Myths surrounding miscarriages are many. A person who suffers a miscarriage naturally looks for a reason for it. In doing so they come across a confusing array of myths and are hard pressed to decide what is believable and what is not. In sorting fact from fiction we find that many commonly held beliefs are in fact not true.
Myth: These following factors have been reported to cause miscarriages: women who conceive after the age of 35, strenuous exercise during pregnancy, obesity, former elective abortion, low progesterone, high levels of stress.
Fact: While all these factors have been linked to miscarriages, there is no evidence that they do in fact cause the miscarriages.
Myth: Taking aspirin while pregnant causes miscarriage.
Fact: The evidence on this claim is inconclusive. While the risk of miscarriage can be increased by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, some doctors do prescribe low-dose aspirin as part of treatment for recurrent miscarriages.
Myth: Heavy lifting during pregnancy can cause miscarriage.
Fact: It is certainly inadvisable to do any heavy lifting during pregnancy, but the reason for that is not that it may cause a miscarriage. During pregnancy, the ligaments soften and the joints in the body become less stable. Also, as the pregnancy advances the belly grows and the centre of gravity of the body shifts. So it is easier to lose your balance and injure yourself while lifting something heavy. In rare cases lifting can cause the placenta to tear.
Myth: Smoking, drinking alcohol and caffeine can cause a miscarriage.
Fact: This is true. Pregnant women are advised not to smoke and drink from the moment pregnancy is suspected. Caffeine is also to be avoided in the first trimester and subsequently, if there are no problems, caffeine intake should be restricted to one cup a day.
Myth: Air travel is not allowed during pregnancy.
Fact: Air travel should be undertaken only after the first trimester when the pregnancy is stable.
Myth: A hot bath or sauna is to be avoided as the high temperatures may cause miscarriage.
Fact: There is no evidence of this, but doctors do advise not to allow the body temperature to rise too much as it may cause some development disorders such as neural tube defect.