6 Common Causes of Miscarriage

miscarriagePregnancy can make you feel fragile. A lot of women worry that any little thing you do wrong could cause a miscarriage. And if you do happen to suffer a miscarriage, it's hard not to wonder what you could have done differently. If you're pregnant, you should definitely avoid the obvious: Substance abuse, activities that put you at a high risk for physical trauma, and failing to treat illnesses. But the truth is, miscarriage most often happens because of something that's completely out of your control. Here are the most frequent causes for a miscarriage.

For clarity, a miscarriage happens in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, most often between weeks 7 and 12.


1. Chromosomal abnormality: This is the cause of 50 to 75 percent of miscarriages. While the cells are dividing, an anomaly in the fertilized egg's chromosomes may occur which keeps it from developing normally.

2. Infections or trauma: You can be extra careful and avoid taking physical risks, and you can do the usual to try to keep from getting sick. But some accidents happen through no fault of your own. Same goes for some infections.

3. Hormonal problems: Occasionally, a hormone imbalance can lead to miscarriage. For example, a hormonal disorder called polycycstic ovary syndrome, which occurs in 10 to 25 percent of women, may cause miscarriage. Keep in mind, hormone imbalances can also prevent women from getting pregnant in the first place.

4. Uncontrolled diabetes: This is one area expecting women can influence. If you have diabetes and are pregnant, it's crucial that you work closely with your doctor to manage your diabetes.

5. Hypothyroidism: Untreated hypothyroidism can lead to miscarriage. Doctors usually don't recommend all pregnant women get tested for hypothyroidism. In case you're wondering, symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, hair loss, muscle aches, dry skin, and stiffness of joints -- look for a combination of the symptoms before you make yourself paranoid.

6. Smoking, recreational drug use, and alcohol have all been linked to miscarriage.

How much do you worry about a miscarriage during your first trimester?


Image via George Ruiz/Flickr

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