What is a Miscarriage?

A Miscarriage is the loss of a fetus before the 20 week mark in a pregnancy. Most Miscarriages occur within the first three months of pregnancy. Fewer Miscarriages occur beyond the 20 week point in a pregnancy.


  • Uterine Abnormalities
  • Incompetent Cervix
  • Bacterial Infections (particularly mycoplasma hominis and ureaplasma urealyticum)
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Genetic Defects (mismatched chromosomes)
  • Immunologic Disorders that lead to rejection of the fetus
  •  Lifestyle Choices (tobacco, alcohol, medications and drugs)
  • Environmental Factors (for example exposure to particular toxins at work)

What are the Symptoms of a Miscarriage?

A mother-to-be with significant health problems may be at a greater risk for Miscarriage. A family history of Miscarriages might put a person at higher risk although this is not always the instance.

Symptoms include

  • Bleeding from the vaginal area which may be light or heavy; it could be constant or completely irregular; bleeding with pain can be a major sign of a miscarriage.
  • Blood clots and grayish tissue passing from the vagina.
  • Body pain; a person may have abdominal pain, cramping or a persistent aching feeling in the lower back area.

Miscarriage Causes

Chromosomal abnormality is the single most common cause of miscarriages. This occurs when there is a problem with either the sperm or egg’s chromosomes during embryo formation. While some chromosomal disorders like Down’s syndrome are compatible with life, others are simply incompatible. Thyroid disorders, both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, can cause miscarriages. In cases where a woman is suffering from hypothyroidism, her body will respond by producing ovulation suppressing hormones. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism can interfere with estrogen’s ability to do its job, resulting in abnormal uterine bleeding.

Self-destructive lifestyles like alcohol consumption during pregnancy, drug abuse, and smoking can all cause a miscarriage during the first and last trimesters of pregnancy. Next, physical complications such as cervical incompetence or uterine abnormalities like polyps or septum can also trigger a miscarriage, especially in the second and third trimester.

Other common causes of miscarriages include immunologic disorders, STIs, blood clotting disorders and diabetes.

How is Miscarriage Treated?

A miscarriage can be emotionally devastating for anyone who experiences it. There are feelings of failure that can come with a miscarriage. It can put significant strain on a relationship between people who are trying to conceive. Relationship counseling may be recommended in order to assist people in coping with a miscarriage.

While physical recovery from a miscarriage is important, there needs to be a focus on emotional recovery. It is important for anyone dealing with a miscarriage to speak to their healthcare provider. Counseling and mental health therapies are becoming critical components in dealing with a miscarriage. It is equally important that a doctor provide support well beyond the miscarriage. A woman’s chances of miscarriage unfortunately increase after having one. So it is vital to discuss possible ways to avoid further miscarriages down the road.

Prospective parents who are looking to conceive can obtain help from a multi-disciplinary team. Doctors, midwives and other specialists with experience dealing with miscarriages can provide information and help whether dealing with attempts to conceive or a miscarriage.

Miscarriage Prevention

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to prevent miscarriages caused by genetic disorders. That said, a healthy lifestyle before and during pregnancy may go a long way in preventing non-genetic related miscarriages. This includes taking at least 600 mg of folic acid daily one to two months before the onset of the pregnancy as well as during the entire pregnancy period.

Exercises also play a crucial role in preventing miscarriages. Ensure that you get light exercise every day. However, be careful not to over-exercise as this may increase your risk of miscarriage. Avoid body contact sports that might cause a fall and potentially hurt your baby.

Avoid hard drugs, alcohol and tobacco while attempting to conceive as well as after conception. Next to drugs is your diet. Avoid raw meat and unpasteurized dairy products during the entire pregnancy period. These products cause infections such as toxoplasmosis and listeria which can increase your risk of miscarriage.