Miscarriage describes pregnancy loss during the first 20 weeks or around the first to second trimester. Medical journals also refer to miscarriage as spontaneous abortion, which is the reverse of the induced abortion done in medical facilities. Up to 20 percent of pregnant women experience miscarriage and the majority of these women lose pregnancy during the first trimester. Miscarriage has numerous causes. Risk factors may increase the chances of miscarrying and women have different ways to get over the loss.

Causes of Miscarriage

Several factors can cause miscarriage ranging from chromosomal level to the mother’s health conditions.

Genetic Factors

Genetic factors are the foundation of development and abnormal development is one of the reasons why a woman miscarries. Genetic development failure affecting the chromosomal construction results to developmental process as it grows. Some abnormalities include the following:

  • Blighted ovum. This is the case where a fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall, but the embryo does not develop.
  • Molar pregnancy. This type of pregnancy is the development of a benign tumor in the uterus instead of having an actual fetus growing, which may seem like an actual pregnancy. Extra paternal chromosomes developed in the fertilized egg. The problematic genetic coding will transform the placenta into a mass or cyst that will grow. This case is often a rare cause of miscarriage.
  • Intrauterine fetal demise. Unlike blighted ovum, a forming embryo is already present in the uterus, but it stopped developing and resulted to its death even before the mother experiences signs of pregnancy.

Maternal Conditions

Several conditions of the mother can cause complications and affect pregnancy resulting to miscarriage. The following are some of the known conditions:

  • Thyroid problems
  • Hormone-related issues
  • Infections
  • Uterine and cervical problems
  • Uncontrolled diabetes

Individuals also have some misconceptions of several miscarriage causes. However, they don’t really trigger this problem and these claims are backed up by studies. Examples of these conditions or activities are:

  • Sexual intercourse
  • Exercise
  • Work or jobs where environment subjects mothers to radiation or chemicals

Risk Factors of Miscarriage

Every pregnant woman can miscarry, but several risk factors can increase the chances of losing pregnancy. Common risk factors include the following:

Factors Description

Risk Ractors


Age factor

Older women have higher tendency of miscarrying compared to women with younger age. Mothers of this age show higher risk in conceiving infants with chromosomal abnormalities. The prefect time for a women to conceive a baby is 24-28 years old.

Miscarriage history

Miscarriage risk likely increase with the number of times a woman gets pregnant. Pregnant women who miscarried twice or more have increased chances of miscarrying again.

Cervical or uterine issues

Congenital abnormalities in the uterus like adhesions, shorter cervix or also called cervix insufficiency increase the risk for miscarriage. Several studies about the linkage between uterine fibroids, or benign masses growing in the uterus, and miscarriage were conducted.

Chronic diseases

Blood clotting issues, poorly managed diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and other hormonal issues like polycystic ovary syndrome are among the risk factors of miscarriage.


Numerous studies state that infections boost risk factors for miscarriage. Examples of these infections are rubella, mumps, HIV, parvovirus, listeria, and measles.

Congenital defects and gene-related issues.

Genetic abnormalities experienced in previous pregnancies for the mother and other members of the family have a higher tendency of miscarrying than the usual.


Several medications boost miscarriage risk, whether they are over the counter medications or other NSAIDs. It’s vital to consult a physician first before taking medications while pregnant to prevent their adverse effects.

Environmental toxins

Being exposed to toxic environments and chemicals such as lead, arsenic, benzene and others can affect pregnancy and result to miscarriage.

Diet and lifestyle

Vices like smoking, drinking and drugs are known for boosting the risk of miscarriage. Other studies concentrating on other food components like caffeine can affect pregnancy and cause this unfortunate event.

Paternal factors

Fathers’ medical conditions can also affect pregnancy. This risk increases with the father’s age and negative effects on sperm due to toxic environments, like being exposed to industrial chemicals and harsh pesticides.


Several studies show some linkage between obesity and miscarriage.

Diagnostic procedures

Even medical conditions done during pregnancy can also boost miscarriage risk like amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling.

Symptoms of Miscarriage

Symptoms include cramping or pain on the lower back or abdomen, mucus or fluid flowing from the vagina, and spotting or bleeding. Fluids released through the vagina must be kept in a clear container and bring it to the physician for testing.

What Happens After Miscarriage?

An induced or spontaneous passing of the tissue can cause cramping and light bleeding for several days. Using pads or tampons and taking other medications like ibuprofen will deal with the cramping. Women who miscarried must avoid several activities like douching, swimming and sexual activities until spotting has completely stopped.

Heavy bleeding or increasing pain intensity is a sign of needing medical attention. Other signs like dizziness, feeling weak or lightheaded require emergency medical attention.

When Can Another Conception Be Possible?

Spontaneous or not, miscarriage will require women to take some time before trying to conceive again. In general, it will take around four to six weeks before a woman will have her period. Several experts may give a go signal for conception after the period, but it will be best to wait some more time to ensure complete physical and emotional recovery. Ovulation may occur within two weeks after miscarriage, so it is advisable to use contraceptives to prevent pregnancy before the mother is ready.

How to Cope With Pregnancy Loss

Coping with miscarriage is both on the physical and emotional level. Some women will feel that their body is ready to conceive again, but emotionally speaking, they are still not ready for the next baby. Women cope in various ways and on their own time. For some, coping means trying to get pregnant again right after miscarriage, while others will wait some months before trying again. Emotional burdens and feelings of sadness can be discussed with a care provider or therapists.

In general, a woman who miscarried must always think that she is not at fault in the problem and that the time for healing can take some time. This may require space off from other people or doing usual activity like work. As the partner understands the grief of the mother, the other individual may not grieve as much. And although space is crucial, it’s best for women to not withdraw from people. Numerous support groups can be useful in moving on and restoring quality of life.

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