A miscarriage is the loss (death) of a baby before the 20th week of pregnancy. The medical term for a miscarriage is spontaneous abortion, but the condition is not an abortion in the common definition of the term.
According to the March of Dimes, as many as 50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage -- most often before a woman misses a menstrual period or even knows she is pregnant. About 15% of recognized pregnancies will end in a miscarriage.
More than 80% of miscarriages occur within the first three months of pregnancy. Less likely they occur after 20 weeks gestation; these are termed late miscarriages.
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