A miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy. Pregnancy losses after the 20th week and before term are called preterm deliveries. Most miscarriages occur during the first 7 weeks of pregnancy. The rate of miscarriage drops after the baby’s heartbeat is detected. Miscarriages are usually caused by chromosome abnormalities in the foetus that make it impossible for the baby to develop.
Other possible causes of miscarriage include:
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Exposure to environmental toxins
- Hormone problems – Women with very irregular periods may find it harder to conceive and when they do, are more likely to miscarry
- Infection – Minor infections like coughs and colds are not harmful, but a very high temperature and some illnesses or infections, such as German measles, may cause miscarriage
- Physical problems with the mother’s reproductive organs
- Problem with the body’s immune response
- Serious body-wide (systemic) diseases in the mother like Diabetes
The risk of miscarriage is higher in women:
- Who are older, with increases beginning by age 30, becoming greater between 35 and 40, and highest after 40.
- Who have had previous miscarriages
At BGIC we investigate the underlying cause for women who manage to conceive but miscarry recurrently. Once the cause is identified, treatment is offered depending on which has the best chances of a successful pregnancy and birth.