Contributed by: Rachana Arya
Scientific and historical myths abound about miscarriage, making it harder to understand. When it comes to common causes of miscarriage, women are frequently overloaded with inconsistent assumptions and misleading information regarding the various causes of miscarriage. While much of the advice to the expectant mother is well-intended, it isn’t always accurate. It’s critical to understand the causes of miscarriage, whether you’ve had one before or are concerned about the possibility of miscarrying during your pregnancy now.
We’ll look at some of the most popular statements concerning the reasons for miscarriage and unravel those long-standing misconceptions that often lead to feelings of shame and unwarranted anxieties.
Myth #1: A previous miscarriage means you’ll miscarry once again
Healthcare professionals agree that a previous miscarriage is not one of the reasons for miscarriage. The majority of women who have had a miscarriage go on to have a safe pregnancy and birth later on. Only about 1% of women have recurrent miscarriages (3 or more consecutive first trimester miscarriages), and about three-quarters of these women go on to have full-term babies. To put it another way, one miscarriage does not necessarily indicate that another one is around the corner. However, if a woman is having recurrent miscarriages, she should see a fertility specialist who can help her develop a treatment plan.
Myth #2: An injury can cause miscarriage
A common concern many women have is that a fall can cause a miscarriage. On the contrary, the fetus is very well-protected in the womb; the uterus is a strong organ, and your baby is floating in amniotic fluid. An accident, minor bumps or blows to your belly, and injuries that occur as a part of daily living aren’t likely to threaten your pregnancy. Severe injuries, on the other hand, such as those sustained in a vehicle accident or as a result of interpersonal violence, might put the mother’s and baby’s lives at risk. If you sustain a major injury, and you notice vaginal bleeding along with severe pain in your abdomen, seek medical attention right away.
Myth #3: Having sex during pregnancy causes miscarriage
Sex itself doesn’t provoke miscarriage and there is no need to avoid sexual activity during pregnancy unless your doctor has instructed you to do so due to an underlying pregnancy issue. Because the uterus is not penetrated during sexual intercourse, it is not one of the factors that can lead to miscarriage. Research tells us that most miscarriages occur because the fetus isn’t developing normally. Researchers have also looked into whether there is a link between sexual activity during pregnancy and miscarriage or ovulation and found no interlinked connection.
Myth #4: Drinking coffee causes miscarriage
While this is not true — some researches imply that high daily caffeine intake can increase the chance of miscarriage. The evidence, however, is still inconclusive. Due to conflicting conclusions from numerous studies, it is best to not have more than one cup of coffee per day.
Myth #5: High levels of stress can cause miscarriage
We all encounter stress at some point in our lives, and regular stressors — traffic on the way to the office, work pressure, an argument with your spouse, unanticipated bills — will not harm a pregnancy. Constant and long-term exposure to stress, on the other hand, causes levels of stress hormones such as cortisol to remain elevated, which has been associated with an increased chance of miscarriage. If your stress becomes overwhelming, talk to your healthcare provider; professional counseling can help along with natural stress-reduction techniques.
Myth #6: The use of birth control pills in the past can cause miscarriage
There is little scientific evidence that the previous usage of birth control pills has any bearing on your current risk of miscarriage. The hormones in the pill thicken cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the uterus, block ovulation, and prevent the uterine lining from thickening to facilitate implantation. Women who have had prolonged use of contraceptives should be reassured that they are at no increased risk of miscarriage.
Myth #7: Age has no impact on miscarriage
Women over 40 years of age who conceive have a 50% chance of miscarriage, thereby making advanced age one of the most common causes of miscarriage today. Women aged 35 and up have a higher risk of miscarriage, but their chances of having a normal and healthy pregnancy are higher than the risk of miscarriage.
Myth #8: Exercising can cause miscarriage
In truth, many pregnant women are recommended to perform some modest exercise (after receiving approval from their doctor). Most doctors advise light to moderate exercise like light yoga or stretching during pregnancy. Various studies suggest that exercising does not increase the risk of miscarriage. To be safe, though, stay away from high-intensity exercises or highly strenuous activities.
Miscarriage can have a severe impact on a woman’s mental well-being and is an episode no woman should have to go through. However, it’s a stark reality and by knowing the right information about miscarriage, you can take the essential steps to prevent one.
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