Pregnancy

Facts of Pregnancy Loss

A miscarriage, which can be referred to as pregnancy loss, occurs when the fetus in the womb fails to survive.  Here are some important things everyone should know about miscarriages.

What is Miscarriage?
Miscarriage is pregnancy loss that occurs before 20 weeks, before the fetus is able to survive outside the womb. Most miscarriages occur in the first trimester or 12 weeks of pregnancy. Statistics show that as many as 50 percent of all pregnancies may end in miscarriage. This is because many losses occur before a woman realizes she is pregnant.

Most miscarriages are the result of chromosomal abnormalities in the developing embryo. In fact, about 7 percent of all pregnancy losses — miscarriages or not — have chromosomal abnormalities, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).

Studies reveal that 40 percent of pregnancies detected by a blood test end in miscarriage, and 25 percent of pregnancies detected by a fetal heart beat end in miscarriage. The risk of miscarriage increases as a woman gets older.

The Causes of Miscarriage
Here are some common reasons for a miscarriage:

Chromosomal Abnormalities
Miscarriages caused by chromosomal abnormalities are random occurrences. More than half of miscarriages are caused by chromosomal abnormalities. These are problems with the structure or number of chromosomes in the embryo or with the genes that the chromosomes carry.

Maternal Disease
Conditions such as lupus and other autoimmune disorders, congenital heart disease, severe kidney disease, uncontrolled diabetes, thyroid disease and intrauterine infection are associated with higher-than-average miscarriage rates.

Hormonal Imbalances:
Hormone imbalances (for example, progesterone deficiencies) are also known to cause miscarriages.

Immune System Disorders:
Women with high levels of antiphospholipid antibodies (APA), which are substances that increase the clotting tendencies of blood, are at increased risk of miscarriage.

Recreational Drug and Alcohol Use:
Using recreational drugs and consuming large quantities of alcohol increase your chances of suffering a miscarriage.

Apart from the Above Mentioned Reasons, a Miscarriage Could Also be Caused by:

  • Lupus and other autoimmune disorders
  • Severe kidney disease
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Thyroid disease
  • Intrauterine infection

How to check for pregnancy loss?
Prevention is always better than cure, and it applies best here. You should constantly consult your family practitioner and undergo necessary prescribed tests. These tests would help predict any disorder that could prove to be a risk for your baby.

Among the tests conducted, is genetic testing for recurrent pregnancy loss, which could help you identify treatments for any possible disorder.

Miscarriages are the most common type of pregnancy loss, occurring in approximately 15 percent to 20 percent of confirmed pregnancies, according to ACOG. Most miscarriages happen during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, and the vast majority of them go unnoticed. They can occur up to the 20th week of pregnancy.

Most miscarriages are the result of chromosomal abnormalities in the developing embryo. In fact, about 7 percent of all pregnancy losses — miscarriages or not — have chromosomal abnormalities, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).

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