Important myths and facts about miscarriages
With the amount of information on the internet about miscarriages, we decided to clear some of the confusion and share some of the myths and facts.
Miscarriages can happen in about 15% of pregnancies. The sad fact is that most of the time, there's not a lot that you can do to prevent a miscarriage. Regardless, knowing more about the myths and facts about miscarriages can be very helpful if you, a friend, or a loved one is expecting.
With the amount of information on the internet about miscarriages, we decided to clear some of the confusion and share some of the myths and facts about miscarriages.
What causes miscarriages?
Chromosomal problems are responsible for 70% of miscarriages that happen during the first trimester, and 20% of miscarriages during the second trimester. Researchers still don't currently know what causes these "glitches" in the fetus' genes, but what happens is that the sets of chromosomes that come from the father's sperm and the mother's egg don't line up correctly. This also doesn't mean that there's something wrong with the father or mother, or that it will happen again.
Chronic medical conditions can also contribute to increased chances of miscarriage. Illnesses that can restrict blood flow to the uterus can be a probable cause for miscarrying. Diseases that cause these include diabetes, thyroid disease, lupus, heart disease, and uterine infections. Managing these diseases before getting pregnant can help reduce the risk.
Hormonal imbalances can also be a factor when it comes to miscarriages. In some cases, a woman's body does not produce enough of the hormone progesterone, which is vital when it comes to strengthening the lining of the uterus to support the fetus and the placenta to take hold.
Excess caffeine intake can also be a factor that contributes to higher chances of a miscarriage. A study done by Kaiser Permanente showed that women who consumed more than 200mg of caffeine each day (about 2 cups of coffee) had twice the risk of miscarrying.
Additionally, consuming large amounts of alcohol, smoking, or drug use has a significant and negative impact towards a developing fetus. So it would be best to cut out alcohol and quit smoking for good if you're pregnant or expecting.
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What doesn't cause miscarriage?
Contrary to what you might read online, too much exercise doesn't cause a miscarriage. In fact, doctor-approved exercise during your pregnancy can actually reduce the chances of having a miscarriage. Exercise helps make you and your baby healthier by reducing stress, aches and pains, gestational diabetes, and it also helps build up your stamina for labor.
Mood also does not cause a miscarriage as no studies have ever linked bad moods to miscarriage. However if you think that you're going into a depression, you should let your doctor know. 10%-20% of women suffer depression during pregnancy, and while it doesn't harm your baby, you still should talk to a doctor about it.
Stress is also commonly blamed as a cause for miscarriage. However, everyday tension or anxiety doesn't cause a miscarriage, and even more severe forms of anxiety haven't been clearly linked to an increased chance of miscarriage. However, women under extreme stress can be prone to drug use, smoking, or increased alcohol intake, and these can indeed cause a miscarriage.
Lastly, miscarriages are not the mother's fault. Most of the common causes of miscarriage are genetic abnormalities, or hormonal imbalances; things that a mother has absolutely no control over.
It's important to note that for the most part, miscarriages are completely random and while they are indeed a tragedy, you should never blame yourself if you have a miscarriage.
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