A national survey was just published in the June issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Both men and women across the country were asked about miscarriage. The survey aimed at finding out popular perceptions, and in this case misperceptions, about miscarriage in order to better treat parents who experience this often devastating loss.
The results show the average person has poor knowledge about miscarriage and its causes. Many people believe miscarriage is very rare, occurring in only 5% of pregnancies and there are widespread misconceptions about the causes of miscarriage, with many believing it is the direct result of something the mother has done. It is no wonder then, that many women fell guilt and shame after a miscarriage. Time to get the facts straight. Here is the truth about miscarriage.
– A miscarriage is the loss of a baby before the 20th week of pregnancy.
– As many as 50% of all pregnancies may end in miscarriage, the majority of these before a woman misses a period. 15% of all recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage.
– More than 80% off all miscarriages happen in the first trimester.
– Of these miscarriages in the first trimester, the majority of these occur because of a chromosomal abnormality which formed at conception.
– Exercise, sex, work (as long as you aren’t exposed to radiation), stress and lifting heavy things do not cause miscarriage.
– Maternal health problems which can cause miscarriage include uncontrolled diabetes, thyroid problems, uterus and cervical problems, infections and problems with hormones. These are more rare than chromosomal causes and can be diagnosed and addressed by a doctor.
As terrible as it is to lose a pregnancy, it is more terrible to feel responsible. It is natural to have a a sense of loss and experience grief after a miscarriage. It is unwarranted and unhealthy to feel guilt.