The pain of losing an unborn child is a traumatic period for a couple, especially to a would-be first-time mother. Miscarriage and other forms of pregnancy loss can bring out a lot of questions that need to be answered. Many couples take it upon themselves to look for answers as to why the miscarriage happened. Others also focus on getting information about how the pregnancy loss could have been avoided.
Miscarriage is almost always not anybody’s fault. In some cases, pregnancy loss is already a predetermined outcome from the start of conception. While there may not be any logical explanations at hand to explain why miscarriages happen, the medical community has been able to recognize a few known causes of miscarriage.
One-time miscarriage, also called sporadic pregnancy loss, is usually caused by chromosomal abnormalities during the development of the fetus. Doctors usually assume this as the default explanation for first time miscarriages due to the fact that most couples go on to have a normal pregnancy after one miscarriage.
Chromosomal abnormalities such as extra chromosomes or missing genes may cause the baby to stop developing and eventually lead to a miscarriage. After the first miscarriage, most medical professionals do not conduct testing for the cause of miscarriage since chromosomal flaws are usually random, one-time events. While miscarriage due to chromosomal flaws may occur to any woman at any age, those who are 35 years old and above are at highest risk.
When a miscarriage happens two times in a row, it is unlikely to be caused by random chromosomal errors. Usually, doctors will conduct a process of testing for recurrent miscarriage after a second case of miscarriage. In this case, chances are higher that the woman may have a detectable problem that causes the pregnancy loss.
In about 50% of the cases of recurrent miscarriages, doctors find a cause for recurrent miscarriages and then the woman is given treatment in anticipation of her next pregnancy. However, the other 50% may still not reveal any cause at all. In the same way, a woman may still get pregnant again even with two unexplained miscarriages, and still have greater chances of a normal pregnancy than another miscarriage.
Generally, causes of recurrent miscarriages are usually much more controversial compared to that of single miscarriages. Some of the most commonly recognized causes of recurrent miscarriages are:
lAbnormality in the structure of the uterus;
lBlood clotting disorders, such as antiphospholipid syndrome; and
lCertain chromosomal conditions, such as balanced translocation.
According to experts, low progesterone and other hormonal imbalances may lead to recurrent miscarriages. Although treatment with progesterone supplements is fairly common after one or two pregnancy losses, however, not all medical practitioners agree on the practice. Others believe that malfunction in the immune system, such as high levels of natural killer cells, may be the culprit.
Miscarriage after the 20th week are called stillbirths. Too-early births, on the other hand, are called preterm labors. Both preterm labors and stillbirths usually have different causes from that of earlier miscarriages, although chromosomal errors in the baby can also cause stillbirths. The most common causes of stillbirths and preterm labors are cervical insufficiency, problems in the placenta, and preterm labor due to medical issues in the mother.
At any rate, women are advised to seek out emotional support from family and friends when miscarriage occurs. Dealing with the emotional aftermath of miscarriage can be easily managed with the help of counseling.