Also known as spontaneous abortion, miscarriage is the most frequent complication encountered during early pregnancy and consists of unwanted and unplanned pregnancy termination. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here
At this point, the fetus is not fully developed to live on its own. Miscarriage is mostly prevalent during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy and accounts for 20% of all pregnancies.
The most common 7 miscarriage risks include the following.
Smoking, alcohol and possibly caffeine are serious risks factors hindering the proper development of the fetus. For instance, active or passive smoking can cause chromosomal disturbances due to the fact that it lowers the oxygen supply necessary for the baby. Any amount of alcohol can cause fetal malformations and also fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), which could lead to miscarriage.
Medical conditions and previous miscarriage on account of hormonal or genetic factors are another risk. Pregnant women suffering from chronic ailments such as uncontrolled diabetes, severe hypothyroidism and hypertension are more likely to face pregnancy loss.
Gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) needs to be properly controlled so as to prevent further complications. Other factors which pose an increased risk of miscarriage include preeclampsia (high blood pressure) during pregnancy affecting both the mother and the fetus, autoimmune diseases which cause genetic abnormalities in the fetus, rubella and sexually transmitted Chlamydia infections. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a major risk factor that leads to about 50% of the pregnancies to be lost.
To avoid spontaneous abortion, pregnant women should ideally have a balanced weight, because being underweight or overweight are both risk factors for an increased chance of miscarriage.
Exposure to environmental toxic chemicals and intake of harmful medications (barbiturates, antidepressants, some antibiotics) which are contraindicated during pregnancy also lead to increased miscarriage risks.
Low Folic acid levels and progesterone deficiency, especially during the first trimester when spontaneous abortion is more prevalent, are also risk factors. Early pregnancy loss (chemical pregnancy) can be prevented by supplementing the mother’s diet with B vitamin complex including folate, which greatly decreases the risk of neural tube defects in the fetus and aids in fetal development.
The risk of spontaneous abortion increases with the age of the mother. Furthermore, the use of the intrauterine device (IUD) during conception and excessive exercise are also common risk factors.
Stress and double or multiple pregnancies are also risk factors that might lead to spontaneous abortion.
Prenatal care is crucial for the pregnant woman so as to prevent fetal complications such as miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. During the first two trimesters, medical check-ups are in order once a month.
The first symptom of a possible miscarriage is bleeding, which signals the need to seek medical attention. Risks of recurrent pregnancy loss or recurrent miscarriage include ovarian and uterine abnormalities, endocrine and chromosomal disorders, immune and lifestyle factors.
Pinpointing the cause of a miscarriage can aid in avoiding such unfortunate complications in future pregnancies.