Miscarriage is one of the most common problems in early pregnancy. It is when a baby does not grow and die inside you. Sadly, about one-quarter of all pregnancies end in miscarriages.
What causes a miscarriage in your first trimester? Most miscarriages occur during the first few months of pregnancy. At least 85% of miscarriages happen before the 12th week. And sometimes a miscarriage is a pregnancy that ends in the uterus before 20 weeks. The woman might lose her baby before she knows she is pregnant.
Although miscarriage is common, it can be a very scary and traumatic experience. There are many different causes of miscarriage, and some women experience no symptoms at all. This blog post will explore 11 common causes of miscarriages and the associated symptoms.
In This Article
What is Miscarriage?
Miscarriage is a very common occurrence that affects as many as one-third of all pregnancies. In the first two months following fertilization, up to 15% of recognized pregnancies will miscarry. Despite being wanted and planned by the parents 4% before week 16 and 11% between weeks 16 and 20.
A miscarriage is when a woman has an unintentional pregnancy loss. When a fetus or child dies, it is not always because of something the mother did. Sometimes it is because of something that happened to them. And that increases the risk of miscarriage.
Most are due to naturally occurring abnormalities with the embryo that was never detected during gestation. Sometimes they are caused by health problems with the fetus. But only occasionally does it occur after an accident or injury that may have happened during pregnancy.
Miscarriage is also known as spontaneous abortion and pregnancy loss. It is the natural termination of a pregnancy during the first 20 weeks. Early pregnancy loss occurs when the embryo or fetus dies during pregnancy. This can happen for different reasons, but all will cause vaginal bleeding in some form or another.
Why Do Miscarriages Happen?
To understand why a miscarriage might happen, it helps to know a little about the basics of pregnancy. A fertilized egg attaches itself to the walls of your uterus and develops into an embryo. During this time, the body begins preparing for its arrival by growing hormone receptors. In order to receive certain hormones produced by both you and your baby.
After about seven days, an embryo implants itself into the uterine wall. The developing fetus is now called an infant. Six to twelve days after implantation, neural tissue starts to form and allows for the first primitive brain waves to occur. At this time your baby also has its own blood type. That can be detected even before you miss a period. By two weeks after conception, the placenta is now completely formed and taking overall hormone production from now on.
In a mother’s first trimester of pregnancy, 90% will go on to have a healthy baby. While there are many reasons why miscarriages happen, most occur because of chromosomal abnormalities with the developing baby. In the United States, 2% of pregnant women will experience a miscarriage in their first trimester. That means that for every 100 pregnancies there are about 5 to 7 miscarriages.
Most of these losses occur within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and 70 percent by week 10. This can be a very stressful time for expecting parents. Women do not need to wait until the end of their first trimester before telling anyone about a pregnancy. Sharing their news as soon as they take a pregnancy test can help them prepare for the possibilities that arise during this time.
11 Most Common Causes of Miscarriage
There are many things that can cause a miscarriage. What things that can cause a miscarriage in the first 8 weeks? What reason behind causes of miscarriage at 9 weeks? It is estimated that around 50% of miscarriages have no known cause. In a normal pregnancy, a fertilized egg would normally implant itself in the uterine wall and grow into a healthy baby. But sometimes things go wrong during this process that leads to a miscarriage. Below you will find some common risk factors or causes of miscarriage.
1. Chromosomal abnormalities:
Chromosomes carry genetic material and they can either have too many or too few chromosomes. When this happens, it causes a chromosomal abnormality that can lead to a miscarriage. There are many chromosomal abnormalities that can cause miscarriage. And these are the main miscarriage reasons.
The most common of which is called Trisomy, where the fetus has extra chromosome problems. Other abnormalities include having missing chromosomes or having an abnormal number of chromosomes. One example of this type of abnormality is Trisomy 21 which is also known as Down Syndrome.
2. Uterine abnormalities:
This is a condition where there might be an irregular shape to the uterus which can cause a difficult pregnancy. A maternal age woman with this condition might have trouble conceiving and carrying the baby to full term. These include uterine defects such as the septate uterus.
One such abnormality is when the uterine septum ruptures. Which can cause blood flow between the two sides of the uterus to be blocked. Where there is a separation in the uterus that causes problems with implantation and growth of the fetus. For a successful pregnancy, women should be more careful about these causes. Which increases the risk factors or early miscarriage.
