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Our response to new research on risk of miscarriage in older mothers

25th March 2019

New research has found that the risk of miscarriage is 32 per cent among women in their early 40s and 54 per cent over the age of 45.

The study, carried out by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, involved 420,000 women who became pregnant between 2009 and 2013, and was published in the British Medical Journal.

The research has been covered by the Daily Mail, MSN and Yahoo.

Our National Director, Ruth Bender Atik, said: “This research supports much of what the evidence has shown for many years.

“The risk of miscarriage increases as women get older, particularly after the age of 38 or 39, and it also increases with the number of previous miscarriages, especially after three or more.

“However, there are other reasons for miscarriage too, whatever a woman’s age, and there is still much that we just don’t know.

“The media often points to women choosing to start a family later in life so that they can focus on a career. However, there are so many reasons why people may be having their children later.

“Some people do not meet the right partner until they’re older, or they might not feel they’re financially able to support a family yet.  Perhaps there are fertility problems.

“It is worth noting that this research also highlights an increased risk of miscarriage for women under the age of 20.  But while there may be a biological ‘ideal time’ for pregnancy, life doesn’t necessarily work out that way.

“Whatever their age or circumstances, though, it’s important that women and their partners receive the care, support and understanding they need when faced with miscarriage.”

You can find more information about the causes of miscarriage and find support to explore any feelings you may be having here.

It may also help to read the experiences of others. Gail shares her story and discusses the difficulties facing older women who miscarry, when others don’t understand, here. And Holly writes here about her experience of miscarriage when she was 18-years-old.

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