Pregnancy is a wonderful journey, but it sometimes comes with many risks and complications, the most common being a miscarriage. Miscarriage is a loss of pregnancy before the 20th week. It is also known as spontaneous abortion.
Do you know that one in every four pregnancies ends in miscarriage? Most women believe that their miscarriage was caused by something they did or did not do. However, that is far from the truth.
About 50% of the miscarriages are caused due to chromosomal abnormalities. This is not in your hands and hence you cannot do anything to avoid it.
Another common cause of miscarriages is low progesterone levels.The deficiency of the hormone progesterone in the early stages of pregnancy can result in a miscarriage. This is because progesterone prepares the uterine lining for pregnancy. It thickens the uterine lining to make it ready to accept and sustain the fertilized egg.
Other medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, thyroid problems, etc can also cause early pregnancy loss.
While these are beyond your control, there are some things you may do to lessen your chances of miscarriage. In this article, we have explained a few steps that you can follow to mitigate the risk of miscarriages and have a healthy pregnancy.
But, before that let’s discuss the signs and symptoms of a miscarriage.
What Are The Symptoms of a Miscarriage?
Vaginal bleeding and cramping are the most common signs and symptoms of a miscarriage. The bleeding could be bright red in color with light spotting or a brown discharge with heavy bleeding. But during the first trimester, it is very common to experience light vaginal bleeding and cramping which does not necessarily mean you’re having a miscarriage. This could also be a sign of your regular periods. To know how to differentiate between a miscarriage and a period. Read our blog What Does Miscarriage Look Like? Know The Difference Between Miscarriage and Period
Other signs and symptoms of a miscarriage are:
- Belly pain
- Fluid discharge from your vagina
- Discharge of a tissue (looks like blood clots) passes from your vagina
- Fewer or no signs of pregnancy, such as nausea, vomiting, and breast tenderness
Remember that sometimes there are no symptoms of a miscarriage and you don’t find out until you get an ultrasound. This is known as a missed miscarriage.
How Can You Prevent A Miscarriage?
More often than not there is nothing that you can do to prevent a miscarriage. One vital step is to take care of yourself and your child. Being healthy before conception creates a healthy environment for conception to occur. Follow these simple tips for a healthy pregnancy:
1. Quit Smoking
For a long time, it has been known that smoking is harmful to one’s health. It increases your risk of several diseases, including lung and heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and cancer. Smoking may increase your risk of a miscarriage. Avoiding tobacco will not only ensure a healthy life, but it will also save your baby from its harmful effects.
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Like smoking, being overweight or underweight may lead to several health problems like heart disease, diabetes, along with pregnancy complications including a miscarriage.
According to research, obesity has been linked to a significantly increased chance of miscarriage. If you are overweight or obese, try to lose weight before pregnancy.
3. Take Folic Acid
If you are planning to get pregnant, it is advisable to take folic acid supplements every day. Folic acid is essential during the first trimester of pregnancy. According to the (CDC) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, taking 400 mcg of folic acid daily may help you reduce your chances of miscarriage and birth defects. Your doctor will determine the appropriate dose for you.
4. Monitor Your Hormone Levels
As discussed above, a lack of progesterone hormone can lead to a miscarriage. So, taking progesterone supplements can help you improve the odds of a miscarriage. Another important pregnancy hormone is estrogen. It is produced in the follicular phase which occurs before ovulation, and the luteal phase which happens after ovulation. During the follicular phase, estrogen helps initiate the production of LH to trigger ovulation. In the luteal phase, estrogen signals your body to prepare the uterine lining for implantation.
If ythe corpus luteum (ruptured follicle) is unable to produce enough progesterone, early miscarriage can occur. A blood test at a lab is the most common way to monitor your progesterone levels. But you can also use the Inito ovulation test kit. Inito measures the rise of progesterone (PdG) levels in your body. It also measures your estrogen and LH levels (Luteinizing hormone) to track your fertile window. This device can help predict your fertile window and confirm ovulation by measuring the actual values of your hormones. If you have low progesterone levels during the second half of your cycle, you should see a doctor.
5. Manage Your Chronic Medical Conditions
Chronic health problems including diabetes, hypothyroidism, and hypertension are all associated with an increased risk of recurrent miscarriages. If you have any such medical condition, you should consult your doctor and get proper treatment to prevent any risks during pregnancy. If you are able to manage your condition, you’ll have the best odds for a healthy pregnancy.
6. Exercise Regularly
If you are trying to conceive, exercising regularly before and during pregnancy. This will help you prevent pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes and hypertension. Thus, it will aid in a healthy pregnancy and birth.
If you were not physically active before pregnancy, do not start a new exercise regimen without first consulting your doctor.
7. Eat Right
Having a balanced diet not only helps in weight control but also controls your blood sugar level. It is vital to eat a healthy, nutritious diet if you are pregnant. A well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can keep you healthy and help your baby grow and develop.
8. Practice Safe Sex
Some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can increase pregnancy complications and lead to a miscarriage. If you suspect that you may have been exposed to an STD and are experiencing symptoms such as vaginal discharge, itching, or pain when urinating, get tested right away.
9. Manage Stress
Feeling stressed is common during pregnancy due to the never-ending changes. But, major stresses that continue for a long time may cause health problems, like heart problems and high blood pressure. Some evidence does support that psychological stress before and during pregnancy is linked to miscarriage.
For many people, stress is inevitable, especially if they are coping with infertility or recurrent miscarriages. However, you should try to do things to relax your mind to reduce stress. Staying relaxed will not only enhance your mood but will also help the health of your pregnancy.
10. Limit Your Caffeine Intake
According to research, daily consumption of high dose of caffeine during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of miscarriage as compared to no caffeine consumption. It is advised to limit your caffeine intake to 200 milligrams a day, or roughly a 12-ounce cup of coffee, tea, or other caffeinated beverages.
- A miscarriage can occur due to various reasons and most of the time it can not be prevented.
- Miscarriages are unpreventable, but you can try to reduce your risk by staying as healthy as possible.
- While these methods may help you avoid miscarriage, there’s always a possibility that you do everything “right” and still have a miscarriage.
- If you are concerned about pregnancy loss, consult your doctor.
- Early Pregnancy Loss. Acog.org. https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/early-pregnancy-loss. Published 2022. Accessed May 12, 2022.
- https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/folicacid/features/folic-acid-helps-prevent-some-birth-defects.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Ffeatures%2Ffolicacidbenefits%2Findex.html. Published 2022. Accessed May 12, 2022.