If pregnant, lifestyle factors such as cigarette smoking, environmental toxins, drugs and excessive intake of alcohol can put you at risk of miscarriage – is a known fact. But if you are suffering from hormonal problems or any infections during pregnancy, then your chance of having a miscarriage increases, says Dr Uma Vaidyanathan, Senior Consultant Gynaecologist and Obstetrician, Max Hospital, New Delhi.
PCOS: Women suffering from Poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) have high levels of testosterone, which causes irregular ovulation and menstruation, increasing the risk of miscarriage. It also causes insulin resistance, which prevents the endometrial lining from growing properly thereby hindering with implantation.
Hypothyroidism: Not many people know that thyroid hormone helps in regulating cellular function and abnormal levels of thyroid can affect your chances of pregnancy. If left untreated, it can even lead to miscarriages. Moreover, low thyroid levels can interfere with ovulation, which further increases your risk of infertility and miscarriage.
Infections: It is important to stay away from any infections, especially during pregnancy. Bacterial infection of the genital tract can up your risk of miscarriage. Certain bacteria can affect the endometrial lining of the uterus making it difficult for the embryo to implant and develop, leading to miscarriage.
Structural abnormalities: Most people do not know that problems with the structure of the uterus or cervix can put you at risk of miscarriage. Structural abnormalities such as abnormally shaped uterus (uterine septum or T-uterus), fibroids or incompetent cervix (cervix that opens and widens too early) can cause miscarriage.
Chromosomal abnormalities: Did you know that more than 50% of late miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities in the foetus? As babies fail to grow normally with damaged set of chromosomes, it leads to miscarriage. The risk is even higher if you get pregnant in late 30s or early 40s.
Chronic condition: Yes, if you have a chronic condition such as uncontrolled diabetes or high blood pressure, your risk of miscarriage increases severely. And the only way to deal with it is control the underlying medical condition followed by frequent visits to a gynaecologist.
Autoimmune disease: Although rare, autoimmune disorders can also lead to miscarriage. This is because the mother’s own cells recognise the growing foetus as a foreign body and start producing antibodies against the foetus, leading to miscarriage.