Can Stress Cause a Miscarriage?

Did you know that miscarriage is one of the most common complications of pregnancy and can happen before 24 weeks of gestation in about 20% of pregnant women? Although miscarriage can happen due to a lot of reasons, distressed women are also at risk of losing pregnancy. Psychological impact due to family issues, social issues, trauma, or work pressure all factors can contribute to miscarriage.

So, dive into this article to learn more about ‘Can stress cause a miscarriage?

Can Stress Cause a Miscarriage?

Yes. Stress can cause miscarriage by hormonal imbalance, inflammation, and impaired blood circulation toward the fetus. Stress can also affect your immunity and weaken it, making you more susceptible to acquiring infections or diseases and, ultimately, miscarriage. 

How Can Stress Cause a Miscarriage?

Stress can affect your pregnancy and disrupt the hormones essential for maintaining it. Stress causes miscarriage in the following ways. 

Imbalancing Pregnancy Hormones

Chronic exposure to stress releases hormones like cortisol hormone, which activates the sympathetic nervous system. These hormones directly impact the metabolism of the placenta and progesterone signaling.

Stress decreases prolactin, which reduces progesterone synthesis. It also reduces the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone, which further affects progesterone activity. Since progesterone is essential for maintaining pregnancy, the stress-induced impact on pregnancy hormones leads to miscarriage. 


To maintain pregnancy, low levels of inflammatory cytokines, such as Th1, and high levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines, such as Th2, are required. The balance between Th1 and Th2 cytokines determines the result of pregnancy. Dysregulation of these cytokines can lead to miscarriage. 

The stress promotes inflammatory cytokines that affect your uterus and placenta and thus cause pregnancy loss. 

Impaired Blood Flow

Anxiety and stress can compromise fetal circulation and increase the risk of miscarriage. Maternal anxiety has been linked to impaired blood flow towards the umbilical vein, resulting in compromised oxygen and nutrition deprivation to the fetus and, ultimately, pregnancy loss. 

Decrease Immunity

Chronic stress can trigger immunological changes by increasing the number of mast cells, which can cause pregnancy failure. It can also weaken immunity and make you susceptible to infections, resulting in miscarriage. 

Placental Insufficiency

The fetus gets its nutrients and oxygenated blood from the placenta. So, can stress cause a miscarriage by disrupting placental function? The answer is high levels of stress cause changes in placental organogenesis and metabolism, leading to impaired vascularization, uteroplacental blood flow, and nutrient exchange, which cause pregnancy failure or miscarriage. 

Stress can also affect the placental protective barrier by increasing permeability and allowing pathogens and toxins to enter the uterus, which can harm the fetus. 

Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Stress hormones cause mitochondria to malfunction, which are essential for supplying energy. Mitochondrial dysfunction triggers oxidative stress by releasing reactive oxygen species(ROS) that damage placental tissues, cause oxygen deficiency, and reduce ATP synthesis. All these factors combine to contribute to pregnancy failure. 

Disrupted Endometrial Function

High-stress levels induce endometrial dysfunction by affecting the endometrium’s receptivity, creating difficulty for implantation or pregnancy, affecting the endometrium’s vascular supply, and reducing endometrial growth factors essential for endometrial development. 

Stress can also trigger apoptosis that impacts endometrium, causing damage and, ultimately, pregnancy failure or miscarriage. 

Uterine Contraction

Stress can induce uterine muscle contractions by releasing stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline or norepinephrine, oxytocin, and vasoconstrictor, which ultimately cause miscarriage. 

Can Crying and Stress Can Affect an Unborn Baby?

Crying and stress can affect an unborn baby as high levels of stress, especially in the first trimester, alter the fetus’s temperament and lead to depression and irritability. 

When a pregnant mother cries, the unborn baby feels the exact emotions. Research suggests that such babies often experience emotional challenges later in life. The stress hormones can also alter the utero-development of the fetus and increase the maternal heart rate, which impacts the fetal heart rate. 

How Much Stress Does It Take to Cause a Miscarriage?

High levels of chronic stress can cause miscarriage due to the release of hormones that can cause an imbalance of pregnancy hormones and alter the intrauterine environment by decreasing oxygen and blood supply, elevating reactive oxygen species, and establishing oxidative stress that causes damage to uterine tissues. 

However, there are no guidelines that tell the exact amount of stress which leads to miscarriage. 

How Does Stress Affect Pregnancy in the First Trimester?

Excessive stress affects pregnancy in the first trimester by causing headaches, insomnia, appetite loss, and high blood pressure. These factors also contribute to early labor and low birth weight in infants. 

Stress can also trigger overeating, especially processed food, which impacts the fetus and may put you at risk of pregnancy failure. 

Can Depression Cause Miscarriage in Early Pregnancy?

Depression can cause miscarriage in early pregnancy by inducing chronic inflammation that disrupts the placental function, loss of appetite that causes nutritional deprivation in the fetus, and decreased immune system, leading to the development of infections that can cause miscarriage. 

Expecting mothers who take antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) can impact the fetus and result in miscarriage, especially in the first trimester.

Depression can also trigger substance abuse like alcohol or drugs that can cause damage to the developing fetus and lead to miscarriage. 

How Does MOCEAN Save Your Pregnancy by Reducing Stress Levels?

If you are an expecting mother and stuck at “can stress cause a miscarriage” even after adopting a healthy lifestyle, then MOCEAN has got the answer!

At MOCEAN  Wellness Centre in NYC, our expert professionals provide chemical-free and non-invasive therapies that can reduce stress levels and promote relaxation to make your pregnancy journey easy by balancing your hormones. We offer infrared sauna, red light therapy, and sound therapy that works on your nervous system to enhance energy, circulation, and muscle relaxation while decreasing stress and inflammation. 

The Bottom Line

Stress can cause a lot of physical and mental health issues. But can stress cause a miscarriage? The answer is stress releases certain hormones and inflammatory markers that cause damage to uterine tissues and placenta, leading to miscarriage. Chronic stress also causes impaired circulation and establishes oxidative stress, which leads to pregnancy failure. 

So, if you want a peaceful pregnancy journey free from stress and anxiety, book your appointment at MOCEAN Longevity Centre in NYC today!

Then we create a health plan tailored to your needs.

Based on the results, we develop a personalized treatment plan for each individual to promote optimal health. With 1-on-1 consultations, cutting-edge technology, and a team of experts who care about getting you better, MOCEAN offers you a comprehensive road map on how to become the healthiest version of yourself.