Causes of Miscarriages – Pregnancy Loss

Written by Farah Ashfaq | Last modified on:

Pregnancy Loss

Abortion of fetus that occurs spontaneously in some pregnant women ends the pregnancy. Thus ending of pregnancy prior to 24 weeks of gestation is called the miscarriage. Below are some common Causes of Miscarriages

What Causes Miscarriage

Most people ask what can cause a miscarriage, Miscarriage occurs only when the embryo or fetus does not have the surviving capacity for many reasons. The miscarriage is considered to be the most common complication of pregnancy.

Causes of early miscarriage

The miscarriage may occur earlier even before sixth-week LMP(since last menstrual period of a woman) and this type of earlier miscarriage is called the early pregnancy loss and it may also be called as the chemical pregnancy. When this loss of pregnancy occurs after the sixth week LMP, then it is called the clinical spontaneous abortion.


Abortion is the process where the embryo dies by means of removal or expulsion and it happens for whatever reasons. It may happen naturally or it may be induced. Using the term abortion raised many arguments among women as it is commonly associated with induced abortions. Hence, the word miscarriage is used in the place of abortion in several occasions.

Women in Labour Room After Abortin

Premature Birth

Premature birth is defined for the labor before the 37th week of pregnancy and the following live birth. This term is applicable even if the infant dies shortly after live birth. The survival of the infant in premature birth depends upon the weeks of pregnancy and normally the infant lives for minutes after birth if it born in the 16th week of pregnancy. Stillbirth is defined when the fetus dies even in the uterus after about the 20 to 24th week of pregnancy. Stillbirths and premature births are not generally considered to be for miscarriage.

Threatened Abortion

Threatened abortion is a medical condition where the patient encounters a bleeding, while the embryo or fetus remains viable and the pregnancy has the tendency to continue. This may happen in the cases of hematoma on an investigation.

Empty sac is the condition where the embryonic part stops growing whereas the gestational cavity develops normally. An inevitable abortion is a condition where the fetus has yet to come out but the cervix is already widely opened. A complete abortion is a term where all the substances of conception are expelled completely.

Premature Birth Survival Rates

An incomplete abortion is a condition where part of the products of the conception is expelled and part of the tissue remains in the uterus. When the fetus dies and abortion has not yet occurred is termed as a missed abortion. When a portion of the tissue remains inside the uterus may cause infection and this condition is called a septic abortion.

This is a life-threatening condition of the woman. When the abortion occurs consecutively for three times in a woman, then it is termed as recurrent or habitual abortion.

Pregnancy Bleeding – Major Symptoms of a miscarriage

The pregnancy bleeding is the major symptom of miscarriage and this bleeding is also called as a threatened abortion. Symptoms other than bleeding generally do not apply to miscarriage.

The miscarriage has its own impact on women. Physical and psychological recovery varies from woman to woman. Though they recover quickly from physical activities, the psychological recovery takes its own time from months to a year. The study so far conducted shows the women are very much affected psychologically by the miscarriage. The woman who encounters miscarriage often feels for a baby had been born and died. She is affected mentally and her dreams about the fetus make her sick.

Besides the loss of the fetus, the woman suffers from lack of understanding by others. Others do not understand her upsets. This may lead to misunderstanding by others. She becomes painful when others mention about the miscarriage during the conversation. Some women feel isolated after her miscarriage.  The interaction with pregnant women and newborn children causes mental affection in rare cases who encountered miscarriage.

Few Other Known Causes of Miscarriages

There are many other causes of miscarriages. Many of the causes have been identified so far by medical society and some of them are still not known. Known causes of miscarriages are tissue rejection, reproductive tract and uterus infection, hormonal abnormalities, uterine abnormalities and genetic involvement.

First Trimester Miscarriage

About two third of the miscarriages occur during the first trimester. The miscarriage that happens within 13 weeks is mostly because of the chromosomal abnormalities. The repeated or recurrent miscarriages are mostly caused by this reason only. Older women almost encounter miscarriage due to a genetic problem. The deficiency of progesterone hormone is said to be the other causes of miscarriages in the first trimester. The prescription of progesterone supplements is recommended if found deficient to avoid miscarriage.

Second Trimester Miscarriage

The uterine malformation is said to be a major cause of miscarriages that occur in the second trimester. Other losses during this period may be due to cervical problems and uterine fibroids. Umbilical cord problems and problems with placenta may also cause miscarriage during the second trimester.

Risk factors for miscarriage include uncontrolled diabetes, multi fetus, ovarian cysts, usage of metformin, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, hypothyroidism, an illness like measles, rubella, and smoking of cigarettes and age of the mother.

Diagnosis of Miscarriage

Diagnosis of miscarriage may be done by ultrasound and by examination of passed tissue. Blood loss is the common feature in miscarriage and if it is mild, seeing a doctor is enough for getting his advice. If the bleeding is high with fever and pain, the emergency treatment is recommended.