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What Can Cause a Miscarriage

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Authored by Kristian Keefer in Pregnancy 
Published on 02-10-2009

A miscarriage is a tragedy for expectant parents and their entire family. There are some potential causes of miscarriage. Aside from a healthy lifestyle, there is not much a couple can do to prevent a miscarriage. Sadly, many losses have no identifiable cause. Luckily, most couples who experience the heartache of a miscarriage can go on to experience the joy of a healthy baby someday.

The majority of all miscarriages occur without warning or a cause that can be pinpointed. A miscarriage is often the result of a chromosomal abnormality present from conception. If a developing fetus has a severe genetic abnormality, a miscarriage can result. Although miscarriages can be noted up to the 22nd week of pregnancy, a majority of miscarriages occur within the first 12 or 13 weeks.

If a miscarriage occurs later in the first trimester or early in the second trimester, a maternal health crisis might be the cause. Kidney disease can result in a miscarriage. If a mother had diabetes that was not controlled well before becoming pregnant, she has in increased risk of a miscarriage. The same is true if a mother suffers from gestational diabetes and does not receive the proper medical care to control the condition. High blood pressure during pregnancy poses a risk to the mother as well the baby. In the severest of cases, it can lead to a miscarriage . If a mother has lupus or any other systemic disease before she becomes pregnant, there is an increased risk of miscarriage.

Certain illnesses that a mother suffers while pregnant can result in miscarriages. For example, Rubella, walking pneumonia, herpes simplex and other viruses have the potential of causing a miscarriage.

A mother with problems of the reproductive organs is at risk for a miscarriage. Problems with the uterus or the cervix are common causes of a miscarriage. If a woman has hormonal abnormalities, this can cause miscarriage as well. A woman needs the proper levels of pregnancy hormones so that her body can support a healthy pregnancy. A progesterone deficiency is one of the most common hormonal conditions that can lead to a miscarriage. If the placenta does not form properly or is not receiving enough nutrients and/or oxygen, a miscarriage can occur.

There are unhealthy choices that some mothers make that can result in a miscarriage. Many of these choices will cause serious health problems for the baby even if they do not cause a miscarriage. Drinking alcohol while pregnant is dangerous and can lead to a miscarriage or to birth defects. Smoking tobacco products can increase the risk of miscarriage. The same if true for the use of drugs while pregnant. Some studies also suggest that drinking too much caffeine might lead to or increase the chances for a miscarriage. A mother must use caution when pregnant to ensure that nothing she puts in her body could be harmful to her unborn child.

Most causes of miscarriage cannot be prevented by the mother. However, good prenatal care and a healthy lifestyle can help to reduce the risk of miscarriages that are not associated with genetic malformations.

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