Loss is painful. In the same vein, losing a child, having a miscarriage in the first trimester can be devastating. It’s really sad to have celebrated the news of the coming of a baby only for it to end in tears. A number of factors can cause miscarriage in the first three months of pregnancy. This article was designed to help you answer basic questions about losses in the first 90 days of pregnancy.
What’s A Miscarriage?
A miscarriage is also called spontaneous abortion.
It is the spontaneous loss of pregnancy before the 20th week of gestation (i.e. the first 20 weeks of pregnancy).
This experience is really painful, both physically and emotionally.
What Are The Risk Factors?
Risk factors are characteristics that increase a person’s chance of having a particular disease. Similarly, risk factors for a miscarriage are traits that increases a woman’s chances of having a miscarriage.
1. Maternal Age:
The chances of having a miscarriage increases with increasing age. Consequently, women above 35 face a higher risk of miscarriage in the first trimester.
2. Underlying health conditions
Certain associated health conditions increase the possibility of a miscarriage. Later in this article, some of these conditions would be discussed.
3. A Previous Miscarriage
A woman with a history of miscarriages also faces a higher risk of having another miscarriage. Sadly, this is caused by a number of factors that will be discussed subsequently.
What Are The Causes Of Miscarriages In The First Trimester?
1. Chromosomal Abnormalities.
This is the leading cause of miscarriage in most women.
Chromosomes are blocks of DNA which carry genes. These genes determine a person’s physical attributes like height, complexion and eye color. Importantly, most chromosomal abnormalities occur by chance and do not have anything to do with you or your husband’s health.
2. Exposure to Harmful Agents
Radiation, toxic chemicals and other harmful agents harm developing babies greatly.
When a pregnant woman is exposed to high levels of radiation, the baby’s development is affected and most babies do not survive it.
In addition, the ones who survive are at risk of developing cancer later in life
3. Hormonal Imbalance
Pregnancy is really dependent on hormones. From start to finish.
In situations where the womb does not develop properly for fetal development due to insufficient hormone production, a miscarriage can occur.
Furthermore, increased production of a reproductive hormone called prolactin impairs fetal growth.
4. Underlying Health Conditions
Underlying health conditions such as diabetes, sickle cell disease, hypertension, fibroid, thyroid disease, kidney disease, among others can cause miscarriage.
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths which grow into the womb and take over the space that the baby is supposed to grow in. This leads to the impaired growth of the baby and ultimately its expulsion.
5. An Ectopic pregnancy Can Lead To A MIscarriage.
An ectopic pregnancy is one that develops outside the uterus.
When the baby is not properly situated in the womb, a miscarriage can occur. This occurs because the womb is the only location in a woman’s body that can support fetal development.
6. Early Cervical Dilatation
The cervix, or birth canal is the passageway for the baby to come out.
If the cervix opens too early, as it occurs in an incompetent cervix, the baby can be pushed out. An incompetent cervix occurs as a result of weakened muscles in the abdominal region.
At a point in time, a weakened cervix can no longer support the baby’s weight, leading to miscarriage.
7. Severe Malnutrition Causes Misicarriages.
A pregnant woman can lose her pregnancy if she is suffering from severe malnutrition. In addition, deficiency in some minerals such as selenium and vitamins like vitamin D have been linked to the incidence of pregnancy loss and preterm delivery.
Malnutrition occurs when a person takes in less energy than they give out. There is increased demand of energy by a pregnant woman and if she is not able to provide this amount of energy, her baby may not develop properly.
What Does NOT Cause Miscarriage?
1. Regular exercise
Exercise does not lead to miscarriage in the first trimester.
In fact, medical experts believe that exercise during pregnancy lowers the chances of having a miscarriage. This is because exercise helps to relieve pain and reduce stress. In addition, it lowers the risk of gestational diabetes. We’ve discussed how much exercise is safe during pregnancy and conditions where exercise should be avoided.
2. Sexual Intercourse
Having sex during pregnancy does not also lead to miscarriage in the first trimester
. In other words, it has been proven that there is no relationship between sex and miscarriage.
Therefore, feel free to enjoy sex with your partner while you’re pregnant.
3. Going To Work:
Working while pregnant does not lead to miscarriage.
Nevertheless, remember to avoid or at least manage stress. Sometimes stress can worsen certain medical conditions which in turn affect pregnancy. Structural issues with your womb may make your doctor suggest you remain on strict bed rest for a time as a precaution. Please speak with your doctor if you have an underlying health condition.
As long as you’re remain protected from radiation or harmful chemicals, there is no cause for alarm.
Nevertheless, remember to avoid stress at all times
No one really plans for a miscarriage. Thankfully, it is not the end of motherhood.
The fact that you’ve had one does not mean that it will keep happening. We have put together 6 tips on what to do after a miscarriage. Remember to consult with your doctor to know the best time to be pregnant again after a miscarriage.
- Cleveland Clinic (2019). Miscarriage. Accessed on 19th August, 2020 from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9688-miscarriage
- Mayo Clinic Staff (2019). Miscarriage. Accessed on 19th August, 2020 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pregnancy-loss-miscarriage/symptoms-causes/syc-20354298
- Lauren Gelman (2015). Here’s What Does – and Doesn’t – Cause Miscarriage. Accessed on 22nd August, 2020 from https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/complications/miscarriage/what-does-and-doesnt-cause-miscarriage/