Pregnancy and Parenting Features

Is There A Link Between Miscarriage And Fetal Abnormalities?

Unfortunately for those who experience them, the causes behind a miscarriage are very often unknown. In fact, it is estimated that somewhere between 15 and 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Sometimes, this miscarriage occurs early enough that the woman may not even know that she was pregnant to begin with.

Researchers have come to some conclusions about miscarriages, and some of the causes of miscarriages. They have found a link, for example, between miscarriage and fetal abnormalities. Somewhere around half of all miscarriages are the result of a chromosomal or genetic abnormality in the fetus. Sometimes, the fetus does not have the usual number of chromosomes that a pregnancy typically has; the fetus may have more or less than the usual 46. In other cases, chromosomes in the fetus may come in 3, rather than in pairs like they usually do. This is called a Trisomy. A monosomy, likewise, refers to when there is only one chromosome. Sometimes chromosomal problems are even hereditary, and can be passed from one generation to the next. In other cases, the chromosomal abnormality may just be an aberration, and not occur again for the woman or for any of her family. Many women who have miscarried due to fetal abnormalities have gone on to have normal and healthy pregnancies.

Not all miscarriages are linked to fetal abnormalities, however. Many times, miscarriage occurs due to lifestyle issues. Things like alcohol abuse, smoking, or high amounts of caffeine intake are all thought to contribute, to some degree or another, to an increased risk of miscarriage. In other cases, mismanagement of a chronic disease, such as diabetes or a thyroid problem, can lead to miscarriage.

Even more frustrating for women who have had a miscarriage is the fact that in at least 20% of cases it is nearly impossible to know what caused the miscarriage. The good news here is that the vast majority of women who experience one miscarriage will be able to go on to have a normal and successful future pregnancy.

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