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Ways to Prevent Miscarriage

If you are pregnant, you likely want to do everything you can to prevent a miscarriage. Many well-researched factors contribute to sustaining a healthy pregnancy, but the reasons for miscarriage are often not as clear or as preventable. In fact, around 60 percent of miscarriages are the result of unknown—and therefore unavoidable—chromosomal abnormalities, notes the Center for Human Reproduction in New York City.

RELATED: The Emotional Effects of a Miscarriage

Improve Your Overall Lifestyle

Before conception, you want to ensure that you are in the best shape possible to create a nurturing environment for your developing baby. This means that you should begin taking prenatal vitamins, maintain a healthy weight and exercise. Try to limit caffeine intake and avoid using tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs and certain prescription medications, advises Dr. Melissa Goist], clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Being too thin or overweight can contribute to a miscarriage, as can low folate levels and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID, use around the time of implantation, she notes.

"Many of these do not have specific studies that corroborate these findings," she cautions. "It is important to remember that in many circumstances, a miscarriage is not preventable."

Get Medical History Under Control

Certain medical conditions and autoimmune disorders can increase your risk of miscarriage, notes the Center for Human Reproduction, a fertility center. Conditions such as diabetes; autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis or Crohn's disease; and thrombophilia, which is a blood-clotting disorder, can all increase the risk of miscarriage. While diabetes can be controlled with proper medication, diet and exercise, autoimmune diseases often require additional treatment to manage the mother's health and, once she is pregnant, to prevent pregnancy loss. Share with your health care provider any family history of medical conditions or autoimmune disorders, as repeated miscarriages can point to a significant medical cause, the center advises.

Resolve Structural Problems

For some women, miscarriages are caused by structural abnormalities in the uterus or cervix. For instance, the CHR reports that fibroid tumors, which are benign, abnormal uterine growths, can contribute to miscarriage because they can interfere with embryo implantation. Having a uterus septum, a condition in which the uterus is divided into two, can also cause a miscarriage. If you have a history of uterine abnormalities and plan to become pregnant, talk to your health care provider about treatment options, as abnormalities can often be corrected with minor surgery to prevent potential miscarriages.

RELATED: 8 Things Not to Say to a Woman Who's Had a Miscarriage

Consider Your Age

One of the most common factors associated with miscarriage is advancing maternal age, which is defined as being older than 35 at the time of pregnancy. Between the ages of 35 and 45, you have a 20 to 40 percent chance of miscarriage, the Mayo Clinic notes. Once a woman reaches 45 years of age, she has a 80 percent chance of miscarrying a pregnancy. The reason? As a woman ages, so do her eggs; as such, she is more likely to produce an embryo that has chromosomal abnormalities. While it's not always an option, it's important to recognize that conceiving at younger age can significantly improve your chances of carrying a baby to term.

Photograph by DragonImages/iStock/Getty Images

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