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Miscarriage

  • By: Deborah Davidson
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Miscarriage is one type of pregnancy loss within the larger category of perinatal loss. Perinatal loss is the death of a fetus or infant during pregnancy or around the time of birth. Medically, the most up-to-date definition of miscarriage, also termed spontaneous abortion, understands it to be the involuntary expulsion of a fetus prior to 20 weeks of gestation, or of a fetus weighing less than 500 grams. Weight is a factor because calculation of gestation is subject to inaccuracy. Both gestation and weight relate to fetal viability, most commonly taken to be age at which a fetus is able to survive outside of the womb.

Causes of Miscarriage

Miscarriage is the most common cause of pregnancy loss. Although miscarriage occurs in approximately 20 percent of pregnancies, ...

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