Epidemiology and Etiology of Early Pregnancy Disorders

  • E. R. Barnea


Pregnancy loss can be defined as an abortion which happens before 20 weeks of gestation. We will call those abortions occurring within the first 12 weeks early pregnancy loss (EPL). In 1956 Hertig et al. [1] described the morphologic features of abnormal eggs for the first time. In their study, they addressed the problem of pregnancy loss at the previllous stage and considered that it amounted to more or less 32% before the establishment of gestational amenorrhea. It is supposed that roughly 50% of all conceptions abort [2]. Moreover, the frequency of recurrent abortion (repeated pregnancy loss) increases after each incident: it has been evaluated at 12% after one loss, 25% after two, and 39% after three. The rate may increase even further with subsequent abortions [3]. By definition, habitual (recurrent) abortion needs three consecutive losses. Some authors consider that two consecutive incidents might be sufficient since the likelihood of pregnancy loss has increased twofold. Conversely, after a normal pregnancy, with a healthy child, the likelihood of subsequent abortion decreases.


Early Pregnancy Luteal Phase Corpus Luteum Spontaneous Abortion Polycystic Ovary 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

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  • E. R. Barnea

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