Health Library Explorer
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A-Z Listings Contact Us

Understanding Miscarriage: Possible Causes

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 uterus or cervix. Other factors cause miscarriage, but they're less common.

Problems with the baby

Either of these problems with the baby can cause a miscarriage:

  • A problem with the baby’s chromosomes

  • Birth defects

Problems with the uterus or cervix

Any of these problems with the uterus or cervix can cause a miscarriage:

  • The uterus may be divided (have a septum). Or it may have growths such as fibroids or adhesions.

  • The lining of the uterus may be too thin for the fertilized egg to grow in.

  • The cervix may be too weak to support the weight of a growing baby.

Other factors

Any of these problems can cause a miscarriage:

  • A serious illness, such as uncontrolled diabetes. 

  • A bad injury, such as from a car accident.

  • Contact with toxins or radiation.

What does not cause miscarriage?

A lot of myths and old wives’ tales try to explain the cause of miscarriage. But they aren't true. None of these causes miscarriage:

  • Carrying groceries

  • Lifting a small child

  • Wearing high heels

  • Coloring your hair

  • Having sex

  • Vacuuming

  • Working outside the home

  • Being a vegetarian

  • Eating spicy foods

  • Having a Pap test

  • Riding a horse or a bicycle

  • Wishing away or denying a pregnancy

Online Medical Reviewer: Donna Freeborn PhD CNM FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: Heather M Trevino BSN RNC
Online Medical Reviewer: Irina Burd MD PhD
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2022
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
Powered by StayWell
About StayWell | StayWell Disclaimer