How likely is a miscarriage and what can I do to prevent it?

Women go through various health conditions before and after pregnancy that make them vulnerable to many unfortunate events that hinder their journey to motherhood. Budding mothers fear many things during their pregnancy, and miscarriage is the most prevalent and not mostly talked about. Moreover, 15% of pregnancies lead to miscarriage for mostly unknown reasons. Miscarriages usually occur during the initial days or weeks of conception. As long as you are following a healthy regime, the chances of miscarriage get really less.

In this article, we will shed some light on the causes that lead to miscarriage and how you can avoid miscarriage.

Here are some of the benefits from exercise during pregnancy you may experience:

What is a miscarriage?

A miscarriage (also called a spontaneous abortion) is the unexpected ending of a pregnancy in the first 20 weeks of gestation. Just because it's called a "miscarriage" doesn't mean you did something wrong in carrying the pregnancy. Most miscarriages are beyond your control and occur because the fetus stops growing.

Types of Miscarriage

Your pregnancy care provider may diagnose you with the following types of miscarriage:

  • Complete Miscarriage- You would experience bleeding and pass fetal tissue through your uterus, and nothing remains in the uterus. Your health expert will confirm this only after an ultrasound.
  • Missed Miscarriage- You may not realise that you have experienced a miscarriage. There will be no specific symptoms of miscarriage, but an ultrasound will confirm that foetus has no heartbeat.
  • Recurrent miscarriage: Three consecutive miscarriages. It affects about 1% of couples.
  • Threatened miscarriage: Your cervix stays closed, but you're bleeding and experiencing pelvic cramping. The pregnancy typically continues with no further issues. Your pregnancy care provider may monitor you more closely for the rest of your pregnancy.
  • Inevitable miscarriage: You're bleeding, cramping and your cervix has started to open (dilate). You may leak amniotic fluid. A complete miscarriage is likely.

Precautions to Take During Early Pregnancy to Avoid Miscarriage

The majority of miscarriages are due to genetic abnormalities developed in the fetus. Unfortunately, miscarriages caused by genetic abnormalities can't be prevented. However, there are other causes of miscarriages. Thus, there are various tips and methods you can take into action for preventing miscarriage.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is a major health risk. It increases your risk of many kinds of cancer, lung disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. People who smoke (or are exposed to second-hand smoke) are more likely to experience infertility and/or have a miscarriage, stillborn baby, preterm delivery, or low birth weight infant. Infants born to people who smoke have a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Quitting tobacco may not only save the life of your baby; it may make sure you're around for many years of parenthood, too.

Avoid wet paint exposure.

Paint toxicity depends upon individual solvents and chemicals in the paint and exposure. Household paint has a low exposure level, but it is best to avoid wet paint exposure during pregnancy to stay away from the fumes from these paints.

Be Careful in the Kitchen

Food-borne illnesses like listeria are associated with an increased risk of miscarriage. Pregnant people are routinely advised to avoid the foods that are the most common sources of dangerous bacteria, like undercooked meats and unpasteurized cheeses. However, safe food handling is even more important than usual to prevent infections.

Avoid Unprotected Sex

Having safe sex is generally not a notion that's directed towards pregnant women, or women trying to get pregnant; Nonetheless, contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as gonorrhea and chlamydia is one of the ways miscarriages occur. STI's can also cause other pregnancy complications like that Neonatal Death, Ectopic pregnancy, Infertility, Stillbirth. If you're sexually active, you're at risk of contracting an STI. There's a screening for prenatal care, but it's recommended that you get tested for STIs before you start trying to conceive, especially if there if you have more than one sexual partner in your relationship. People with multiple partners are strongly urged to use condoms, even while pregnant.

Protect Yourself from the Flu

Catching the flu during pregnancy may feel really uncomfortable, but it's not likely to result in a miscarriage. However, a fever accompanied by a temperature that's higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, is linked to a higher risk of miscarriage in women. If you catch the flew, you may be prescribed some sort of Tylenol (acetaminophen) to get better. Getting a flu vaccine is an important step in protecting yourself from the flu. Flu shots protect the mother and the developing fetus from the flu. Also, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccination has been shown to reduce the risk of flu-related acute respiratory infection by about 50%.

Aim for a Healthy Weight

Like smoking, obesity has been linked to many health problems-from increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, to pregnancy complications including premature birth, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and all types of pregnancy loss. Being underweight can also increase the risk of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications.11 Experts don't fully understand all the reasons why obesity is linked with pregnancy loss. But studies all over the world are finding the same results. Women who are obese have a higher risk of losing their babies.

Start Prenatal Care

If you haven't already started prenatal care, you should do so as soon as possible. A physical exam from a doctor or midwife may uncover health problems or pregnancy complications you aren't aware of which could lead to a pregnancy loss if they go untreated-such as high blood pressure, gestational or type 2 diabetes, cervical or uterine abnormalities, or sexually transmitted infections.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity increases the risk of spontaneous abortions and recurrent miscarriages; Furthermore, obesity can make it more difficult to conceive. Women who are underweight, before conceiving can have a hard time conceiving as well. The body needs fat during reproduction to synthesize the estrogen hormone. Estrogen develops the uterus into a secure resting spot for a fertilized egg. Research from the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology showed that underweight women had a 72% higher chance of miscarriage in the first 3 months of pregnancy, compared to women with a healthy body mass index.

Don't Drink Alcohol.

There is no amount of alcohol that is safe during pregnancy. And there is no time during pregnancy when alcohol does not carry risks. Drinking alcohol while pregnant can cause problems for a developing baby at any stage. This includes the days and weeks before a person knows they're pregnant. Drinking alcohol anytime in the first trimester can cause central nervous system problems and abnormal facial features and growth. Drinking alcohol later in a pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. These disorders are a range of behavioral and intellectual disabilities.

Take Your Medications

Chronic health problems like lupus, diabetes, and high blood pressure are all associated with increased chances of pregnancy loss. If you have a diagnosed chronic illness, you'll have the best odds for a healthy pregnancy if you keep your condition under optimum control both prior to conception and throughout pregnancy. If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, consult your doctor about how to best control your condition, and be sure to follow all your doctor's recommendations, including prescription or over-the-counter medications. If you are considering pregnancy, start taking prenatal vitamins before you conceive. The benefits of folic acid are especially crucial in the early stages of pregnancy, even before you may know you are pregnant. Adequate folic acid intake is essential to prevent neural tube defects in your baby, which can be fatal depending on severity.