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Miscarriage Myths

Jul 7, 2008
Miscarriage is heartbreaking. It may help to know what causes miscarriages and what are simply miscarriage myths.

Miscarriage occurs fairly frequently, and is always emotionally hard to deal with. Often grief and guilt intermingle. Help emotional healing by learning what causes miscarriages and what are miscarriage myths!

What is a miscarriage?

Miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy in the first twenty weeks of pregnancy. Approximately fifteen percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. However, many women who don't know that they are pregnant also miscarry. Signs of miscarriage include: vaginal bleeding or spotting; Pain of cramping in your abdomen or lower back; tissue or fluid passing through your vagina. However, bleeding and spotting often happen during the first trimester of pregnancy and doesn't necessarily indicate a miscarriage.

Causes of Miscarriage

50 - 70% of miscarriages happen because the fetus is not developing properly. While the Embryo's cells divide and multiply there are often mistakes that occur by chance. These developmental mistakes cause genetic problems and may end in miscarriage. These problems are not inherited from the parents, but result from genetic abnormalities in the fertilized egg.

Sometimes the mother's health problems can cause miscarriage. Conditions such as uterus and cervix problems, blood clotting difficulties, and infections can cause miscarriages Also, general medical diseases such as thyroid disease and uncontrolled diabetes can cause miscarriage.

Miscarriage Myths

Medical miscarriage myths include that x-rays during pregnancy can result in miscarriages of birth defects. Actually a little radiation will not hurt the mother or the baby. However, when a pregnant woman takes x-rays, she should alert the x-ray technician so that he can take proper precautions. Another miscarriage myth is that nausea or vomiting in the first trimester can cause miscarriage. Also an injury is not likely to cause miscarriage, unless it is bad enough to threaten your own life.

A common miscarriage myth is that routine activities, like lifting heavy objects, exercise, working or having sex can cause miscarriages. Another miscarriage myth is that stress and shocks cause miscarriages. For example the fright of a car accident or bad news such as a loved one's death, etc, will not cause miscarriages.

What real factors increase the risks of miscarriage?

The risk of miscarriage is higher in women who have had two or more miscarriages. Having one miscarriage does not raise the statistical risk of having a second. Women with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or thyroid conditions are also in a higher risk category. Women over 35 years old run a higher risk than younger women. Interestingly, women whose partners are over 40 years old also run a higher risk of miscarriage.

Uterine abnormalities an unusually short or weak cervix may increase the risks of miscarriage. There is also suspicion that miscarriage and caffeine consumption may be connected. This has not been proven, but some doctors do recommend avoiding caffeine during the first three months of pregnancy. Smoking alcohol and illegal drugs all increase the likelihood of miscarriage. In addition, a few prenatal genetic tests, involve a small risk of miscarriage.

Can a miscarriage be prevented?

In most cases, one cannot do anything to prevent a miscarriage. Try to take good care of yourself. Get tested for gynecological infections and anemia. Try to eat properly so the body gets all of the nutrients that the mother and baby need. Get enough rest and make sure to see your doctor on schedule. Avoid risk factors such as drinking alcohol and smoking. If you have a chronic health condition, work with your doctors to keep it stable.

If you have vaginal bleeding or pain or cramping in you lower back or abdomen, consult your doctor immediately. The doctor may do tests. If you are bleeding but your cervix has not begun to dilate, you may be fine. If however, you are bleeding, the uterus is contacting and your cervix is dilated, it probably can't be stopped.

Recovering from miscarriage

Biological recovery may take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks. Your period should return within one and a half months.

Emotional healing may take a long time. Miscarriage is a major loss. Don't blame yourself and remember that the miscarriage myths are just myths. Give yourself as much time as you need to get over your loss. Eventually you can accept the loss.
About the Author
Louis Berdman specializes in fertility and pregnancy information on the Internet. Learn more about miscarriage myths.
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