3 Environmental Toxins:
Exposure to environmental toxins can increase having the risk of miscarriage. Some of these include agricultural chemicals, heavy metals, and pesticides. Environmental toxins can damage a fetus’s DNA and can increase the risk for chromosomal abnormalities. These substances are often found in household cleaning products, drugs, food items, cosmetics, and personal care products. Because of this causes women can face repeated miscarriages at their maternal age.
4. Genetic Abnormalities:
Some women suffer from an inherited illness that might lead to a recurrent miscarriage. Some of these include conditions that affect the immune body system. Such as include cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia. Where the baby has inherited the disease from one or both parents. In their genetic makeup and is at risk of suffering from it themselves. Genetic issues such as these might cause an early miscarriage because of the effect it has on recurrent pregnancy loss.
5. Hormonal imbalance:
Women with hormonal imbalance are at an increased risk of miscarriage. This includes women suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Where the hormone levels in their body are unbalanced which can cause problems during pregnancy. There might be too much estrogen or too little (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) progesterone levels that might affect the implantation and growth of the fetus. Hormonal imbalance is also a reason for the increased risk of having a healthy pregnancy.
6. Long-term health conditions:
Some women suffer from an underlying health condition where pregnancy might put their life at risk. This includes conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes. Any issues that affect a woman’s circulation or organs might cause long-term damage to the baby and raise the risk for miscarriage. Some women might lose their children before they even know they become pregnant. While other women suffer from what is called trimester miscarriages. In the first trimester of their pregnancy women should be more careful about their health for having a healthy pregnancy.
7. Chronic conditions:
The chronic condition affects a person on a long-term basis. These conditions might include autoimmune illnesses, blood clots, etc. Women with chronic conditions might suffer from a miscarriage because of the effect it has on their bodies. This means that there is likely to be an increased risk of miscarriage. And suffering from complications during pregnancy. Women with chronic conditions are more likely to have second-trimester miscarriages.
8. Using of drugs, Alcohol, Smoking:
Women who use illicit drugs and alcohol during pregnancy are at a higher risk of suffering from a miscarriage. Alcohol and drug abuse might also lead to birth defects in the baby. It is reported that women who smoke at least one pack daily have an increased risk of miscarriage. There has been researching done on the effects of cigarette smoke on the baby. It shows that smoking while pregnant does result in fetal growth retardation.
9. Immunological Disorders:
There are some pregnant women who suffer from an immune disorder that might cause them to miscarry. These include conditions such as lupus and antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). Where the body treats its own tissues as foreign bodies and attacks them. This is also the case with women who have an autoimmune disease.
This usually affects one or more of their organs and might affect the baby during pregnancy. Immunological disorders mainly affect women in the second trimester of their pregnancy. And it’s one of the main reasons for increasing the greater risk of miscarriage.
10. Rheumatoid arthritis retinoids:
According to the American Pregnancy Association, this causes a slight risk of early miscarriages, birth defects, and a chance of future pregnancies. Doctors provide medical advice on some medications to pregnant women suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. These medications include retinoids which can affect the baby’s growth and increase the risk for a miscarriage. Women with conditions such as these are likely to suffer from recurrent miscarriages. Sometimes harmful chemicals and lifestyle factors also cause the first-trimester miscarriage.
11. Autoimmune disorders:
Some women have an autoimmune disorder where their body attacks itself as if it were a foreign object. Women suffering from autoimmune disorders are at a higher risk of having recurrent miscarriages. This is because the immune system attacks the embryo by mistake leading to its death.
In some cases, these women miscarry because of this effect. These are disorders where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks itself. Some of these include Lupus and Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) also known as just plain ‘lupus’.
What are the Symptoms of a Miscarriage?
The symptoms of miscarriage depend on how far along the woman is in her pregnancy. A miscarriage can be minor or major for an individual and symptoms will vary accordingly. The symptoms also depend on when exactly the miscarriage occurs in the pregnancy cycle. Look at below to know some major symptoms of Miscarriage.
1. White-Pink Mucus:
Some women might experience white-pink mucus when they are experiencing a miscarriage. White and pink colors in the mucus are due to blood clotting disorders in the uterus. Women also might experience spotting before the loss of the baby.
Some women might experience some discharge when they are miscarrying their babies. Blood clots, pregnancy tissue, and embryonic cells come out along with blood. While an unborn baby is being lost. Sometimes the blood mixes up with urine which causes a brownish color to appear. And it is the reason for an abnormally shaped womb that also affect pregnancy cycle of most women.
