Factors that Increase risk of Miscarriage

Miscarriage is an unfortunate predicament that can break the morale of expecting mothers, know the risk factors and prevent it.

Arka Roy Chowdhury
Written by: Arka Roy ChowdhuryUpdated at: Dec 03, 2013 12:36 IST
Factors that Increase risk of Miscarriage

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Pregnancy is a delicate time and one must be very careful, staying safe is of utmost importance. Miscarriage can happen for many reasons, and as the old adage says, ‘prevention is better that cure’, so we want you to know and understand the factors that increase the risk of miscarriage.

Woman with her head on the table There are several factors that might occur before or during pregnancy that can increase the likelihood of your pregnancy ending in a miscarriage. While some of these you may not have any control over, such as age or certain diseases, other factors you can have some control, such as your lifestyle choices.



As we have mentioned above, age plays a role in increasing the risk of miscarriage. Women who are older than 35 years of age have a higher risk of miscarriage in compared to younger women. There is about 20 per cent chance of miscarriage when a woman is 35 years of age, and at age 40 there is a 40 per cent chance, then at 45 there is about an 80 per cent chance. Also, paternal age may play a role in this. There are studies that also suggest how there is a high chance of miscarriage if a woman’s partner is 35 years or older, with the chance increasing as men age.


Previous Miscarriage

There is a high risk of miscarriage in women who have a history of more than one previous miscarriage. The fact of the matter is that after one miscarriage your risk of miscarriage in a future pregnancy is about the same as women who have never had a miscarriage, which is 20 per cent. But as the number goes to two your risk increases to about 28 per cent.


Medical Factors

There are certain chronic diseases that increase the rate of miscarriage, for those women who have chronic hypertension or diabetes there could be a possibility of miscarriage. Also, if the woman has certain uterine abnormalities or a weak or unusually short cervix then this may increase the risk of miscarriage. You should also be aware of certain prenatal genetic tests, such as chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis, carry a slight risk of miscarriage.



Smoking, Illicit Drugs and Alcohol

Those women who smoke or drink alcohol during their pregnancy have a greater risk of miscarriage than those who are non smokers and avoid alcohol during pregnancy. Also, illicit drug use could increase the risk of miscarriage.


Toxic Chemicals

Women should be careful not to expose themselves to toxic chemicals, in places such as the work place, near factories, and the likes. Some chemicals have been found to be harmful and therefore you should try staying away from them. Toxic chemicals could be present in such items that you may not have ever thought of, these include flame retardants, the chemicals in consumer in consumer products like personal care products, make up, shampoos, and so on.  

Your pregnancy should be very seriously taken and so do take all measures to have a healthy lifestyle and go for regular checkups to ensure that everything is fine.




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