Miscarriage is variously defined as: the expulsion or extraction of a fetus (embryo) weighing less than 500 g equivalent to approximately 22 weeks’ gestation (World Health Organization, 1977); or termination before fetal “viability” is achieved; or termination prior to 24 completed weeks of gestation (UK legal definition). The nomenclature of the various types of miscarriage is shown in Table 4.1. The incidence is 15% of clinically apparent pregnancies, but may be considerably higher if “occult” pregnancies are taken into account. Some 25% of women will have one or more miscarriages.
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