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Introduction Pregnancy is normally thought of as a time for joy and celebration However not all couples get to experience it quite that way For many couples their joy and celebration is cut short when they are devastated by the loss a miscarriage brings This loss is felt and handled uniquely by both partners However miscarriage is much more common than one would think and there are resources available to help these couples through this traumatic event What is a Miscarriage Description Statistics and Causes Miscarriage or spontaneous abortion is thought of as a pregnancy that ends on its own within the first 20 weeks Regardless of when the pregnancy ends a miscarriage is a common occurrence and affects many people It is very difficult to ascertain the actual number of miscarriages that take place because many occur before the mother even realizes she is pregnant However it is estimated that about half of all fertilized eggs die and are miscarried usually even before the woman knows she is pregnant WebMD 2001 p 1 In addition many miscarriages go unreported when they happen at home as the mothers do not seek medical attention Furthermore according to Daiter 2003 In the USA there is no formal reporting of pre-viable pregnancy losses to a centralized agency as there is with live birth statistics p 1 This loss of information can explain why it is so difficult to truly understand the substantial number of miscarriages that take place In the United States alone it is estimated that 600000 to 800000 miscarriages take place annually Bowles et al 2000 p 2 This equates to approximately 20 of all pregnancies or one in five ending in miscarriage Turkington 1995 p1 The majority of these miscarriages actually take place during the first 12 to 14 weeks Unfortunately the specific cause of a miscarriage has not yet been determined but there are several reasons that are normally considered when it does
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