A miscarriage, also known as spontaneous abortion, is a pregnancy that is terminated by natural causes. Many women do not realize that they have experienced a miscarriage because it happens so early in the pregnancy, before the conceptus can survive independently outside of the womb. A sign of a potential miscarriage could appear as a menstrual period that is heavier than normal. Miscarriages that take place later in the pregnancy can result in uncomfortable cramping and intense vaginal bleeding.

Researchers have reported that about twenty percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. This statistic is most likely an underestimate due to the fact that a large number of spontaneous abortions remain undetected (the mother may mistake the miscarried fetus for a heavy menstrual period) and/or unreported. A more accurate estimate may actually reveal that 40 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage.

There are various genetic, hormonal, and medical explanations for the unexpected loss of a fetus. Often a miscarriage is due to the defective nature of the conceptus. Studies of miscarried fetuses point out that around 60 percent showed abnormalities that interfered with their chances of survival, showing that miscarriages may function as a means of naturally reducing the number of unhealthy fetuses. This observation discounts the belief that a majority of miscarriages are due to psychological and physical traumas or the mother’s negligence.

Although many women do not realize that they are pregnant and therefore do not realize they have experienced a miscarriage, some women recognize obvious signs. A spontaneous abortion can be a significant loss, not only for the woman involved, but the couple as well. A strongly desired pregnancy that ends in a miscarriage can cause a great deal of grief and emotional suffering for the expecting parents, especially if the pregnancy defies the odds of infertility. In order to help someone cope with a miscarriage, it is important to be supportive and offer to help in any way. If the mother or father involved with the failed pregnancy suffer long-term psychological turmoil (depression, weight loss, anxiety, feelings of loneliness, etc.), it would be wise to consult a counseling specialist to help relieve these effects.

Posiible Causes of Miscarriage

  • Rejection of abnormal fetus
  • Damaged cervix
  • Obesity
  • Abnormal uterus
  • Underactive thyroid gland
  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol or Drug use
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Chronic kidney inflammation
  • Infection
  • Autoimmune reaction
  • Emotional Shock
  • Excessive Stress


Last Updated 30 January 2012. 

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