Losing a baby within the first twenty weeks is no easy trial. There are numerous factors that increase the risk of a miscarriage. The good news is that even with all those factors, the chances of a recurrence are slim. The risk even takes a "nose dive" after the first 12 weeks. All-in-all, though the risk factors are many, a great deal of them may be avoided to ensure a better chance of carrying full-term.
A miscarriage is when a pregnant woman loses her baby within the first twenty weeks, and anytime after that is considered a stillbirth. Miscarriages are more common than people think. As a matter of fact, about 25 percent of women who become pregnant have a miscarriage at some point in their life. It can even happen early enough that the woman never knows she was pregnant. Between 15 and 20 percent of all diagnosed pregnancies end in a miscarriage in the first or early second trimester.
Chance chromosomal errors that occur while the embryo is first developing are the chief causes of most first trimester miscarriages. Unfortunately, some factors are simply unavoidable:
1) Age increase, especially after 35
2) Uterine fibroids, or noncancerous growths in the uterus that can go
undetected due to lack of symptoms, and other gynecological problems
3) Autoimmune disease, which is when the body mistakenly believes the fetus is
a threat and attacks it
4) History of two or more miscarriages
While other factors may be easier to side-step:
1) Using over the counter medications such as Ibuprofen or Aleve, naproxen
sodium, during early pregnancy
2) Alcohol or drug use during pregnancy
3) Cigarette smoking during pregnancy
4) Exposure to dangerous chemicals such as benzene, arsenic, or formaldehyde,
5) Heavy caffeine use during pregnancy
6) Disease or infection while pregnant
7) Physical trauma while pregnant
Recent studies are beginning to show that low folic acid levels may also increase the risk of a miscarriage. Though very rare, it is possible to miscarry three or more times, especially if the woman has an underlying medical problem, such as one of the following:
1) Polycystic ovary syndrome, or a hormonal imbalance that interferes with
2) Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, or a blood clotting disorder in which
the carrier's blood clots too quickly
3) Chromosome abnormality in one or both parents
Again, having three or more miscarriages is highly unusual.
Despite all the risks, carrying full term is obviously quite possible. Women who have previously had miscarriages are fully capable of having a child another time. Symptoms of a miscarriage include lower back and abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding or tissue passing, and fevers and sometimes sweating. Counseling is highly recommended, because so many women who miscarry blame themselves, and it is more often than not something out of their hands. After that first heartbeat pounds out on the ultrasound, it is all worth it. Avoid all the risks that can possibly be avoided, and motherhood will be right around the corner with her arms outstretched.
* DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor. This article is for informational purposes only. I am not liable for anyone's actions as a result of what I have written. All of my information is from my own personal experience and information from web searches, primarily WebMD.com. I urge readers to consult their doctors and further research before making any major decisions.
I miscarried at 22 weeks. We still do not know why. I had preterm labor but did not know I was in labor because I was suffering from hydronephrosis of my right kidney and the pain was excruciating! I'm sorry for your loss!
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.