miscarriage: cause and prevention strategies
using lifestyle modification
Miscarriage usually occurs because the embryo has not developed properly. The cause of such a miscarriage is actually the poor condition of the egg or sperm that conceived the embryo and the cause of the poor condition of the egg or sperm is usually the poor health of the woman or man's reproductive system.
Examination of a miscarriage under a microscope usually shows that development is abnormal or has stopped at an early stage. About half of all examined miscarriages have a chromosomal abnormality and this can be said to have caused the miscarriage. However most chromosome abnormalities in miscarriages are themselves caused by the conditions of the cells at the time of development of the eggs and sperm. Very rarely they reflect a problem inherent in one of the couple. Chromosome abnormalities increase with ageing due to the negative effects of the ageing process. Many doctors mistakenly believe that if a miscarriage has normal chromosomes that the embryo was normal. This is incorrect. Miscarriages with normal chromosomes are usually just as abnormal as those with abnormal chromosomes. Apart from ageing, the common causes of miscarriage include hormonal imbalances, infections, chemical toxicity, high scrotal temperature, vitamin and nutritional deficiencies, infrequent sex and shift work. Hormonal imbalances themselves are generally cause by nutritional and lifestyle imbalances. Almost all of the causes of miscarriages can be overcome by lifestyle modification.
Miscarriage: prevention strategies
The majority of miscarriages can be prevented. I have had an extremely high rate of success in preventing miscarriage through lifestyle modification. Sometimes the bad habit is too much caffeine, sometimes it is insufficient water, exercise, dietary fish etc. Sometimes it is working with chemicals or too much stress. Usually there is more than one problem and addressing each problem area reduces the risk of having another miscarriage. I recommend that couples answer the questionnaire (yes - the man too please) then request email or telephone counselling if further help is needed. Couples can access my questionnaire on-line, and receive automated advice that addresses the problems detected. Most couples will have more than one issue that needs to be addressed. It is common to have problems in both the man and the woman.
Age is a separate problem and cannot always be overcome. If you are aged 35 or older you will benefit from more specific advice. Another rare problem that causes miscarriage is having had the lining of the womb (the endometrium) scraped away too much or too often. This usually occurs from multiple terminations of pregnancy but can occur from curettage. This cannot be overcome by natural means.
Pregnancy after miscarriage
I am often asked the question "How soon should I get pregnant after a miscarriage?" My answer is that you should wait at least three full months. There is scientific evidence that shows that if you conceive again too quickly that you are much more likely to miscarry again or to have a problem with your child. There are at least two different reasons for this. The first is that the closer the pregnancies, the more likely you are to still have the adverse conditions in your or your partner's body that caused the miscarriage. The second reason is that during a pregnancy, cells of the embryo pass into the woman's body. These embryonic cells can still be detected some months after a pregnancy and they are likely to contribute to an immune rejection response if the next pregnancy is too soon.
Adelaide, South Australia, Phone 08 8244 7551 (international: +618 8244 7551 - Australian central time)
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Site updated March 2008