Can Lack of Sleep Increase the Risk of Miscarriage?
A recent Danish study examined a cohort of over 22,000 pregnant women, specifically looking at work shifts and pregnancy outcomes. Can lack of sleep increase the risk of miscarriage? They found that after 8 weeks of pregnancy, women who worked two or more night shifts the previous week had a 32% increased risk of miscarriage compared with women who did not work night shifts. Additionally, the more night shifts a woman worked, the greater the risk of miscarriage.
Miscarriage Risk and Night Shift Work
This study is in agreement with earlier studies that suggested that overnight work during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage, even with as little as two night shifts per week. While shift adjustment may not be feasible for all patients, it is worth considering in women with a history of recurrent unexplained losses.
What Are the Chances of Having a Miscarriage?
Miscarriage is a very common occurrence. At least 15-25% of pregnancies will end in miscarriage, and as a woman ages, this percentage increases. Many women are not aware of this high percentage of pregnancies that miscarry.
Pregnancy loss occurring before 20 weeks of gestation is called a miscarriage or by its medical term, spontaneous abortion. It is the single most common complication of pregnancy, occurring in 8% of pregnancies in women under age 30 and over 26% of pregnancies in women over age 40. The chance of a miscarriage for women between the ages of 30 and 40 is approximately 15%. If a miscarriage has occurred the chance of a subsequent miscarriage in another pregnancy is not increased unless this was the second or more loss.
Getting the Help That You Need
At Fertility Centers of New England, many patients come to us because they are struggling with infertility and/or miscarriages. We are proud to have helped thousands of patients realize their dream of becoming a parent. We want each of our patients to have the safest, healthiest pregnancy possible.
If you are experiencing recurrent miscarriage or have more questions like “can lack of sleep increase the risk of miscarriage”, please contact us to set up your first consultation with our team of trusted, caring fertility doctors. Initial consultations are free for those without fertility insurance.