The journey towards motherhood is riddled with many highs and lows. Pregnancy does not always lead to the happily ever after you imagine for yourself and your family. Sometimes, the joy ends even before it starts because of miscarriages.
What is a Miscarriage?
Miscarriage, often medically known as a spontaneous abortion or pregnancy loss, is far more common than most of you realise. The prejudice and taboo surrounding it do not allow it to become a topic of necessary conversations often. In India, around 30% of pregnancies result in miscarriages, an alarmingly high rate. Many of you will have unknowingly interacted with women who have suffered and coped with it. Mothers, sisters, relatives and friends who never spoke up about their loss and grief.
Most miscarriages happen between 0-13 weeks of pregnancy, causing early pregnancy miscarriage to become common. It is important for young women today, who are unaware of early miscarriage symptoms, to have more detailed knowledge of what is an early pregnancy miscarriage and what can cause a miscarriage.
What can cause a Miscarriage?
Even if miscarriage is this common, many of you are still unaware about a lot of things regarding this possibility and exactly what can cause a miscarriage. The reasons for a miscarriage can be many and some of them are:
- Chromosomal Abnormalities
- Bacterial Infections
- Some Underlying Diseases
- Uterine Issues
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices
- Other Reasons
Let us now discuss all the above-mentioned causes for miscarriage in detail:
1. Chromosomal Abnormalities
It is one of the most common causes of a miscarriage. There are 23 pairs of chromosomes in each cell of the human body. When your conceived baby does not have these 23 pairs in the perfect order, it leads to abnormalities and later, a miscarriage. Although studies state that pregnancies after the age of 35 are more prone to chromosomal abnormality induced miscarriages, doctors don’t have specific measures for this because there is no prevention of chromosomal abnormalities. The only reassurance here is that chromosomal abnormalities don’t have the tendency to recur.
2. Bacterial Infections
Infections and diseases are usually far more dangerous to pregnant women than to a regular person. While there are some good bacteria always present in your vagina, they are also capable of causing distress and ruining the environment inside. Ureaplasma and mycoplasma, in particular, are bacterias that can create conditions leading to a miscarriage. Pregnancy check-up with your gynaecologist also tests bacteria and viruses that may later cause complications. Usually, any signs of trouble are detected early on to avoid a miscarriage.
3. Some Underlying Diseases
Pre-existing medical conditions are always important to take into consideration before trying for a baby. Underlying problems like diabetes or thyroid can affect your pregnancy in various ways. They can influence your ovulation process, as well as the conditions inside your uterus. Ultimately, such diseases can cause complications and even lead to a miscarriage.
4. Uterine Issues
Another significant factor in raising the chances of a miscarriage is abnormalities of the uterus. When your womb is somehow unable to support your unborn baby, a miscarriage happens. Around 10% of miscarriages happen due to this. The possibility of a negative outcome can be reduced here with proper medical attention before and during pregnancy.
5. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
The statistics of women suffering from PCOS in India is 1 in every 10. With a disrupted ovulation process and menstrual cycle, conceiving is hard enough. Even when you get pregnant with PCOS, there are complications and the chances of miscarriages are known to be higher. With early diagnosis and treatment, women with PCOS can also experience healthy pregnancy and motherhood.
6. Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices
One of the rapidly growing causes of miscarriages is also the unhealthy lifestyle of women, expecting mothers. Consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and other toxic items directly affects the health of your unborn child. Nicotine, for example, reduces the blood supply that sustains your baby. All these substances contribute in different ways to an unhealthy pregnancy.
7. Other Reasons
Pregnancy is a very sensitive period and one can never be too cautious during this time. Your body reacts to a lot of things differently, not all of them in a very healthy way. There are a number of other, less common, reasons that can cause early miscarriage symptoms as well.
- Contracting other illnesses during pregnancy.
- Hormonal problems or imbalances in the body.
- Receiving trauma or injury during pregnancy can easily cause you to lose your baby.
- There is a lot of misinformation, pregnancy myths and concerned samaritans who readily give unchecked advice that can be harmful to you.
- Your age at the time of becoming pregnant also matters a lot. Older women are more likely to have a miscarriage than a woman in her late twenties.
- Not taking care of your body in terms of the physical and mental stress along with correct nutrition in pregnancy can also have negative effects, which in turn can cause miscarriage.
Whether it is an early pregnancy miscarriage or a loss after full term, it is an excruciatingly difficult time and you will need a lot of support to move on. Yet, it is not the end of the world. You can get back up and stand on your feet again, after all, motherhood and womanhood are defined by resilience. If you are pregnant for the first time, know that there are many causes for a miscarriage but only some of them are preventable. To have information about how and why miscarriages happen makes you self aware and more capable of avoiding it entirely. When you have already gone through a miscarriage in the past, it is even more hard to try again. So get regular check-ups with your doctor to maintain daily reproductive health, take care of yourself and proceed with caution for the healthiest pregnancy possible.