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A Reality Check for Common Miscarriage Claims

The Truth About What Does and Does Not Increase Risk of Miscarriage

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Updated March 25, 2014

Claim: If You Don't Wait to Try Again, You Risk Another Miscarriage

Waiting to Try Again
Photo: Adam Gault / Getty Images

Truth: There's always a risk of miscarriage in any pregnancy, but there's no real evidence that you need to wait any set period of time after a first-trimester miscarriage before you try again. Doctors may advise waiting for different reasons in individual cases, however, so check with your doctor.

Claim: Progesterone Cream Can Prevent Miscarriage

Progesterone Cream
Photo: Nichola Evans / Getty Images

Truth: Don't rush out and buy that cream yet. Some doctors do believe that progesterone supplements might help women with recurrent miscarriages but this is controversial and there's no strong evidence that the supplements help. As for over-the-counter creams, the dosage varies heavily and some of the creams don't even contain any active progesterone. It's best to find a doctor who is willing to prescribe supplements if you want to use progesterone during pregnancy.

Claim: A Bicornuate Uterus Causes Miscarriages

Uterus Illustration
Image © A.D.A.M.

Truth: A bicornuate uterus can mean increased risk of preterm labor, but there's no evidence that it increases risk of miscarriage. However, a uterine septum can mean increased risk of miscarriage, and the two malformations look similar on imaging tests. It is common that a septate uterus can be misdiagnosed as a bicornuate uterus.

Claim: Being Hit in the Abdomen Can Lead to Miscarriage

Truth: Minor trauma such as falling, being hit in the abdomen, or having a fender bender is not likely to cause a first-trimester miscarriage, but it can cause placental abruption in the second or third trimester and potentially lead to late pregnancy loss.

Claim: Riding a Roller Coaster Can Cause a Miscarriage

Roller Coaster
Photo Courtesy of Image*After

Truth: No one has researched the safety of riding roller coasters or other amusement park rides during pregnancy. There is a theoretical risk that the jerking motions could lead to placental abruption later in pregnancy, and although riding a roller coaster in very early pregnancy is most likely not going to cause problems, no one really knows when the cut off point would be for when it is safe versus risky.

Claim: Obesity Increases Risk of Miscarriage

Obesity
Photo: Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

Truth: This does appear to be true, but the relationship between body weight and miscarriage is still not well understood. More research is needed.

Claim: Getting Sick During Pregnancy Can Cause a Miscarriage

Truth: Certain bacterial and viral infections, such as Fifth Disease or Rubella, can cause miscarriage in some women. But usually the risk of having a miscarriage is far lower than the odds that the baby will be fine.

Claim: Moms Over 35 Have a Higher Risk of Miscarriage

Truth: The risk of miscarriage is higher for moms over 35 than for moms under 35, but a majority of moms over 35 will have a normal pregnancy.

Claim: The Miscarriage Must Have Been My Fault

Self Blame
Photo: Stockbyte / Getty Images

Truth: Miscarriage almost never happens because of something the mother did or did not do (and usually not because of any action or inaction on the part of the doctor either).

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  3. Miscarriage / Pregnancy Loss
  4. Risk Factors
  5. Miscarriage Myths - Truths and Myths About Causes of Miscarriage

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