Misperceptions about what causes a miscarriage

A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks and happens in over 50% of all pregnancies, most of them early in pregnancy. Studies have shown that over 4 in 5 miscarriages are due to chromosomal anomalies and unrelated to other conditions.

This study published online in May in the Obstetrics & Gynecology journal called “A National Survey on Public Perceptions of Miscarriage” asked about perceptions about miscarriage. Not surprisingly, most who answered the questionnaire have many misconceptions about miscarriage.

Respondents to the survey erroneously believed that miscarriage is a rare complication of pregnancy, with the majority believing that it occurred in 5% or less of all pregnancies (it actually happens in over 50% of all pregnancies).

There were also widespread misperceptions about causes of miscarriage (the causes are often unknown though chromosomal anomalies are frequent).

Those who had experienced a miscarriage frequently felt guilty, isolated, and alone. Identifying a potential cause of the miscarriage may have an effect on patients’ psychological and emotional responses.

Can I increase my chances having twins with a certain diet?

Question: I have a perfect 6-month-old daughter and we will start TTC next month. I will be 37 in August and would LOVE to have twins. I have been eating a diet to increase chances for twins (as well as a boy). My questions are:
1. Many say to wait until as close to ovulation to conceive a boy so we were going to try that. However, will that decrease the likelihood
 of twins? In other words, do you have a better chance of twins if you have sex each of the 5 days of fertility?
2. With respect to diet, how far in advance should you start or is it just during the time TTC/ovulation?

Dr. Amos Answers:

You are asking some interesting questions. There are two different kinds of twins: Monozygotic and dizygotic twins.

Monozygotic twins are twins from a conception with one egg and one sperm. The fertilized egg then spits after conception. Monozygotic twins are also known as ‘identical twins’ or maternal twins.

Dizygotic twins are twins achieved from the conception of two different eggs with two different sperms. These are also known as non-identical or fraternal twins.

There is no way to increase your chances of monozygotic twins. They happen spontaneously in about 1 in 250 pregnancies.

For dizygotic twins, there must be two different ovulations with two different eggs. There is no evidence that you can increase your chances ovulating twice with either food or different kinds of sex. More sex or sex at different times will not make you ovulate more (or less).

Fertility drugs or IVF in-vitro fertilization increases the chances of having twins, but it would not be ethical to increase the chances of twins intentionally because twins are associated with increased pregnancy risks especially premature births.