New studies reveal some things that cause miscarriage. Below are foods and habits you should avoid to increase your chances of becoming and staying pregnant.
7 Possible things that cause miscarriage
Coffee is one of the most commonly consumed things that cause miscarriage in some women. Research led by Dr. De-Kun Li of Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California concluded the regular intake of 200 mg of caffeine a day increases the risk of miscarriage. This level of caffeine is what you typically find in two cups of coffee.
If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, it’s recommended you stop drinking coffee at least three months before trying to conceive. Miscarriages are most common in the first trimester of pregnancy. If you really feel you need to have coffee, limit yourself to only one cup a day of water-decaffeinated organic coffee or even better a coffee substitute from the health food shop. Women who drink more than 200 mg of caffeine a day have double the risk of miscarriage, with a 25 % higher risk compared to a 12 % risk of a miscarriage in women who didn’t consume caffeine.
In another research study of almost 1, 300 Japanese women who had past pregnancies, those who smoked heavily during the first trimester of the pregnancy had double the risk of having a miscarriage than the women who didn’t smoke at all.
There are other reasons why you should quit smoking before attempting to get pregnant. Smoking is one of the most common things that cause miscarriage and is known to cause stillbirth, premature delivery and low birth weight in the baby.
3. Heavy metals
Heavy metals are another one of the things that cause miscarriage. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) have already issued preventative warnings to pregnant or nursing women to avoid including seafood in their diet because of the possibility of heavy metal contamination. Fish such as tuna and king mackerel and food such as sushi and sashimi have high levels of mercury. Mercury is known to cause neurological problems in the developing baby, as well as other development problems. Recent researches have shown mercury levels in the cord blood (umbilical cord linking mother to fetus) are twice that found in the mother’s blood stream. In other words, the baby is twice more likely to have mercury-related problems than the mother.
Also, researchers have concluded that heavy metals affect women’s fertility. They seem to have a negative effect on ovarian and pituitary function.
4. Electromagnetic (EM) radiation
Ionizing EM radiation is the type of electromagnetic radiation you get from X-ray machines, radiation therapy machines and radioactive isotopes or radionuclides. You and your baby may be exposed to radiation during diagnostic procedures or radiation therapies. Examples of such procedures include X-rays and fluoroscopy. Generally diagnostic procedures only emit 5 rad or 50mSv of radiation. This level of exposure doesn’t cause reproductive risks such as miscarriages or fetal defects.
Studies report that dangerous radiation levels are those above 20 rad or 200mSv. Nonetheless, inform your medical practitioner first that you are pregnant or actively trying to get pregnant before being exposed to any form of electromagnetic radiation.
Also bear in mind that EM radiation emitted from computers, mobile phones and wireless networks at home can be another one of the things that cause miscarriage.
Regular alcohol consumption during pregnancy can cause miscarriages. Heavy drinking or binge drinking can cause stillbirth as well as other developmental problems in the fetus. Also, your baby might acquire a disorder know as fetal alcohol syndrome. It’s recommended you abstain from drinking alcohol during pregnancy and preconception care. In general don’t drink more than 1 glass of wine per week.
Certain types of medication can be another one of the things that cause miscarriage. A study by Canadian researchers report taking certain types of antidepressant drugs during pregnancy may increase the likelihood of miscarriage by 68%. In the study of over 5, 000 pregnant women, those taking antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) had a higher risk of miscarriage.
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener usually found in products labeled ‘diet’, ‘low sugar’ or ‘sugar free’. When the surrounding’s temperature exceeds 30 degrees Celsius, aspartame reacts and changes to formaldehyde (a compound used to preserve tissues). It may even turn to formic acid, a far more toxic compound than formaldehyde. Remember, your average body temperature is 37 degrees Celsius. Formaldehyde in the mother’s blood stream can cause her immune system to see the fetal tissue as foreign substance and so attack it.
Aspartame can be one of the things that cause miscarriage because it causes the woman’s body to have an immune reaction against the fetus which can kill the fetus.
What are the things that cause miscarriage?
There are many other factors that can cause miscarriages. While preparing for pregnancy and once you are pregnant always ask yourself; ‘would I give this substance/product/food to a new born baby?’ If the answer is ‘no’ then you yourself should not have it either. Remember, everything you consume – eat, drink, put on your skin or inhale – will end up in your blood and circulation. From there it can cross over the placenta and enter your baby’s circulation. Your baby’s organs are still underdeveloped and can’t handle most of the toxins which can harm their small organs and tissues. If the damage is too great the baby can’t keep developing and this can lead to a miscarriage. Avoiding the mentioned toxins before you get pregnant can improve your egg and sperm quality before conception ensuring that you conceive with the healthiest eggs and sperm possible which contributes to your baby’s health.
What are your thoughts on toxins and miscarriages? Would you like to add to the topic? Would love to hear from you on the things that cause miscarriage.
- Health Physics Society. 2009. 17 March 2011
- Mitchell, Steve. “2-cup coffee habit may double miscarriage risk” msnbc tv. 17 March 2011
- “Smoking tied to miscarriage risk” Manila Bulletin. 17 March 2011
- Reinberg, Steven.”Risk of Miscarriage Linked to Antidepressants” MedicineNet.com. 17 March 2011
© 2011 Iva Keene and Natural Fertility Prescription