When Do Most Miscarriages Happen?

Miscarriage is also called spontaneous abortion because it refers to the natural loss of the pregnancy. If your miscarriage occurs before you're twelve weeks pregnant, you will have an early miscarriage. It is called a late miscarriage though if it occurs between twelve and twenty weeks of pregnancy. If you lose your baby after twenty weeks, it is called stillbirth. It is never easy to deal with miscarriages, because they will affect you physically, mentally and emotionally as well. However, learning when do most miscarriages happen and if you can do something about it can alleviate your concern.

When Do Most Miscarriages Happen?

Most women don't know about their miscarriage because it happens even before they know they are pregnant. In fact, almost half of all fertilized eggs die spontaneously before a woman knows she's pregnant. The miscarriage rate in women who are pregnant is about 15-20%. When do most miscarriages happen? Well, that's usually during the first 7 weeks of pregnancy, and the rate drops incredibly after 7 weeks when it's possible to detect the heartbeat of a baby.

What Causes the Miscarriage?

It is equally important to know "What causes the miscarriage?" Not all the causes of miscarriages are clear yet, but most miscarriages that occur during the first trimester of pregnancy have something to with chromosomal abnormalities in the baby. Chromosomes carry genes which determine a person's physical attributes such as hair, sex, blood type and eye color.

Are You At a Higher Risk of Miscarriage?

You already know the answers to the questions, "When do most miscarriages happen?" and "What causes the miscarriage?" It's time to know if there is anything that put you at a higher risk of miscarriage. Well, any woman can miscarry, but some of the most common risk factors include the following.

  • Age: Older women are at a higher risk of miscarriage because they are more likely to conceive a baby with specific chromosomal abnormalities. Moreover, your risk of miscarriage will increase with more child you bear.
  • A History of Miscarriages: You are more likely to have a miscarriage if you have had more than two miscarriages in a row in the past.
  • Chronic Disorders: You are at a high risk of miscarriage if you have certain inherited blood clotting disorders, hormonal disorders or autoimmune disorders.
  • Uterine or Cervical Problems: Having severe uterine adhesions, abnormally short cervix, or certain congenital uterine abnormalities will increase the likelihood of having a miscarriage. Some experts have found a link between uterine fibroids and miscarriage, but there's no real evidence because most fibroids don't cause real problems.
  • A History of Genetic Problems: If someone in your family has a genetic abnormality or you've experienced one in your previous pregnancy, the chances are your next conception will also end in a miscarriage.
  • Infections: Certain issues like mumps, listeria, measles, rubella, gonorrhea, parvovirus, and HIV will increase the odds of having a miscarriage.
  • Drinking, Smoking, and Using Drugs: Several studies have established a link between miscarriages and high levels of caffeine consumption. The same is true for smoking and excessive drinking.
  • Medications: Use of specific medications may contribute towards having a miscarriage. This is true for both prescription and OTC drugs, including NSAIDs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
  • Environmental Toxins: Several environmental factors may also increase your risk. The list includes arsenic, lead, large doses of radiation, and some chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde and ethylene oxide.
  • Paternal Factors: Sperms can get damaged due to certain environmental toxins, but they can still fertilize an egg. The risk of damaged sperm fertilizing an egg increases with the father's age and increases the risk of miscarriage.
  • In addition, you are more likely to miscarry if you're obese. Similarly, diagnostic genetic testing may also increase the risk in some women.

Can You Prevent a Miscarriage?

Since you have known the answer to "When do most miscarriages happen?" can you take some measures to prevent one? Actually, there is nothing one can do about miscarriages resulting from genetic abnormalities in the fetus. You may want to work with your healthcare provider to identify other factors that lead to miscarriages. A healthy lifestyle before and during pregnancy will also help prevent any complications. Here are some other tips to help you reduce the chances of miscarriage that results from other factors.

  • Make sure to take 400mg of folic acid or more every day and start taking it at least a couple of months before conception.
  • Be active and exercise regularly.
  • Try meditation and other ways to manage stress.
  • Stick to a well-balanced diet.
  • Make sure to keep your weight in check.
  • Quit smoking and limit your exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages.
  • Avoid any exposure to poisons such as formaldehyde, lead, ethylene oxide, etc.
  • Take steps to keep your abdomen safe and don't engage in any sporting activities with risk for injury. Avoid contact sports as much as you can. Wear your seatbelt when driving.
  • Don't take any medication without checking with your healthcare provider first. This is true for OTC drugs as well.
  • Take special steps to avoid environmental hazards such as infectious diseases and X-rays.
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