A miscarriage or the loss of pregnancy is a case where the fetus loses its life before maturing. This generally happens before the fetus crosses the mark of 20 weeks in the gestational period.
The causes and reasons that lead to a miscarriage are countless and most often it is beyond your reign. Learn about the causes and risks of pregnancy loss in detail below.
When a couple goes through a miscarriage, the first question that they ask is why? Why us? It’s obvious that a miscarriage comes with a long-lasting emotional breakdown. But what makes it more devastating is the scarcity of knowledge related to why the miscarriage happened.
Miscarriages in the first trimester are very commonly found and finding the actual reason for it is difficult. It is often seen couples blaming themselves who have undergone a miscarriage. Well, you wouldn’t have done it knowingly!
Get an insight into the causes of miscarriages or pregnancy loss and ways to prevent it.
Causes Of Miscarriages
Mostly, miscarriages take place due to a genetic abnormality inside of the embryo. However, numerous other factors can be the reason as well such as thyroid dysfunctions, high diabetes, excessive drug abuse, underlying immunological disease, etc.
According to a study, about 70% of the first trimester miscarriages and 30% of second-trimester miscarriages take place due to defects found in the genes of the fetus. When fertilization takes place, both egg and sperm deliver 23 chromosomes together so as to make a perfect pair. Because it is a complicated process, sometimes a minor fault may occur that leads to a chromosomal malformation.
Pregnant women above the age of 35 are more prone to delivering babies with chromosomal malformation. This happens because as the woman gets older, so her eggs age too. Similarly, the sperm’s age is also important in this case. Miscarriages are more common among older women as compared to women below the age of 22.
Women with thyroid disorders are subject to infertility and continuous miscarriages, whether it is hyperthyroidism(high) or hypothyroidism(low). When a woman has hypothyroidism, her body will more likely produce more hormones to neutralize and that surely will withhold the ovulation process. Likewise, in the case of hyperthyroidism, too much hormone production affects the estrogen levels in the body and disables the uterus from implantation. It also causes irregular uterine bleeding as well.
A diabetic woman needs to consult her doctor or an endocrinologist to control her sugar levels during pregnancy. Diabetic women with insulin dependency are at a high risk of miscarriages in the first trimester and also birth defects.
Rare causes of miscarriages are the physical problems that a mother goes through that usually take place in the second trimester or the third trimester. Some of them include:
- Women with the septum, a rare uterine disorder are at a risk of miscarriage.
- Uterine fibroids can put you in trouble because it obstructs the passage of blood supply to the embryo.
- Some women develop uterus tissue scars from surgeries or abortions that prevent the egg from properly getting implanted. This hinders the passage of blood flow towards the placenta.
X-rays help determine all types of uterine defects that you need to detect before pregnancy with the help of your doctor. A number of such defects are curable and that reduces the chances of miscarriages.
There are times when a pregnant woman is not capable enough to produce a sufficient amount of hormone progesterone that will help her uterine lining to withhold the fetus and the placenta to come into effect.
This is a rare condition which is why it is not tested in pregnant ladies unless they have had multiple cases of miscarriages. Hormonal imbalance can be rectified and treated through medication.
Drug overuse, alcohol consumption
Modern-day lifestyle and certain habits like excessive drug usage, alcohol consumption and smoking during pregnancy, etc have been considered causes of first trimester miscarriages.
Miscarriages can happen due to numerous autoimmune disorders, as stated by the experts. When you have an underlying immunological disorder, getting pregnant and delivering a healthy baby happens in the rarest of the rare cases because the body simply doesn’t take responsibility for the pregnancy.
Chronic diseases such as heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, can also be interlinked in leading to miscarriages. Make sure to consult an experienced obstetrician who has dealt with pregnant women with such conditions.
Signs And Symptoms Of Miscarriage
Depending on which trimester, you are in, miscarriages vary from symptom to symptom. At times, a miscarriage is so quick, it is gone before you even know it.
