Misconceptions About Miscarriage
Having a miscarriage is a very difficult experience for most women. Whether they miscarry at 6 weeks or 16 weeks, there are lost hopes and disappointments. While this grief is natural, blaming yourself in any way is not. It is, therefore, very important for couples to understand what can cause a miscarriage, and to dispel misconceptions and old wives tales about miscarriages.
About 15% of pregnancies end in miscarriages. Sometimes the body miscarries because there is something wrong with the baby, and this is nature’s way of taking care of the problem. Sometimes the body miscarries because of a problem with the woman’s uterus or with her eggs. Whatever the reason, it’s important to understand that virtually one out of every five pregnancies ends in a miscarriage. If you think that you are alone when you miscarry – you aren’t. You’ll probably find, if you start to talk to your friends, many of them have miscarried as well.
What Doesn’t Cause a Miscarriage?
First, let’s take a look at misconceptions about miscarriage. Normal levels of exercise, sex and work do not cause miscarriages. Vomiting, even heavy vomiting, does not lead to a miscarriage. Lifting heavy objects once in a while also doesn’t cause a miscarriage. In general, if you fall or hurt yourself, this is unlikely to cause a miscarriage unless the injuries are severe enough that they risk your life. A lack of sleep and a bit of stress also don’t cause miscarriages. Some women assume that if they are always tired, or if they have stress in their lives, these may cause the problem. Although there is research to suggest that stress may play a role in miscarriage, there is no evidence to support the theory that it, alone, causes a miscarriage.
What Does Cause a Miscarriage?
While we can’t point directly to items that cause a miscarriage, we can examine the factors that might make one more likely. Age is certainly a factor, as women over 35 have a higher risk, and women whose partner is over 40 also increase their risk. If you’ve had at least two miscarriages already, then this also increases your risk of having more. If you have certain health issues, you also increase your risk. These include diabetes, cervical and uterine problems and other chronic issues.
Behavior That Leads to Miscarriage
While most normal activity does not increase your risk of miscarrying, there are certain behaviors and activities that do. These activities should be avoided whenever possible to help prevent miscarrying. Smoking, drinking alcohol and using drugs all lead to a higher risk of miscarrying. Caffeine is thought to lead to higher levels of miscarriage as well. The research on this issue is not conclusive, but researchers have tied high levels of caffeine to more miscarriages during the first trimester. There are certain tests, such as the Amniocentesis test, that also tend to slightly increase your risk. It’s important to talk to your doctor before any invasive test to discuss the risks.
Most miscarriages aren’t preventable. A miscarriage is very sad, but not something that a couple should blame on themselves in any way. It is important to take the best care possible that you can before and during your pregnancy – eating right, exercising and sleeping enough. It is important to understand the factors that lead to miscarriages and to avoid old wives tales and misconceptions. Hopefully, even if you experience a miscarriage this time, you’ll be able to look forward to a successful pregnancy and a beautiful baby in the future!