Miscarriages are common experiences during pregnancy. In Australia, a miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks gestation.
At a glance
- Miscarriage is a pregnancy loss before 20 weeks gestation
- It is common, occurring in around 1 in 4 pregnancies
- Recurrent miscarriage impacts 1-2% of women.
- You can download our printable Understanding Miscarriage Fact Sheet.
An early miscarriage is one that happens in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (first trimester). Around 85% of miscarriages occur in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Late miscarriage refers to a pregnancy loss between 13-20 weeks gestation or in the second trimester of pregnancy. Sometimes definitions differ slightly. Pregnancy loss occurring in the second trimester is much less common, occurring in 1 to 2 in 100 women.
Stillbirth is the loss of a pregnancy after 20 weeks. In Australia, six babies are stillborn every day.
In Australia, recurrent miscarriage is currently defined as 3 or more miscarriages in a row. Around 1-2% of women experience recurrent miscarriage.
How common is miscarriage?
In Australia, statistics on miscarriage are not collected so it’s difficult to know exactly how common it is. Sometimes a miscarriage happens when a woman isn’t aware she is pregnant or believes it to be a late period. We know that miscarriages occur in at least 15% of confirmed pregnancies. The actual miscarriage rate is likely to be much higher – we estimate it to be around 1 in 4 pregnancies.
Based on these rates and the number of births each year, we estimate around 285 miscarriages occur every day in Australia.
Up to 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage
Around 285 miscarriages occur every day
In Australia, over 100,000 couples are affected by miscarriage every year