Miscarriages are NOT caused by stress or heavy-lifting: How 76% of Americans are misinformed about pregnancy complications

By Margot Peppers

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The majority of Americans are misinformed about the causes and frequency of miscarriages, leading to feelings of guilt when parents experience it.

A poll of 1,083 men and women in the U.S., conducted by researchers at New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, found that 76per cent believed a stressful event is a common cause of miscarriage, and 74per cent listed longstanding stress as a major cause.

What's more, 65per cent wrongly believe miscarriage is a rarity when, in actual fact, one-in-four pregnancies result in a miscarriage, making it the most common of any pregnancy complication.

Miscarriage

Common misconceptions: A new poll has found that 76per cent of Americans believe a stressful event is a common cause of miscarriage, and 74per cent list longstanding stress as a major cause

Dr S Zev Williams, an OB-GYN at the institute, said of the findings: 'Miscarriage is a traditionally taboo subject that is rarely discussed publicly - even though nearly one million occur in the U.S. each year.'

Not only are Americans misinformed about the frequency of miscarriages, but they also have false ideas when it comes to its most common causes.

 

The majority of those surveyed wrongly believed stressful events or chronic stress are major causes of miscarriage - a common misconception that has never been proved true.

In reality, 60 to 80per cent of miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities, the most common cause by far.

According to the research, which was posted on LiveScience.com, 41per cent of Americans believe miscarriages may be due to sexually transmitted diseases - a factor that can contribute, but is not a leading cause.

'Miscarriage is a taboo subject that is rarely discussed - even though one million occur yearly'

Sixty-four per cent said they thought lifting a heavy object could cause a miscarriage.

And nearly a quarter said they believed the myth that a mother not wanting the pregnancy can result in a miscarriage.

These common misconceptions about the causes of miscarriage have led parents to feel guilty when they experience one, since they believe their behavior has caused it, according to Today.com.

Other perceived causes cited by the people polled were previous abortions and long-term birth control.

One thing they did accurately predict was the emotional impact caused by a miscarriage.

66per cent said they believed the emotional impact is 'severe and potentially equivalent to losing a child', a feeling that is shared by many parents who experience a miscarriage.

The comments below have not been moderated.

Why not, they lie to us about everything else ?

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Could a low level of Progesterone be another reason?

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Yes but with my 11 pregnancies (and eventual losses) my progesterone levels were normal up until I actually miscarried. But I have a girlfriend who had 4 miscarriages and low progesterone was the issue there. She now has 2 beautiful children.

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I share this in case there are women out there who have had multiple miscarriages and have never gotten an answer as to why. I've had 11 miscarriages and know all too well the heartache of losing a child. But I have to admit that even more heartbreaking was never being able to find out the "why" behind all the losses. After years of tests and countless Dr. appointments, a simple blood test showed that I was missing 2 genes in my DNA that process folic acid. It's takes a bit much to explain why folic acid is so important but it was a relief to finally figure out what was going on. Also found out that the percentage of women who have this same issue is highest in my home state of Washington. Now I take a folic acid product that my body accepts and as for a baby? Well, I'm in my 40's now so we'll see if it happens. ;0) - Lovey, Lake Stevens, United States, 18/10/13 21:34 I really hope you get your baby x

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Thank you for your kind words. ;0)

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A miscarriage is caused by teratogens

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My mom was told by 6 doctors that all 7 of her miscarriages were her fault and when the 7th doctor did a simple test and discovered my step dad (her husband) was missing a chromosome and that was causing the miscarriages.

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I've heard that as well with some couples. I also heard about a woman (friend of a friend) who was allergic to her husband's sperm which led to pregnancy complications!! Goodness, can you imagine?

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It would not be wise to presume a fetus cannot know whether or not they are wanted by their mother whilst inside the womb. Maybe it loves it's parents enough to sacrifice it's own life so as not to be a burden? Ahh, that can't be because then we'd start feeling guilty ... and that would cramp our style. Science MUST be correct! it's just a blob of random cells until the first breath of air. At that point it mysteriously becomes a little human, all cute and cuddly. What have we become?

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I share this in case there are women out there who have had multiple miscarriages and have never gotten an answer as to why. I've had 11 miscarriages and know all too well the heartache of losing a child. But I have to admit that even more heartbreaking was never being able to find out the "why" behind all the losses. After years of tests and countless Dr. appointments, a simple blood test showed that I was missing 2 genes in my DNA that process folic acid. It's takes a bit much to explain why folic acid is so important but it was a relief to finally figure out what was going on. Also found out that the percentage of women who have this same issue is highest in my home state of Washington. Now I take a folic acid product that my body accepts and as for a baby? Well, I'm in my 40's now so we'll see if it happens. ;0)

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Good luck to you :-) I too have gone through years of heartache multiple miscarriages and an ectopic. Had countless tests - too many to go into but like you my body doesn't absorb folic acid and like ATTfo i had low progesterone - so obviousley was given treatment for both and As a last resort and even though from what my test result said I didn't need it (according to some) my dr put me on heparin - guess what, I am, at this moment holding my very special 9 week old baby boy in my arms. Miracles do happen :-) x x

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Thank you all for the kind words. And it's always encouraging to hear from women who understand the loss and have gone on to have their miracle babies. Thank you again. ;0)

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But serious stress can cause high blood pressure which can cause miscarriage.

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The kind of high blood pressure caused by stress isn't not the pre-eclampsia/eclampsia that puts mothers at risk or the kind that could cause miscarriages. This again is misinformation.

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Miscarriages are most likely due to a chromosomal abnormality, which is affected by the age and genetics of the mother AND the father.

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Women also experience miscarriages because they have too much testosterone in their body. Studies have found women who have multiple miscarriages then undergo estrogen replacement therapy to balance out their levels often end up conceiving and carrying to term.

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