Merja Dahlbom DVM, PhD, Dipl.ECAR, tells us all we need to know.
Pregnancy loss may occur at any stage of pregnancy. When occurring during the first half of the pregnancy it is defined as embryonic death. Embryonic death often goes unobserved whereas when pregnancy loss during the second half, called an abortion, visible fetuses are seen.
Embryonic deaths are not uncommon. It is reported that in 10-11% of pregnancies embryonic
deaths happen. In pregnancies with embryonic deaths, 28.6 % of embryos are affected. It has been
reported that there are more embryonic losses in pregnancies with large litters. It may even be a
physiological phenomenon in such cases.
There are several known or suspected causes for embryonic death. However, it is often not easy or
even possible to precisely name the cause.