Miscarriage - Truth or Myth

Many women tend to blame themselves if they have a miscarriage. Since most miscarriages are completely out of the woman's control, it is very important to understand the facts about miscarriage. What causes a miscarriage? What doesn't cause one? Learning more about miscarriage can help to ease any guilt that you may have, and to understand the truth.

Statistics

Approximately 15% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Therefore, if you have had a miscarriage, you are certainly not alone. You are at higher risk for miscarrying if you are over 35 years of age. In addition, some studies have found that if the partner is over 40, this may also increase the risk of miscarrying more than the average statistic. If you've had two or more previous miscarriages, you also raise your risk of having more beyond the 15% norm. There are a few other issues that can lead to an increased chance of miscarrying. These include chronic problems like diabetes, cervical issues or uterine issues.

What Doesn't Cause a Miscarriage?

There are a number of things that people will say lead to miscarriage, but this is often misinformation. Excess stress is, certainly, not good for you, but it is not a leading cause of miscarrying. Some researchers have pointed to it being a factor in contributing to miscarriages, but most research has not pointed in this direction. Other things that people claim can lead to miscarriages are exercise, sex, work, lifting objects, and vomiting from morning sickness. Any of these things, in regular doses, will not lead to a miscarriage. Exercise is a smart thing to do while pregnant, as keeping fit will make you feel better and stay healthier. Regular sexual activity will not lead to miscarriages. Lifting objects, in general, will not contribute to a problem. Of course, you shouldn't lift many heavy objects over an extended period of time. But, assuming that you are using common sense with what you lift, these items will not cause you to miscarry.

Other Myths

People will often worry that their miscarriage was due to a fall in the snow, or a fall on a sidewalk, or to some similar event. In general, if you haven't injured yourself extensively, any fall is not likely to cause a miscarriage. If the injuries don't threaten your life, they probably won't threaten the fetus either. Some women say that sleep, or the lack thereof, can be tied to miscarriage. They are always tired and don't sleep enough. There is no research to support this idea.

What Could Contribute to Miscarrying?

There are, of course, certain behaviors that may contribute to miscarriages, and many of these are avoidable. Smoking, drinking alcohol and using drugs all make the risks for miscarrying higher. Caffeine has also been studied a great deal and may increase the risk of miscarriage. Research shows that there is a connection between large amounts of caffeine in the first trimester and miscarriages. While the research isn't conclusive, and doesn't yet explain exactly what quantities are dangerous, it is certainly best to avoid caffeine as much as possible during a pregnancy. Another factor that does contribute slightly to miscarriage rates is prenatal testing during pregnancy. There are a few tests, including amniocentesis, which can increase your chances of miscarrying. You should certainly speak to your doctor before allowing for any testing during pregnancy and decide, together, on the best prenatal course of action for you.

However, in general most miscarriages occur because of a chromosomal defect with the fetus.  And in this case, there is nothing you can do to prevent a miscarriage.

Miscarriages happen. This is a fact. Once you've experienced a miscarriage, and reach out to talk to others, you may be surprised to find how many people have miscarriages. Understanding the facts about miscarriage should help you to deal with the issues at hand, and to alleviate any guilt you may feel. Then, you can look to the future and, hopefully, to a healthy pregnancy and birth.

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