Most people believed miscarriages to be less common than they are.
According to a survey, there are a number of misconceptions about miscarriage. The majority of people who responded to the survey believed miscarriages are far less common than they are, and while most people knew the usual causes of pregnancy loss, a large number of people misunderstood those causes.
Most (55 percent) of respondents believed that miscarriages are uncommon, occurring in fewer than 6 percent of all pregnancies, and 10 percent of people thought they occur in less than 2 percent of pregnancies.
Truth: According to the Mayo Clinic, about 10-20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage*. However, the actual number is probably much higher because many occur so early in pregnancy that a woman does not even know she is pregnant. As infertility specialists, we agree that the actual rates are higher than 20 percent. This is because our patients know their pregnancy results extremely early, so we see a number of biochemical pregnancies and miscarriages that a woman who is not going through infertility treatments would not have even realized.
74 percent of respondents knew that miscarriage is usually a result of a genetic or health problem. However, 22 percent believed that alcohol, drug or tobacco use during pregnancy are the most common causes. And while 95 percent of respondents reported knowing that genetic problems could cause the loss of a pregnancy, they also attributed the causes to stress (76 percent), lifting heavy objects (64 percent), a past sexually transmitted infection (41 percent), past use of an intrauterine device (28 percent), oral contraception (22 percent), or even arguing (21 percent).
Truth: In actuality, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 60 percent of pregnancy losses are caused by mismatched chromosomes and approximately 10 percent are caused by uterine abnormalities and incompetent cervixes. Other factors involved in miscarriage can be infections, or occasionally, immunologic disorders and lifestyle. If you have had multiple pregnancy losses, it is time to see a fertility specialist. Genetic testing and other specific testing helps us determine the causes and address them directly to help our patients have successful pregnancies.
If you contact us here, we will have someone reach out to you to discuss your unique situation.
*Miscarriage was defined as pregnancy loss before the 20th week.