Epidemiology and the medical causes of miscarriage

Baillieres Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2000 Oct;14(5):839-54. doi: 10.1053/beog.2000.0123.


Human reproduction is extraordinarily wasteful. The reasons for this have taxed all of the contributors to this book. As we move into the 21st century it is sobering to reflect on the fact that we have failed to harness the power of the evolving revolution in molecular medical biology to answer the fundamental question: why is the fate of a fertilized egg so hazardous and so unsuccessful? The following account summarizes our limited knowledge of the epidemiology of miscarriage and then moves on to consider some of the medical causes of miscarriage. The contribution of genetic abnormalities to the problem of pregnancy wastage is discussed elsewhere in this volume.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / epidemiology*
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / etiology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications*
  • Endocrine System Diseases / complications*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Hematologic Diseases / complications*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis*
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Assessment