Can Stress Cause Miscarriage After All?

Sasha Brown-Worsham
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Sad woman
Flickr Photo by Elín Elísabet
In a seeming contradiction to my post a couple days ago, a recent study has found that there was a significant increase in the 20-week miscarriage rate of male fetuses after the terror attacks of 9/11.

According to the BBC:

"Data says fewer boys were born in all states three to four months after 9/11.

"The review by the University of California, Irvine, is said to support the theory of 'communal bereavement.' Pregnant mothers are thought to be particularly prone to this experience, as are unborn baby boys."

Apparently boys are less able to stand stress in the womb.

***Spoiler Alert***

Despite this study, the fact remains that stress like the kind Meredith Grey encountered last Thursday is not realistically going to cause a miscarriage as quickly as it did on the show.

There still is no conclusive evidence that says that sudden onset stress -- or even chronic stress -- is necessarily a factor in a miscarriage. 

According to Krissi Danielson, the About.com miscarriage guide who is also the author of After Miscarriage, "There really isn't enough information ... some studies (like this one) have pointed to a possible link, while others have found no clear link."

Danielson goes on: "None of the information is scientifically solid enough to draw a conclusion one way or the other, and most doctors would probably say that stress isn't a common cause of miscarriages. Most people who experience stress, even major stress, during pregnancy don't miscarry."

As usual, with studies, it's important to take a step back and examine the overall picture. The truth is that there's just not enough information to say whether stress is a real cause of miscarriage or not.

What is your opinion about the stress/miscarriage link?


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