What Are the Most Common Causes of Miscarriage

4.06.2012 | By: Kathy M.

Quite a number of pregnancies end with a miscarriage. So, what are the causes of miscarriage?



causes miscarriage

A miscarriage often occurs in the first pregnancy. (PhotoXpress)


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If you have a miscarriage, a lot of questions rush through your mind as to what might have caused it. Am I to blame? Have I done something to trigger it? Usually, the answer to these questions is that a miscarriage can’t be prevented in the majority of cases, so it’s useless to blame yourself. Even doctors can’t determine with certainty what causes a miscarriage, but they distinguish between several types of miscarriage and their potential causes.

Spontaneous miscarriage

Spontaneous miscarriage that happens only once is usually the result of certain chromosomal abnormalities in the development of the fetus. In most cases, the fetal chromosomal abnormality is an additional chromosome or a missing gene. As a result of such defects, the fetus stops developing at a certain period and the body finally expels it from the womb. This definition has been accepted mainly because a lot of women can get pregnant and deliver the baby without any major problems after having a spontaneous miscarriage. The fact is that chromosomal abnormalities are very rare and random. So, if you have a spontaneous miscarriage, your doctor probably won’t conduct further tests to try and find the cause of your miscarriage.

Recurrent or habitual miscarriage

A recurrent or habitual miscarriage means that a woman miscarries several times. In that case, there’s a strong chance that the causes of the miscarriage aren’t random chromosomal abnormalities, so tests have to be preformed to determine them. But doctors don’t have an uniform opinion on these causes. That’s why in some countries tests are performed for some causes and in other countries for other potential causes. Nevertheless, there are certain factors that trigger a recurrent or habitual miscarriage, such as innate and acquired defects of the womb, specific hormone abnormalities like low levels of progesterone, systemic diseases (e.g. problems with the thyroid gland or diabetes), genetic or chromosomal abnormalities, certain infections and the negative influences of the environment. In about 50% of cases, doctors are able to determine the causes of a recurrent or habitual miscarriage. In other 50% of cases, it’s much more difficult and sometimes even impossible to determine them. Despite that, a woman is more likely to deliver a baby than have another miscarriage.


Stillbirth is the term used to describe when a baby dies in the womb, or during premature birth, after 20 weeks of pregnancy. There are several causes, but the most common ones are defects of the womb, detachment of the placenta from the womb lining, the umbilical cord wrapped around a baby’s neck or other complications with the umbilical cord and infections of the gestational sac or the umbilical cord.

What’s next?

Whatever the causes of the miscarriage, it’s very important for a woman to know that she doesn’t have to deal with this problem alone. The experience can strengthen the bond between the partners because they go together through the mourning of the baby they’ve lost. On the other hand, it has to be stressed that women experience the loss of a child in a completely different way than men, who usually get over the loss much quicker. In that case, a woman may resent her partner and feel as if he doesn’t care, because of which she withdraws into herself. So, it’s necessary that you and your partner talk openly about your emotions and feelings, no matter how uncomfortable and painful the conversation is. If you can’t deal with it, you have to seek professional help. Silence doesn’t make the problem go away. On the contrary, it becomes bigger and more difficult to deal with.


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