Miscarriage causes

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Miscarriages can occur for many reasons, not all of which can be identified.

First Trimester

Most miscarriages (more than three-quarters) occur during the first trimester.[1]

Chromosomal abnormalities are found in more than half of embryos miscarried in the first 13 weeks. A pregnancy with a genetic problem has a 95% chance of ending in miscarriage. Most chromosomal problems happen by chance, have nothing to do with the parents, and are unlikely to recur.[2] Genetic problems are more likely to occur with older parents; this may account for the higher miscarriage rates observed in older women.[3]

Another cause of early miscarriage may be progesterone deficiency. Women diagnosed with low progesterone levels in the second half of their menstrual cycle (luteal phase) may be prescribed progesterone supplements, to be taken for the first trimester of pregnancy.[2]

Second Trimester

Up to 15% of pregnancy losses in the second trimester may be due to uterine malformation, growths in the uterus (fibroids), orcervical problems.[2] These conditions may also contribute to premature birth.[1]

One study found that 19% of second trimester losses were caused by problems with the umbilical cord. Problems with the placenta may also account for a significant number of later-term miscarriages.[4]

Drug Side Effect


  1. 1.0 1.1 Rosenthal, M. Sara (1999). "The Second Trimester". The Gynecological Sourcebook. WebMD. Retrieved 2006-12-18.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Miscarriage: Causes of Miscarriage". HealthSquare.com. Retrieved 2007-09-18. External link in |publisher= (help)
    taken word-for-word from pp. 347-9 of:
    "Chapter 27. What To Do When Miscarriage Strikes". The PDR Family Guide to Women's Health and Prescription Drugs. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics. 1994. pp. pp. 345-50. ISBN 1-56363-086-9.
  3. "Pregnancy Over Age 30". MUSC Children's Hospital. Retrieved 2006-12-18.
  4. Peng H, Levitin-Smith M, Rochelson B, Kahn E. "Umbilical cord stricture and overcoiling are common causes of fetal demise". Pediatr Dev Pathol. 9 (1): 14–9. PMID 16808633.

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