined as a loss of pregnancy after 20 weeks.

All of the above result in the loss of a baby which can have a devastating impact both emotionally and physically. 

What are some of the signs of miscarriage:

  • Period like cramping pain
  • Contraction like lower abdominal pain 
  • Passing fluid from the vagina 
  • Bleeding or passing pregnancy tissue from the vagina

Can pregnancy loss be avoided? 

There is no evidence to suggest that stress or work or sex can cause miscarriages. Most times the miscarriage has nothing to do with anything that you have or haven’t done. Most times you never find out what happened. 

However, what is known is that more commonly miscarriages happen because the baby fails to develop properly and that is normally due to non-inherited chromosomal abnormalities. 

In some cases miscarriages can occur because of: 

  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Immune system 
  • Blood clotting disorders 
  • Uncontrolled endocrine problems 
  • Physical abnormalities with cervix or womb 
  • Bad infections with high fevers

Risk factors for miscarriage are:

  • Age
  • Smoking 
  • Consumption of alcohol 
  • History of previous miscarriages 

Pregnancy loss cannot be prevented but taking care of your body and living healthy is advised during pregnancy. 

If you have suffered a pregnancy loss it is important to have support, please see below support groups: 



If you have access to myTamarin Pregnancy Loss support through your employer, please book in a 1-1 consultation with our expert who can support you through this devastating time. 

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