About Fertility

Lifestyle Factors Linked to Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

Lifestyle Factors Linked to Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

Recurrent pregnancy loss is when there have been two or more consecutive miscarriages. While most miscarriages result from chromosomal or genetic abnormalities, there are lifestyle factors linked to recurrent pregnancy loss as well as isolated loss.

Lifestyle Factors That Are Linked to Recurrent Pregnancy Loss 

The exposure to three particular substances are of primary importance due to their common use, alcohol, cigarettes, and caffeine.

  • Alcohol: As little as three alcoholic drinks per week is associated with miscarriage.
  • Cigarettes: Cigarette smoking is also associated with both infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss, which is not surprising since nicotine and its metabolic byproducts are concentrated in follicular fluid (fluid bathing the eggs within the ovary) and in uterine blood vessels.
  • Caffeine: Consumption of coffee and other caffeinated beverages during early pregnancy is related to adverse pregnancy outcomes, including first-trimester miscarriages.

Environmental and Lifestyle Factors Linked to Miscarriage

Additional lifestyle choices that may contribute to pregnancy loss include obesity, stress, recreational drugs, and the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents during pregnancy.

  • Heavy Metal Exposure: Occupational exposure to heavy metals like lead or mercury, anesthetic gases, and organic solvents is associated with pregnancy loss.
  • Prolonged Radiation Exposure: Prolonged exposure to ionizing radiation may also be a cause of miscarriage and is perhaps the reason why flight attendants and pilots have a higher incidence of loss.
  • Prolonged Standing: Prolonged standing and working long hours is not associated with miscarriage but is associated with preterm labor and low birth weight babies.
  • Exercise: There is no evidence that mild to moderate exercise during pregnancy in healthy women is associated with miscarriage; however, no studies have been performed in those with a history of recurrent pregnancy loss.
  • Electromagnetic Field Exposure: Can working on a laptop cause miscarriage? According to Radiation Answers, “There is no measurable ionizing radiation (x rays) emitted from a computer monitor. The non-ionizing radiation or electromagnetic radiation that may be emitted does not represent a reproductive risk either. There are many studies showing that birth defects or miscarriage is not associated with working at a computer.”
  • Sexual Intercourse During Pregnancy: Large studies of women without a history of recurrent pregnancy loss indicate that sexual intercourse during pregnancy is not associated with miscarriage; however, once again, these studies have not been performed in women with a history of recurrent loss.

If you have experienced recurrent miscarriage or have more questions on lifestyle factors linked to recurrent pregnancy loss, we can help find a treatment path for you. Please contact us to set up your consultation.

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