When we hear the word miscarriage, there is oftentimes an assumption that the expectant mother did something “wrong” during the pregnancy. However, this is not the case and miscarriage is actually a lot more common than you may think. Whatever the reason, this is a devastating experience for any expectant parent.
Miscarriages happen in about 15% to 20% of pregnancies. The vast majority will happen in the first trimester, and there are a variety of reasons that can cause it.
Early Pregnancy Loss
Early Pregnancy Loss is also referred to as miscarriage and usually occurs before the 13th week. This is the most common time a miscarriage can occur. About half of cases that happen during this time are caused by the embryo receiving an abnormal number of chromosomes during the fertilization process.
It is common for women to feel that they did something wrong during the first trimester to cause a miscarriage, like working out or having sex. There is no research to suggest that these activities can cause a miscarriage. There is limited research about smoking and consuming alcohol causing an early pregnancy loss. For overall health purposes for the expectant parent and the fetus, it is a good idea to limit drinking and smoking while pregnant.
Once the pregnancy develops past the 20 week mark, the risk of miscarriage drops significantly to about 2% to 3%. Unfortunately, this does not mean it can’t happen and there are many women who have suffered pregnancy loss in the second trimester. A miscarriage that happens in the third trimester is usually referred to as a stillbirth.
Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Recurrent pregnancy loss is defined as two or more consecutive losses. This is very mentally and physically challenging for expectant parents to go through. It is commonly caused by abnormalities with the egg, sperm, or embryo, or an abnormality with the uterus. The woman’s age and immune system can also play a factor in recurrent pregnancy loss.
It’s important to talk with your doctor about any concerns you have with trying to get pregnant. Our care team at the OB-GYN Women’s Centre in Lakewood Ranch is here to help you through the exciting and overwhelming process that is pregnancy. Contact our team to learn more.
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