Miscarriage & loss
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Causes of miscarriage

Why miscarriage happens, medical conditions that affect pregnancy and make miscarriage more likely and when to investigate the causes

Posted: 9 December 2010
by ThinkBaby

Miscarriage can be painful with stomach cramps

Genetic abnormalities

When a miscarriage occurs in the first three months of pregnancy, by far the most likely cause is chromosomal abnormality - a genetic problem. In these cases the body recognises that the pregnancy is unsustainable because of a problem with the foetus and ends the pregnancy. The same problem is unlikely to occur again in future pregnancies. Because the quality of a woman's eggs is affected by age, the risk of miscarriage gradually rises as you get older.

Maternal problems and illnesses

A miscarriage may also be caused by hormonal imbalances, abnormalities of the womb or cervix, such as incompetant (weak) cervix, blood clotting disorders and maternal infections such as German Measles and Listeria. Common colds and infections are unlikely to cause a miscarriage but occasionally serious illnesses can do. Having a flu jab is now recommended for mums-to-be and stearing clear of illnesses and risky foods is highly recommended.

External factors

External factors have been linked to an increased chance of miscarriage, including smoking (both active and passive), excessive alcohol consumption, and high caffeine consumption. In rare cases miscarriage may be caused by a severed fall or other accident but this is not as common as the movies would make out. Research has not shown any link between early miscarriage and lifting heavy loads, moderate exercise, stress or sex.

Medical conditions

Your doctor may check for more serious problems if you have had more than one miscarriage. These include:

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