A miscarriage is when a pregnancy ends or is terminated prior to 20 weeks. While the thought of a miscarriage can bring anxiety to women who are planning a pregnancy or are already expecting, miscarriages are quite common even in healthy women. So what puts you at a higher risk?
1. Repeated miscarriages.
Those who have had two or more miscarriages in a row are more like to miscarry again, says experts.
2. Existing health conditions.
Experts say that pre-existing conditions like diabetes, certain blood clotting, autoimmune and/ or hormonal disorders can increase the risk of miscarriage.
3. Cervical problems.
Being diagnosed with congenital uterine abnormalities, severe uterine adhesions or a weak or abnormally short cervix, can up the odds for a miscarriage, doctors say.
4. Family history.
Unfortunately, if you, your partner, or family members have a genetic abnormality, you’re at higher risk for miscarriage. Not only that, you are also at risk if a genetic defect is found in a previous pregnancy or you have given birth to a child with a birth defect.
Age is a huge factor as women who are older are more likely to conceive a baby with chromosomal abnormality. In fact, those 40 years and above are twice as likely to miscarry as 20-year-olds.
Research has proven that if you continue to smoke, drink alcohol and abuse drugs when you are pregnant, your risk of a miscarriage is drastically increased.
If you are pregnant, it’s good to be aware of what you’ve been prescribed is safe, as some medications have been linked to increased risk of miscarriage. The same goes for over-the-counter drugs. When in doubt, check with your ob-gyn.
8. Paternal factors.
Although, the assumption is the fathers are never the cause for miscarriages, you may be surprised. Experts say that the risk of miscarriage does increase with the father’s age and health condition. If he is chronically ill or is on long-term medication, chances of miscarriage is higher [possibly due to the quality of the sperm].
Experts advise that it is always good to be of healthy weight when trying to be pregnant so that the chances of being overweight is reduced. Hence, the possibility of increasing your risk of miscarriage is reduced.
10. Diagnostic procedures.
Some procedures like chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis, increases the risk of miscarriage. These may be conducted for diagnostic genetic testing.