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Why Miscarriage Happens: Understanding the Factors Behind Pregnancy Loss

Miscarriage, also known as spontaneous abortion, is a relatively common occurrence during pregnancy. It refers to the loss of a pregnancy before the fetus is able to survive outside the womb, typically before 20 weeks of gestation. Miscarriages can happen for various reasons, and in many cases, the exact cause remains unknown. Here are some factors that can contribute to miscarriage:

1. Chromosomal Abnormalities:

The most common cause of miscarriage is chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus. These abnormalities occur randomly during the formation of sperm or eggs, leading to an imbalance in the genetic material. When the embryo receives an abnormal number or arrangement of chromosomes, it may not develop properly and result in a miscarriage.

2. Hormonal Imbalances:

Hormonal imbalances, such as problems with the production or function of progesterone, can affect the development of the uterine lining necessary for pregnancy. Insufficient levels of progesterone can lead to the inability of the embryo to implant properly or maintain a healthy pregnancy.

3. Structural Abnormalities:

Structural abnormalities in the uterus, such as fibroids, polyps, or a septum, can increase the risk of miscarriage. These abnormalities can interfere with implantation or affect the blood supply to the developing fetus.

4. Maternal Age:

Advanced maternal age is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage. As women get older, the quality of their eggs decreases, making them more prone to chromosomal abnormalities. This is why the risk of miscarriage tends to be higher in women over the age of 35.

5. Medical Conditions:

Certain medical conditions can increase the risk of miscarriage. These include diabetes, thyroid disorders, autoimmune diseases, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and clotting disorders. These conditions can interfere with the proper development of the pregnancy or affect the blood supply to the fetus.

6. Infections:

Infections during pregnancy, such as bacterial or viral infections, can sometimes lead to miscarriage. Infections like rubella (German measles), cytomegalovirus (CMV), or sexually transmitted infections can pose a risk to the developing fetus and result in a miscarriage.

7. Lifestyle Factors:

Certain lifestyle factors can increase the risk of miscarriage. These include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, and exposure to environmental toxins or radiation. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding harmful substances can help reduce the risk.

It’s important to note that in most cases, miscarriages are not caused by something the woman did or didn’t do. They are often a result of biological factors beyond anyone’s control. If a woman experiences a miscarriage, it’s essential to seek medical attention for evaluation, support, and guidance. In some cases, additional testing or treatment may be recommended to identify any underlying causes and help prevent future miscarriages.

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