A miscarriage, also referred to as a spontaneous abortion, is a self terminating pregnancy, usually in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. A miscarriage is more common than one might think, with apparently 10-20% of pregnancies resulting in one, with the occurrence being somewhere around the 13th week of pregnancy, in a typical situation. Some miscarriages occur so early in the pregnancy that a woman may not even be aware that she was ever pregnant. Such pregnancies which result in a miscarriage before 8 weeks down the pregnancy line are those when the fetus is not developed enough to be associated with a placenta. Some others occur even before the gestation period of 8 weeks, while some are lost even before the egg has a chance to get implanted in the uterus.
The causes of miscarriages may sometimes not be known, but out of the possible causes of miscarriages, following are the more established and recognizable ones.
One of the most common causes of miscarriages is abnormalities with chromosomes. Chromosomes are that part of every cell in the body that carries the genetic material which is responsible for the determination of eye color, hair color and the overall basic appearance. These chromosomes are supposed to multiply and divide many a times throughout the developmental stage and a problem can hinder this process very likely so. Abnormal chromosomes leading to miscarriages are more prevalent in the first trimester than in the second trimester, and it is the second trimester miscarriage that is more troubling due to this reason. Women who are over the age of 35 are more likely to suffer a miscarriage due to abnormal chromosomes as compared to those who are younger.
If the mother is a diabetic patient then chances of miscarriages are higher. However, if a practitioner gives you adequate measures to keep the diabetes under control then the threat can be minimized, otherwise not only can miscarriage become more likely but the chances of facing birth defects may also begin to surface.
Various infections have been detected which act as causes of miscarriages. Some of the more common ones include listeria monocytogenes, parvovirus B19, herpes simplex, rubella, taxoplasma gondii, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus and cytomegalovirus.
Collagen vascular diseases are autoimmune diseases whereby an individual’s immune system begins to attack its own organs. These diseases are very dangerous before, during and after pregnancy and they prompt the production of antibodies to the woman’s own bodily tissues. Some of these diseases linked to miscarriages include antiphospholipid antibody syndrome and systemic lupus erythematosus.
Hormonal issues are also a relative common cause of miscarriages. Some of these hormonal factors include polycystic ovaries, Cushing’s syndrome and thyroid disease. Another possible hormones related issue which can lead to miscarriages is that of an inadequate functioning of the corpus luteum in the ovaries.
Abnormal anatomy of the uterus is another possible cause of miscarriages. Some women may have a tissue bridge in the uterus which divides the uterine cavities into different sections which does not facilitate embryo implantation properly and can increase chances of miscarriages. Fibroid tumors are another possible anatomical defect which can lead to miscarriages. While they do not always cause miscarriages, fibroid tumors do limit the blood supply to the embryo which can possibly culminate into a miscarriage.