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There is usually nothing that can be done to stop a miscarriage from happening. There are some ways you can reduce your risk of miscarriage.

Miscarriage is very common. In most cases it's not possible to explain why a miscarriage happens. This is especially true if the miscarriage occurs in the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy.

Most miscarriages are not caused by anything the mother has done.

Stress is not good for your overall health. But there is no evidence that it causes miscarriage. Even severe emotional stress and depression have not been linked to miscarriage. Getting a shock during your pregnancy does not cause miscarriage either.


Experts say most miscarriages happen because of an issue with the baby’s chromosomes. Chromosomes are part of a person's genes. They guide a baby’s development. Miscarriage can happen if a baby has too many chromosomes or too few.

Pregnancy loss after 24 weeks is known as stillbirth.

Find out what to do if you have a stillbirth.

page last reviewed: 20/11/2018
next review due: 20/11/2021