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Miscarriage Percentage - Are You At Risk?

A miscarriage, or spontaneous abortion (as opposed to an induced abortion) refers to the spontaneous termination of a pregnancy, usually before week 20 of gestation. It is estimated that up to 20% of all known pregnancies may end in miscarriage, and up to 30% of all pregnancies in total.

This is because many pregnancies end prior to the woman even realizing that she is, in fact, pregnant (before the first missed period). These are known as “chemical pregnancies.”

While many miscarriages cannot be satisfactorily explained, there are some common causes. These include chromosomal abnormalities, hormonal imbalances, problems with the uterus, placenta, or umbilical cord, and the presence of fibroids or cervical problems.

Many of these issues are particular to just one pregnancy, and are not likely to repeat.

Lifestyle factors may include high rates of exercise, as well as caffeine consumption. While one miscarriage, or even two, are usually followed by a successful pregnancy, if a woman suffers three miscarriages in a row, she may have fertility issues and should seek appropriate professional support.

Other factors can also contribute to the miscarriage percentage. These include human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Women who require treatment for HPV lesions may have a higher risk of miscarriage, due to the removal of cervical tissue, with the increase most noted in cone biopsy procedures. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is also associated with a higher risk.

Vaginal bacterial infections can contribute to the probability of miscarriage; it is important to be infection-free and reinforce the immune system before conception. Finally, women over the age of 35 naturally experience a higher risk of miscarriage, as do those parents who have already had a child or relative with birth defects.

It is important to recognize that a single miscarriage – or even two – do not necessarily indicate infertility or any “fault” on the part of the mother or father. Most of the time, it is due to a chromosomal problem which is completely the result of chance, having nothing to do with the parents, and is unlikely to happen again.

While it is important to take the time to recover both physically and emotionally, and grieve as much as is necessary, your hopes of starting – or growing – your family should not be lost.

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