Miscarriage is a heartbreaking experience that affects many women. It is the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks of gestation. The majority of miscarriages occur in the first trimester, with most occurring in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. While the cause of a miscarriage is not always known, there are certain factors that can increase the risk. This article looks at the possible causes of miscarriage in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy.
Possible Causes of Miscarriage
Miscarriage can be caused by a number of factors, including genetic or chromosomal abnormalities, advanced maternal age, and medical conditions.
Genetic or chromosomal abnormalities can cause a miscarriage. These abnormalities can be caused by a mutation in the mother’s egg or sperm, or by a problem with the fertilized egg.
Advanced maternal age can also increase the risk of a miscarriage. Women over the age of 35 are more likely to experience a miscarriage than younger women.
Medical conditions, such as diabetes, thyroid disease, and lupus can also increase the risk of miscarriage.
Factors Affecting Miscarriage in First 8 Weeks
There are several factors that can increase the risk of a miscarriage in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy.
The first is an infection. Infections, such as bacterial and viral infections, can increase the risk of a miscarriage.
Another factor is stress. Stress can cause the body to produce hormones that can lead to a miscarriage.
Smoking and drinking alcohol can also increase the risk of a miscarriage. These substances can increase the risk of developing complications during pregnancy.
Finally, certain medications can increase the risk of a miscarriage. Some medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and certain herbal supplements, can increase the risk of a miscarriage.
Miscarriage is a difficult experience for many women. While the cause of a miscarriage is not always known, there are certain factors that can increase the risk. This article looked at the possible causes of miscarriage in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. It is important to be aware of these factors so that steps can be taken to reduce the risk of a miscarriage.
The first eight weeks of a pregnancy typically brings feelings of overwhelming joy and anticipation of the blessing that is on its way, but unfortunately miscarriages can occur during these initial weeks. A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy before the fetus reaches the average 20 week gestation. According to the US Centers for Disease Control, about 10-25% of recognized pregnancies end in a miscarriage, with most occurring during the first trimester (1-12 weeks). Although most cases of miscarriage are unexplained, there are several factors that can cause a miscarriage in the first eight weeks.
Age is a major factor in influencing the odds of miscarriage. Women aged 35 and over have the highest risk of miscarriage according to the Mayo Clinic, due to increased chromosomal abnormalities in the developing fetus as women age.
Lifestyle choices can contribute to the risk of miscarriage in the first trimester. For instance, smoking and substance abuse has been associated with a higher than average rate of miscarriages, as well as excessive caffeine intake. Studies by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have also suggested that women who drink more than seven to eight alcoholic drinks per week can increase their risk of a miscarriage by two or three times.
Exposure to Harmful Substances
Exposure to an array of harmful substances can also increase the risk of a miscarriage. These substances include heavy lead exposure and exposure to certain chemicals, such as pesticides, solvents and other toxins. High levels of radiation exposure from x-rays, radiation therapy, or nuclear radiation accidents can also place a woman at risk for a miscarriage.
Infections during pregnancy can cause the uterus to become inflamed and have an effect on the growing fetus, which can lead to a miscarriage. Infections include bacterial infections such as listeriosis and viruses such as Zika virus and cytomegalovirus.
Though there is more evidence to be found, some studies suggest that psychological factors such as stress and depression can also increase a woman’s risk of a miscarriage in the first trimester.
Although the cause of miscarriages can be elusive, understanding the factors that can contribute to a miscarriage in the first eight weeks can be helpful in ensuring the health of the pregnancy. While many of these factors are out of a woman’s control, the risk can be significantly lower by quitting smoking, reducing or eliminating alcohol and caffeine intake, avoiding toxin and radiation exposure, and seeking timely medical treatment for any infections.