What is a Miscarriage?

what is a miscarriage?

A miscarriage can leave you feeling confused, dazed, and grieved. You may feel overwhelmed with questions like, “what just happened?” or “what do I do now?”  

You don’t have to carry the weight of these questions alone. Care Pregnancy Resource Center is here to help you answer some of these questions and offer emotional support as you process this experience. 

What is a miscarriage?

A miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy and occurs before the 20th week of gestation, though most happen before the 12th week[1][2]. 

They typically happen because the development of the fetus is not progressing as it should, usually due to extra or missing chromosomes as the embryo divides and grows, not because something is wrong in the mother’s ability to carry the pregnancy[1]. 

Around 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage and typically occur in the first three months. Several happen so early in pregnancy that some women may not realize they’re experiencing a pregnancy loss because spotting or bleeding may happen around the time of their next menstrual period[1][2]. 


Some indications and symptoms of a miscarriage are:

  • Spotting or bleeding[1]
  • Pain or cramping that is usually more intense than period cramps[1][2]
  • Passing of fluid or tissue through your vagina[1]

Risk factors for a miscarriage

Some risk factors that could increase the chance of a miscarriage include:

  • Age: by the age of 40, a woman’s risk increases to about 25 percent. Miscarriages related to age are usually due to chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus[2]
  • Previous miscarriage: if you’ve one in the past, the likelihood of having another is slightly higher than someone who has not experienced a miscarriage[2]
  • Health conditions: some health conditions, like infection, hormonal imbalance, or problems with your uterus or cervix may increase the risk of experiencing a pregnancy loss[2]

Help after pregnancy loss

Though miscarriage is common, that doesn’t mean the experience is always light and easy. There can be incredible grief that comes with pregnancy loss.

If you need help after a pregnancy loss, we’re here to journey through this time of healing with you, when you’re ready.


  1. Miscarriage. Mayo Clinic (2021, October 16). https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pregnancy-loss-miscarriage/symptoms-causes/syc-20354298
  2. Miscarriage. Cleveland Clinic (2022, July 19). https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9688-miscarriage