4 things you should know about early pregnancy loss
Early pregnancy loss is defined as occurring during the first trimester, or first 13 weeks, of pregnancy. Early pregnancy loss, also known as miscarriage, is fairly common and occurs in 10 to 20% of pregnancies. Here are four things you should know about early pregnancy loss.
- Chromosomal problems are one of the main causes of early pregnancy loss.
50% of early pregnancy loss is caused by chromosomal mismatches and missing or extra chromosomes. Sometimes, an infection or chronic problem such as severe high blood pressure can lead to early miscarriage.
- A mother’s activities are rarely the cause of early pregnancy loss.
We know that many pregnant women blame themselves or may have relatives who blame their early pregnancy loss on something the mother-to-be has done. This is rarely ever the case. None of the following will cause early pregnancy loss:
- Morning sickness
- Using certain contraceptives, such as birth control pills, before getting pregnant.
Also, it is very rare for events such as a fall, a blow to the abdominal area or fright to cause early pregnancy loss.
- The risk for early pregnancy loss increases with age.
A woman’s risk for early pregnancy loss is affected by certain factors.
- The risk increases to about 33% for women who are 40+.
- Women who have experienced two or more consecutive early pregnancy losses are at higher risk.
- Chronic conditions such as diabetes put a woman at higher risk for early pregnancy loss.
- Smokers, women who use illegal substances or drink heavily are also at higher risk.
- Bleeding and cramping may (or may not be!) symptoms of early pregnancy loss.
It isn’t unusual for women to experience some bleeding and cramping during the first trimester, but if you experience these symptoms, you should let our Austin obgyns know right away so we can check on your pregnancy. In addition to bleeding and cramping, always inform your physician if you pass fluid or tissue.