10 Must-Know Miscarriage Facts
Up to 1 in 4 confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage before 20 weeks, but many other women miscarry without having realised they are pregnant. It's easy to feel concerned about keeping your pregnancy. Here's what you need to know about miscarriage.
1. How common is miscarriage?
Up to 1 in 4 confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage before 20 weeks, but many other women miscarry without having realised they are pregnant. Most miscarriages occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and research has shown that the risk of miscarriage drastically falls throughout the first trimester – going from 9.4 percent at six weeks to 0.7 percent at 10 weeks.
2. I’ve already had a miscarriage - what are the chances of me miscarrying again?
Most women who have had a miscarriage will go on to have a successful pregnancy. Having one miscarriage does not increase your chances of having another. However the risk does increase slightly after recurrent miscarriages (three or more) and you should speak to your doctor about investigating an underlying cause if this occurs.
3. Does my age matter?
The older you are, the higher the risk of miscarriage. In fact, women under 35 years have about a 15 percent chance of miscarriage; women between 35 and 45 have a 20-35 percent chance of miscarriage; and women over the age of 45 can have up to a 50 percent chance of miscarriage.
4. What does morning sickness mean?
While morning sickness can be horrible to live with, but recent studies have linked morning sickness with a decrease in the risk of miscarriage. This is not to say that if you are lucky enough to avoid morning sickness, your pregnancy will end in miscarriage.
5. Can having sex make me miscarry?
There is no evidence that sex can induce a miscarriage. Penetration during sex only occurs in the vagina and never goes past the cervix. As the developing baby is well protected in the uterus beyond, there is no way it can be harmed. However, if you have suffered recurrent miscarriages or have an incompetent cervix, talk to your health professional to get advice that is right for you.
6. Can my weight cause me to miscarry?
Overweight women do have a greater risk of miscarriage – research has shown that women with a pre-pregnancy BMI over 35 may have miscarriage and other health problems associated with pregnancy. Additionally, women who are underweight have a higher risk of miscarriage.
7. Can exercising cause me to miscarry?
Exercise is perfectly safe during pregnancy and it can even reduce the risk of complications such as pre eclampsia later on. It is best to stick to low impact exercise where possible and you should consult your doctor if you’re unsure about your fitness routine.
8. Can lifting heavy objects cause me to miscarry?
The consensus seems to be that lifting objects weighing up to that of your average toddler will not increase your risk of miscarriage. In fact, it is likely that you will drop a heavy load long before it is heavy enough to create any type of miscarriage risk.
9. Can taking The Pill cause me to miscarry?
If you are on the birth control pill when you fall pregnant, there is little evidence to show that this can increase the risk of miscarriage. However, it is advised that you stop taking the The Pill as soon as you learn that you’re pregnant.
10. Can dying my hair cause me to miscarry?
The amount of hair colour absorbed through the skin is tiny and so most experts agree that chemically colouring your hair is most likely safe and poses no risk of miscarriage. Although, as there are conflicting reports - and very little research has been done in this area - some healthcare professionals recommend staying away from chemical treatments (hair dyes, perming solutions, hair straightening solutions) during the first trimester.