<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1498408833818268&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

Pregnancy Loss is Common. Pregnancy Loss is Hard. Pregnancy Loss is Not Your Fault.

For those who have gone through it, miscarriage is a heart-wrenching experience. 

It is hard to juxtapose the elation that comes with a positive pregnancy test alongside the shock, sadness and grief of an unexpected loss. 

I am here to tell you that you are not alone.

I want to emphasize that there is nothing you did to cause your miscarriage.

As a reproductive endocrinologist who has completed a fellowship in recurrent pregnancy loss, I would like to share insight, perspective and knowledge to support you on your journey.

Pregnancy loss is common.

Based on the available studies, we know that the rate of pregnancy loss is approximately 25%. Another way to look at this: at least 1 in 4 women will experience a pregnancy loss(es) during their reproductive life. However, due to the fact that some women may miscarry before they even know that they are pregnant, the actual rate of pregnancy loss is likely a little higher. Approximately 50-70% of pregnancy losses that occur before 10 weeks are due to a random chromosome error  or “genetic error.” These losses should be considered “explained” pregnancy losses because the chromosome or “genetic” error often will not allow the pregnancy to develop normally. 

Sadly, the risk of pregnancy losses increases with age.

Although every woman is a little different, generally speaking, the risk of pregnancy loss stays constant at around 25% until a woman reaches the age of 35. Beyond 35, as the quantity and quality of a woman’s eggs decline, the remaining eggs are more likely to undergo a random chromosome error at the time of fertilization (when the egg and sperm meet) compared to the eggs present earlier on in her reproductive life. Specifically, studies have shown, there is an increase in the rate of trisomy. A trisomy occurs when a pregnancy has three copies of a particular chromosome instead of the normal two copies. One common example of a trisomy is Trisomy 21, better known as Down’s Syndrome. Although we cannot counteract these age-related changes, we are able to perform genetic testing at the time of a pregnancy loss in order to help determine if the pregnancy loss is “explained” by a random chromosome error, if the couple desires. Additionally, for couples undergoing in vitro fertilization, your doctor may recommend pre-implantation genetic testing on your embryos in order to help select embryos with normal chromosomes for embryo transfer. 

Pregnancy loss is hard and it is not your fault.

Many women do not feel comfortable talking about their pregnancy loss. They hold in their pain and many do not realize that so many women around them have also been through the same experience. My goal is to help increase awareness on how common pregnancy losses occur. As a society, I believe we need to do a better job of removing the negative stigma surrounding pregnancy loss. With so many women experiencing a loss in their lifetime, no woman should feel “less than” as a result. 

Pregnancy loss is painful, and I want for women to be able to talk about their loss with someone they trust. This could be your partner, friends, family, doctor, someone in your religious community, a pregnancy loss support group or a clinical psychologist who specializes in infertility. Once you start sharing your story, I think you will be surprised to learn that many others you know have also experienced a loss. We encourage you to join our free, virtual pregnancy loss support group

Take the time you need to grieve and heal. Be kind to yourself and remember that pregnancy loss is not your fault. When you are ready to try again, try to be hopeful. Most who experience a loss go on to have a successful pregnancy. I am wishing you happiness and health as you move forward on your journey to a family.


burks chatmon- Dr. Channing Burks Chatmon is a reproductive endocrinologist and board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist who is passionate about supporting and guiding patients with personalized and evidence-based treatment options to fulfill their dream of having a family.