Does Stress cause Miscarriage

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 24, 2013

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Quick Bites

  • Miscarriage is associated with a hormone in the human body called cortisol.
  • A pregnant woman needs rest to maintain moderate levels of progesterone.
  • Healthy lifestyle lowers the risk of miscarriage to a certain extent.
  • Visit your doctor immediately if there is any symptom of miscarriage.

Stress has been for long considered a possible cause of miscarriage with a lot of studies vouching for the same evidence. Besides, the pattern of miscarriage has mostly been noticed in women who get pregnant for the first time and are anxious about the possible changes their body is likely to go through, the health of the baby and their body-image.

Does Stress cause Miscarriage

Miscarriage is related to a particular hormone in the human body called cortisol. This hormone is secreted by the adrenal glands and plays an important role in regulating blood pressure, glucose metabolism and blood sugar.

During pregnancy, the level of cortisol is usually high in the morning and low at night. Cortisol is also referred to as a stress hormone because it is secreted at higher levels when the body experiences stress. It is all right to secrete a little amount of cortisol from time to time as it is this that provides quick energy, increased immunity, improved memory and lower sense to pain. If a person is forever stressed or his/her level of cortisol in the blood is always high, he/she is likely to suffer from high blood pressure, impaired cognition, imbalanced blood sugar and weak muscles and bones.


Role of Progesterone

When a woman secretes excess of cortisol into her blood, she experience a problematic pregnancy as the cortisol hormones tend to affect the progesterone levels in her body. It must not be forgotten that progesterone plays an important role in a woman’s menstrual cycle. Once a woman has been through her ovulation, progesterone is secreted to coat the lining of the uterus so that the embryo can rest safely on the wall. When the woman does not ovulate or no fertilisation has taken place, the progesterone levels fall, resulting in the shedding of inner lining of the uterine wall, causing a woman to menstruate. When the cortisol levels heighten, the progesterone levels drop, sending a wrong signal to the brain that there is no egg implant and that the bleeding may as well take place. It is therefore, important for pregnant women to take enough rest and maintain moderate levels of progesterone by stressing only when it is necessary. The best way to manage cortisol levels is by practising stress management techniques.


How to Prevent Miscarriage

Although, miscarriage is caused by natural, inevitable factors like certain diseases cannot be avoided; there, however, are several ways in which you can be on the safer side. Chances of miscarriage increase with age and it is therefore, recommended by experts worldwide that women try to conceive when they are in their early or late twenties. Some guidelines to observe to avoid miscarriage include the following:

  • eating healthful foods.
  • exercising regularly.
  • quitting smoking.
  • maintaining healthy weight.
  • avoiding drinking alcohol.
  • avoiding engagement in rigorous activities.
  • visiting doctor immediately if there is any symptom of miscarriage.
  • keeping the abdomen under suppor.
  • avoiding excessive consumption of caffeine.

Stress impacts our health in unimaginable ways. So, it is important for a woman to employ some ways to reduce it so she does not run the threat of a miscarriage.

Read more articles on Miscarriage.

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