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Causes of Miscarriage

QUESTION: Causes of miscarriage - Could it happen to me?

ANSWER:

"The causes of miscarriage in the first third of pregnancy (1st trimester) are chromosomal abnormalities, collagen vascular disease (such as lupus), diabetes, luteal phase deficit, infection and congenital (present at birth) abnormalities of the uterus." Half of the fetal tissue from 1st trimester miscarriages contains abnormal chromosomes. "Abnormal chromosomes are more common with 1st trimester than 2nd trimester miscarriages." Causes of miscarriage vary according to trimester. For example, in 2nd trimester miscarriages, twenty percent of the fetal tissue contains abnormal chromosomes.

The question that you may be asking is, "Could this happen to me?" The answer is that since chromosomes duplicate themselves and divide many times during development, there is opportunity at any point for a problem to occur.

Having systemic lupus erythematosus or antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, which are collagen vascular diseases, can be potential causes of miscarriage as they cause a woman to make antibodies to her own body's tissues. If you are diabetic, insufficiently controlled diabetes is a risk factor for miscarriage as well as for major birth defects.

Other possible causes of miscarriage that are not as clear-cut are luteal phase defect and uterine infection caused by bacteria or viruses. The cause of luteal phase defect is "an inadequate amount of progesterone hormone production during the menstrual cycle." This lack of progesterone may make the inner lining of the womb unable to support a pregnancy. The role that infection plays in causing miscarriage is unknown.

Structural abnormalities such as a uterine septum, which causes a poor blood supply that is "not well suited for placental attachment and growth", can also cause miscarriage. Fibroids "can interfere with the embryo implantation and the embryo's blood supply, thereby causing miscarriage."

From the perspective of a woman who has had a miscarriage, I can say that even though the facts state that miscarriage in the first trimester is common and could happen to anyone, it is a devastating loss, nonetheless. It is helpful to understand positive ways of coping with miscarriage.

Learn More About Miscarriage.


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