Age: Age of the mother is a matter of concern because older women are more likely to conceive a baby with chromosomal abnormalities and as a result may miscarry. As per the statistics of Mayo Clinic at the age of thirty-five there is a twenty percent risk of miscarriage, which rises to forty percent at the age of forty. At the age of forty-five the risk rises to eighty percent.
Previous miscarriages: Women who have had two or more miscarriages previously are more likely to miscarry than women who have not have a miscarriage.
Chronic diseases or disorders: Poorly controlled diabetes, autoimmune diseases like Lupus, hormonal disorders like polycystic ovary syndrome and certain inherited blood clotting disorders could increase the risk of miscarriage.
Uterine or cervical problems: Certain congenital uterine problems, weak cervical tissues or an abnormally short cervix could increase the odds of having a miscarriage.
History of birth defects: If a woman or her partner has a family history of genetic abnormality or if she has previously given birth to a child with a congenital birth defect then she is at a higher risk for a miscarriage.
Smoking, drinking or using drugs: Smoking, drinking or using illegal drugs during pregnancy can all increase the chances of having a miscarriage.
Medications: Some medications have been known to increase the risk of miscarriage, so it is important to consult with the doctor even before conceiving about any medication, prescription or otherwise that a woman may be on.
Environment and pollution: Pollutants and toxins in the environment that might increase the chances of a miscarriage are lead, arsenic, formaldehyde, benzene etc.
Paternal factors: Not much is known yet about how the father’s conditions affect the risk of a miscarriage, but it is known that the risk increases with the age of the father.
Body weight: Both obesity and being underweight increases the risk of having a miscarriage.
Diagnostic tests: Some invasive prenatal genetic tests, such as chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis, carry a slight risk of miscarriage.
Treatment of a suspected miscarriage:
Call the doctor immediately if there is any bleeding, pain or any other unusual symptoms during pregnancy. The doctor will do a manual cervical exam and check the uterus to determine if there is any danger. He may also ask for a blood test to check if the hCG hormone level is normal or rising expectedly. If the doctor suspects that there could be a danger of miscarriage then he will advise for bed rest. A second ultrasound may be required after a week.
If during the second trimester an ultrasound shows that the cervix is shortening or opening, the doctor may decide to perform a procedure called cerclage, in which the cervix is stitched closed in an attempt to prevent miscarriage or premature delivery. The patient is advised strict bed rest in such cases.