How does maternal age affect the risk of early pregnancy loss?

Updated: Nov 05, 2018
  • Author: Slava V Gaufberg, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Answer

Age and increased parity affect a woman's risk of miscarriage. In women younger than 20 years, miscarriage occurs in an estimated 12% of pregnancies. In women older than 20 years, miscarriage occurs in an estimated 26% of pregnancies.

Age primarily affects the oocyte. When oocytes from young women are used to create embryos for transfer to older recipients, implantation and pregnancy rates mimic those seen in younger women. The number of miscarriages and chromosomal anomalies decreases, suggesting that the uterus is not responsible for poor outcomes in women of advanced reproductive age.


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