Womens Health

Truth and Rumors and Miscarriage

Many women have false ideas about what leads to miscarriage. Some people say that a small amount of caffeine definitely makes a woman miscarry. Others say that going over speed bumps is dangerous. Others will tell you not to eat spicy foods or not to swim. It is important to understand what actually may lead to a miscarriage and to understand that about 15% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. If you have miscarried you should know that you are not alone – and that it probably wasn’t your fault.

What Doesn’t Cause Miscarriage

First, let’s take a look at the misconceptions that people have about miscarriage. While stress can be a factor in a miscarriage, there is no evidence to support the idea that it will be a sole culprit in causing a miscarriage. Some people blame normal exercise, sexual activity, work, lifting heavy objects and vomiting as things that cause miscarriage. None of these are usually things that lead to miscarriage. People assume if they have a miscarriage and they remember taking a fall, the fall must be responsible. In general, if you’ve fallen or injured yourself it is unlikely that this will cause a miscarriage, unless the injury is life-threatening. Finally, some women blame a lack of sleep as something that causes miscarriage. There is no evidence that being very tired can cause your miscarriage.

Things That May Cause Miscarriage

There are a number of factors that may increase your risk of miscarriage. Your age is certainly one factor. Women older than 35 have a higher risk of miscarriage. Some studies have found that if the male is older than 40, it also increases the rate of miscarrying more than the average risk. If you’ve had at least two other miscarriages, then your risk of miscarrying in the future is also higher. Finally, some physical problems may cause miscarriage. These include chronic problems such as diabetes, cervical problems and uterine issues.

Lifestyle Risks for Miscarriage

There are also some things that may lead to miscarriage that you do have control over. These include smoking, drinking alcohol and using drugs. All of these can contribute to higher levels of miscarriage. Caffeine has also been studied a great deal to see its link to miscarriage. Studies go back and forth, with some saying that caffeine is directly connected to miscarriage rates and others saying that the research is inconclusive. Recent studies have linked large quantities of caffeine during the first trimester to increased miscarriage rates. It is, therefore, advisable to avoid caffeine while pregnant – it certainly can’t hurt to avoid it! Certain tests that are voluntary may also increase your risks of miscarrying. Amniocentesis tests and a few other tests may slightly increase your risk. It is important to discuss your options with your doctor and to know the risks before electing to participate in any testing.

Overall Prevention

Unfortunately, there are many things in life that we can’t completely prevent. Miscarriage tends to be one of these. You can certainly take care of yourself to the best of your ability while pregnant by eating well, exercising and visiting your doctor for your prenatal visits. Most miscarriages aren’t preventable and it is important to understand this so that you don’t blame yourself. Often times, miscarriage occurs because something is wrong with the baby. Try to take care of yourself as well as you can and understand the risk factors that you can control during your pregnancy.

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