The majority of miscarriages
take place in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy
. When you have passed the 12 week mark it is unlikely that a miscarriage will take place but it is still a possibility.
A miscarriage is the unplanned ending of a pregnancy before week 20. A miscarriage after week 12 is known as a late miscarriage. After 20 weeks it is a stillbirth. 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage in Ireland (often before the mother even knows she’s pregnant) but 80% of miscarriages take place in the early stages of pregnancy.
Miscarriages that take place during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are usually the cause of chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus. A miscarriage after the first 3 months is likely to be the result of something amiss in the mother’s body. There may be problems with the uterus or cervix or placenta. These problems are very rare and if they do occur they are not your fault.
Women who are most at risk
of having a miscarriage are older women, usually women above 40. A woman over the age of 40 has a 33% chance of miscarrying compared to a woman in her 20’s who has a 15% chance of loosing her baby. Other factors that can contribute to a miscarriage are smoking, poor nutrition
, vitamin deficiencies
(especially of the B vitamins), being overweight or underweight, hormonal insufficiency or imbalance, bacterial vaginosis, certain STDs, and certain chronic conditions. While these are all things that you can control, most of the time a woman cannot do anything to prevent a miscarriage.
Sometimes when a woman has a miscarriage later in her pregnancy, a miscarriage isn't complete and parts of the pregnancy remain in the uterus. In such cases your doctor might recommend you undergo a dilation and curettage
to remove all fetal and placental tissue. Your doctor might give you medications to trigger uterine contractions to expel the pregnancy. A third approach is to wait until the uterus naturally expels the pregnancy. Discuss with your doctor all your options so you can choose the one that feels right for you under the circumstances.
A miscarriage is generally something that is out of your control so try not to worry too much. Instead, focus on the things that you can control like your diet, exercising moderately and taking the right supplements