Miscarriage Risks

Miscarriage Is Not Uncommon

Miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before the 24th week of gestation. There are some women who are more prone to experience a pregnancy loss than others, such as women with PCOS or those with some type of physiological disruption. However, many experts estimate that one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, mostly in the first trimester and often pregnancies are lost and the woman doesn't even know she's pregnant.

Indications that a miscarriage is about to happen include vaginal bleeding or discharge frequently accompanied by abdominal pain. Even though this can be a precursor to a threatened miscarriage, it is not always the case and many women go on to have a normal pregnancy and healthy baby. Other signs include the sudden disappearance of pregnancy signals, like nausea and sore breasts-there may be no bleeding at all. A sharp pain in the side of the abdomen could indicate an ectopic pregnancy.

Possible Causes Of Miscarriage

There are a number of possible causes of miscarriage, many have been identified and there are some that have not. What we do know about possible causes and risk factors include some well known possibilities. Genetics are a big risk factor as chance chromosomal abnormalities, resulting from a defective egg or sperm, produce an embryo with the wrong number of chromosomes or a chromosomal defect. The embryo frequently fails to thrive and a miscarriage results. Such immunological infections as German measles or an infection which is accompanied by a high fever can trigger a pregnancy loss. Women who have bacterial yeast infections are at much higher risk for miscarriage in their second trimester than those who do not have an infection.

Some Risk Factors Can Be Addressed, Some Can't

Anatomy can present risk in terms of misshapen reproductive organs, weak cervix or large fibroid tumors. Any of these can create a situation where the baby may not be able to grow properly or the weight of the baby, as it grows, becomes too much for the organs to handle and the pregnancy is lost. Hormonal irregularities, such as PCOS or even a pregnancy to a woman who is older, can be terminated through the imbalance of hormones. Luteal phase defect, which simply is the failure of the uterine lining to be adequate to support a pregnancy, prevents proper implantation of the fertilized egg. The embryo is in a precarious situation when it can't adhere properly to the uterine wall. Often excessive amounts of luteinizing hormone (LH) signal the egg to be released too soon and it does not complete the maturation process. Abnormalities in the chromosomes of the egg result from the early release which in turn causes a miscarriage. When it comes to hormones, it has been noted that women who miscarry tend to have hormonal imbalances.

Take Care Of The Basics

Of course, there are other well-known risk factors for miscarriage which can be addressed with attention to lifestyle changes, environmental alterations and diet and exercise. While a pregnancy loss may not be avoidable, when a woman recognizes the risks, she's better able to do what is necessary to help prevent miscarriage.


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