Miscarriages are more common than they appear. Almost a fifth of pregnancies end up in miscarriages. Miscarriages can be devastating, especially if they occur late. Little is known about why miscarriages really occur. Yet, the universal occurrence suggests that the causes may be more natural than artificial.
Following are some of the most common known causes for miscarriage. At times, several of these may combine to give rise to the condition.
- Hormonal Imbalance During Pregnancy- This constitutes a chunk of all the cases related to miscarriage. The body requires an adequate balance of essential hormones such as progesterone to support pregnancy by helping the placenta to form and hold, and if a woman’s body does not produce enough of it, a miscarriage is very likely.
- Genetic causes such as Ovum and Sperm Incompatibility – As scientists unravel more about the human genome, suggestions have been made that indicate that certain genetic combinations may not be ideally suited for fetal development. In such a case where reproductive compatibility, miscarriages is a foregone conclusion.
- Chromosome Mismatch – The human sex cells, i.e. the ovum and the sperm contain 23 chromosomes each. In case they are not able to line up properly owing to a faulty chromosome, the embryo develops a chromosomal abnormality resulting in a miscarriage. Mismatched chromosomes account for around 60% of miscarriages.
- Placental Problems – The placenta usually develops by the end of the first month. For different reasons it may fail to develop. Further growth of the fetus is thus undermined in these scenarios.
- Dietary Stimulants – Certain components in the diet of an expectant mother act derogatorily and promote a miscarriage. Excessive caffeine is one good example – which being a stimulant and a diuretic can cause preterm birth or a miscarriage.
- Lack of a Proper Diet – Sometimes, lack of essential nutrients in the body acts as a trigger for miscarriages. Without essential nutrients present in requisite amounts, the fetal development is arrested. Some foods are also not recommended during pregnancy, which if consumed can cause a miscarriage.
- Immunologic Disorders– Many a time, adverse health conditions of the expectant mother may lead to miscarriage. The conditions of thyroid, uncontrolled diabetes, make the woman’s body view the sperm as a foreign body and does not accept the embryo as its own – causing it to be expelled from the body.
- Disorders Related to the Female Reproductive System – These may be diverse, ranging from weakened cervix to non receptive uterus. The cervix dilates itself much before the end of pregnancy. Some women have a divided uterine which does not let the embryo plant itself, and even if it does, it is not able to get optimum nutrition. To prevent miscarriage in these situations, the cervix is stitched through a procedure called a cerclage. PCOS (poly-cystic ovary syndrome) causes resistance to insulin, resulting in repeated miscarriages.
- Inability of the Zygote to Implant On The Walls Of The Uterus – Once the zygote has reached a critical stage; it needs to attach itself to the walls. For this it travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus ; however, if the zyogate does get stuck in the tube or is not pushed to the uterus, it may fail to attach itself on the uterus – thus resulting in a miscarriage.
- Unregulated Exposure to Irritants – Irritants such as chemicals used in driving away insects and pests may be a very important reason.Exposure to environmental toxins like lead, benzene, formaldehyde, arsenic etc also put a woman on a higher risk for a miscarriage.
- Bacterial Infections – Many bacteria live inside the human body, some of them even help the human process of reproduction. However, certain bacteria that live in the genitals of both men and women can cause infections and subsequently pose a risk of a miscarriage.
- Smoking, Drinking or Drugs- Habits such as excessive smoking and drinking have some correlation with the probability of a miscarriage; substances such as nicotine crosses the placenta and affects the fetal growth by interfering the blood supply. Experts suggest that it is best to avoid the two for the entire period of pregnancy and preferably thereafter.
- Medications – Sometimes, ongoing medications can conflict with pregnancy and unwanted reactions may occur eventually leading to a termination of pregnancy. Even if you have a simple cough or cold case, never pop pills without asking your doctor.
- Strenuous Sporting Activities – Pregnancy is a time when the body has to adapt. Undertaking strenuous activities like gymnastics, horseback riding, cycling etc where there is a risk of having a fall may act as a stimulant to miscarriage.
- Psychological Anxiety – The relation between the human nervous system and the endocrine system is very subtle but a fundamental one. Excessive stress and anxiety can act as a trigger many a time
Apart from the reasons that have been stated above, there are hosts of other reasons that have not yet been understood thoroughly. People have grown to accept the fact that it can occur even without a stimulus. However, there are certain remedial actions that can be undertaken in order to ensure that the fetus has greater chances of making it past the first three months.
Signs of a Miscarriage:
Vaginal spotting or bleeding is the most common sign of a miscarriage. Abdominal pain, cramps, pelvic pressure, along with fever and chills are also indications that something is wrong with your pregnancy. If you have Rh-negative blood type, a shot of Rh immune globulin within two or three days after you first notice bleeding, unless the baby’s father is Rh-negative as well. In any such case, do call your doctor immediately.
In the unfortunate event of a loss of pregnancy, hope must not be lost and after proper consultation from the doctor, you can try again.