Miscarriage & Birth Defects

Miscarriage

Approximately 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Most miscarriages occur in the first 12 weeks but a small number occur in the second trimester. The risk of miscarriage increases with maternal age and heavy cigarette smoking. If you have bleeding in early pregnancy, please call us to arrange an ultrasound scan. Bleeding in early pregnancy is quite common and does not always indicate a miscarriage.

Birth Defects

Approximately 3% of all liveborn babies have a birth defect. These defects can be minor or major and are not always detected on ultrasound scans performed during your pregnancy. The 19-20 week ultrasound scan, performed at a specialist ultrasound-scanning centre, aims to detect any birth defects. Generally about 70% of birth defects are detected on this scan.

At your appointments in our rooms we will often do an ultrasound to check the baby’s heartbeat and position. These scans are not detailed enough to look for birth defects and should not replace the 19-20 week ultrasound scan.

The information contained is not meant to replace medical advice.  Should you have any questions or concerns regarding your health, please contact your health care professional.

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