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Miscarriage is common, but finding its cause may not be easy. If a cause can be found, it’s likely to be a problem with the baby or the structure of the uterus. Other factors cause miscarriage, but they are less common.
Any of the following problems with the baby can cause a miscarriage:
There is a problem with the baby’s chromosomes (genes that carry the information needed for life).
The placenta or the umbilical cord may be damaged.
Any of the following problems with the uterus or cervix can cause a miscarriage:
The uterus may be divided (have a septum), or have fibroids, adhesions, or endometriosis.
The lining of the uterus may be too thin for the fertilized egg to implant.
The cervix may be too weak to support the weight of a pregnancy.
Any of the following problems can cause a miscarriage:
A serious illness, such as mumps or German measles.
A bad injury, perhaps during a car accident.
Exposure to toxins or radiation.
Plenty of myths and “old wives’ tales” try to explain the cause of miscarriage. But they are fiction—not fact. None of the following activities causes miscarriage:
Lifting a small child
Wearing high heels
Coloring your hair
Working outside the home
Being a vegetarian
Eating spicy foods
Having a Pap smear
Riding a horse or a bicycle
Wishing away or denying a pregnancy