The majority of women experience bleeding during a miscarriage. This can vary from light to heavy bleeding. Some women might not even notice the bleeding until they pass fetal tissue or parts of the placenta. Additionally, there are some women who experience spotting before their miscarriage happens. Some women also experience extreme pain while miscarrying their babies. Most women can experience bleeding in their late miscarriages.
3. Weight loss:
Miscarriage is the loss of a baby from a woman’s uterus. This can cause women to lose weight in most cases. Some women have a miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy or in their second trimester. Might not even notice that they are losing their babies. However, other women who miscarry after the first trimester miscarriages will lose weight due to physical changes to their bodies and hormones. Pregnant women can also suffer from food poisoning sometimes due to weight gaining.
Miscarriages often initiate contractions. The cramps may cause the uterus to contract, initiating its 1-2 day process of miscarrying the baby. Once the uterus contracts. It expels the body of the baby which is called the embryo or product of conception. This process can stress other organs in your body, causing them to contract as well you can suffer from food poisoning. These include the stomach, intestines, and bladder. It is important to drink plenty of water when you are miscarrying your unborn baby in order to ease this process.
5. Belly pain:
Miscarriages often result in cramping and abdominal pain for women during their miscarriage process. The cramps are similar to period cramps which make it difficult to distinguish between the two. Women should note any changes in vaginal or pelvic pain when they miscarrying their babies. If expected mother health conditions aren’t good so regular prenatal visits are a must for parents who expecting their first baby as well.
6. Severe Cramps:
The cramps might be mild or severe which can trigger other symptoms for women miscarrying their babies. These include fatigue, fever, nausea, vomiting, etc. Women should contact their health care provider immediately if they experience these symptoms when miscarrying their babies to avoid complications. Cramps can also be the symptoms of a baby dies in a fetus. According to a British medical journal if women already had faced two or more miscarriages and expecting their next baby. So it’s important to have some blood tests or medical tests for mothers’ good health conditions.
How do you prevent miscarriage?
The sudden and painful loss of a pregnancy can be one of the most traumatic experiences a woman ever has. It’s estimated that more than 50% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. So, what can you do to prevent it? Here are some suggestions for expected mothers to prevent miscarriage.
1. Having a properly balanced diet:
Women should also eat healthy food while pregnant. Women should not eat raw or undercooked meat while pregnant. Especially if it has come in contact with unpasteurized milk. Women who are pregnant should take a prenatal vitamin daily. Prenatal vitamins can help reduce the risk of having a miscarriage during pregnancy. Instead, women should opt for cooked meat which is safe to eat when they are pregnant. For avoiding an incompetent cervix, weakened cervix, or genital herpes women should eat a properly balanced diet.
2 Have control over Chronic conditions:
It is not possible for women to control some of the chronic conditions that they might have. However, this does not mean that these conditions will cause them to miscarry their babies. Diabetes and high blood pressure are two common chronic conditions that do not affect most pregnancies if they are under proper medical supervision.
3. Avoid drugs, alcohol, smoking:
Women should avoid smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol when they are pregnant. Smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug use can cause harmful effects on the baby which might lead to miscarriage. Furthermore, these practices will also harm women who are trying to have children causing them to experience miscarriages as well.
4. Excercise in moderations:
It is important for women to exercise in moderation during their pregnancies to reduce the risk of miscarriages. Women should avoid performing strenuous activities when pregnant. But they can continue the regular physical activity that is not too taxing on their bodies. However, women should consult with their doctor before starting an exercise routine while pregnant. It should be helpful to avoid intrauterine fetal demise or maintaining the fetal heartbeat as well.
5. Manage stress:
It is also important that women get plenty of rest when they are pregnant. This way their bodies have the energy to sustain another human life. Women should avoid exerting themselves when they are pregnant. Since this might cause stress on their bodies which can lead to complications with the pregnancy. Another important thing that women need to do. When pregnant increase their intake of calcium and iron in order to help build strong bones for the baby. Avoid stress it helps you to have a successful pregnancy.
If you think that miscarriage is rare and difficult to diagnose, it’s not. One in four pregnancies ends as a miscarriage. The average woman has two miscarriages before she even knows she was pregnant. There are so many things that can make you have a miscarriage. The most common cause of early pregnancy loss is due to chromosomal abnormalities. Which can be the main reason for having a miscarriage at 7 weeks causes.
Other causes include infections. As listeria or chlamydia, autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, etc. are the main reasons for miscarriages. We’ve compiled a list of 11 common causes for miscarriages along with symptoms. So you know how best to take care of yourself moving forward. If you have any symptoms we have discussed above please contact your doctor immediately.