October was International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and we want to take time to recognize all of the mothers out there who have experienced such loss. Experiencing a miscarriage is extremely difficult and can leave parents feeling guilty or wondering what went wrong.
Miscarriage is defined as the spontaneous loss of a fetus within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. According to WebMD, 15-25% of all known pregnancies end in miscarriage, but another 25-35% of pregnancies end in miscarriage before they are recognized.
The hard truth for women who want to find a fix is that the cause of miscarriage often remains unknown.
One of the main causes for early miscarriages are chromosomal abnormalities. In simpler terms, the egg and sperm do not have the right number of chromosomes for the baby to develop correctly, usually because either the egg or the sperm cell is damaged. This genetic problem is unrelated to the mother or father’s DNA and is often random.
Some other causes of miscarriage include:
- Incompetent cervix—This condition often causes miscarriage because the cervix is too weak or too short to hold the baby when it starts to grow. If it is discovered early, a small stitch can be inserted to support the cervix and baby through the pregnancy.
- Abnormalities in the uterus—Some women have an abnormally shaped uterus, which can make it more difficult for an embryo to implant correctly. For some, the embryo can implant but is unable to receive the nutrients needed to survive.
- Hormonal imbalance
- Age of the mother
- Drugs, alcohol or environmental toxins
- Certain diseases or disorders (i.e. complications with diabetes)
While miscarrying brings with it heartache and feelings of loss, it can be helpful to remember that about 80% of women who experience a miscarriage once will go on to have a healthy pregnancy afterwards.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding miscarriage or pregnancy, we want to make sure you have the support you need. Make an appointment with an All About Women doctor or midwife today at our Gainesville or Lake City offices.