Some of the commonest symptoms include:
- Heavy vaginal blood discharge
- Blood tissue found in vaginal discharge
- Weight loss
- Excessive pain in the abdomen
- Severe abdomen cramps
- Sudden Back pain
Visit the doctor immediately when you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms during your pregnancy before it becomes too late. There are times, these symptoms can arise during pregnancy without a miscarriage, but very rare. Get yourself tested by the doctor to be on the safer side.
Risk Factors That Lead To Miscarriage
Here is a list of some risk factors that can be the root cause for miscarriages, they are
- Accidents, grief, or depression. If you go through any Maternal trauma or you find yourself emotionally ill, pregnancy can be difficult for you.
- Medication. There are medicines that can mix together and create a glitch in your body if not taken under medical supervision.
- Listeria, commonly known to be found in raw eggs, undercooked red meats, and even in unpasteurized milk products.
- Maternal and paternal age above 35.
- High fever in the first phase of pregnancy. If you have a high body temperature in your early pregnancy days, it might damage the embryo.
How To Prevent The Risk Of Pregnancy Loss?
Many miscarriages cannot be prevented, however consulting experienced doctors in the field can help you conceive the right way and fight all odds to give you a healthy pregnancy.
In order to prevent miscarriages, one needs to understand pregnancy and things that you need to avoid completely.
Get ready for the probable pregnancy
50% of the pregnancies are accidental which explains that women are not prepared for their pregnancies. And there are women who do not realize being pregnant until several weeks have passed by after their missed period.
Until now, the fetus has already formed its spinal cord and its heart has started to beat. Realizing about being pregnant from the very first days is important for a baby’s growth.
Getting ready for pregnancy means you need to modify your diet, exercise routine, cutting out on stress, looking up many chronic conditions, and taking prenatal vitamins.
Consult your doctor before conception
If you are planning to get pregnant, make sure to schedule a doctor’s visit to discuss things in detail. The doctor will go through your medical history and make changes in your lifestyle.
You will also be sent for a blood test to check the blood type, chickenpox, Rh factor, and rubella immunity. Your doctor will vaccinate you for these infections if you haven’t taken your shot already. However, if you are already expecting, you can’t be vaccinated.
Healthy and balanced diet
Getting a good amount of healthy and well-balanced diet is certainly the right way to get all the nutrients and vitamins your body needs to support the baby’s growth. Even if you are taking prenatal vitamin supplements, a healthy and balanced diet is a must.
An adequate number of fresh fruits and green veggies are a great source of nutrients. They can also lower your risks of pregnancy loss.
Exercise during pregnancy
Exercising and staying active during pregnancy is as important as following a nutritional diet but in moderation. Keeping yourself physically active should be your goal in order to stay healthy. Keep in mind to choose the exercises that are light but effective and not like you are heavy lifting or running a marathon.
Rigorous exercising or heavyweight training can lead to a miscarriage as well. You must choose to exercise wisely with the help of experts beforehand for effective results.
Avoid contact sports during pregnancy as they can be risky and get you into injuries and risks of falling off that can harm your baby.
Pregnancy and caffeine
Doctors suggest pregnant women not exceed caffeine beverages of more than 200mg per day. This is an average suggestion, for best results consult your gynecologist.
Alcohol, smoking, and drugs during pregnancy
For women who are pregnant or planning to conceive, avoid alcohol and smoking for the sake of your baby’s better health, experts recommend.
Limiting their usage will not do any trick, you need to eliminate it completely from your diet for the best results.
Drugs and smoking during pregnancy can lead to a painful miscarriage, and if not, then deliver a baby with numerous health disorders.
Controlling Diabetes in pregnancy
When you have high levels of sugar in your blood, miscarriages and fetal disorders are round the corner. Gestational diabetes is another thing that women need to control. Take the help of your doctor to boost your health prior to your pregnancy.
Other chronic diseases like thyroids, immunological disorders, and diabetes can be dealt with better medication and carry out the pregnancy in a healthy manner if you approach the experts prior to the pregnancy period.
The bottom line
Although these strategies can help you in preventing a miscarriage, they can’t lower the chances caused due to chromosomal disorders. In some cases, miscarriages are supposed to happen and neither the doctors nor the couples can do anything to prevent it.
Whenever in doubt, talk to your doctor regarding pregnancy loss before jumping to conclusions.