What is leading to an increase in the rate of miscarriages in Malta?

A number of couples in these islands end up suffering in silence the distress of a miscarriage during pregnancy because for some reason this subject is rarely discussed. Popolin discussed miscarriages to better understand the factors leading to this episode, as well as what is resulting in an increase in the numbers of miscarriages. The medical, psychological and social impacts resulting from this difficult episode were also discussed.

According to statistics based on miscarriages during pregnancy in Malta, it has been indicated that women over the age of 40 and those under the age of 20 have a greater risk of miscarriage during pregnancy when compared to women in the 20 to 30 age group. On the other hand, the most precarious time in pregnancy is during the first weeks. In fact, statistics show that 28% of miscarriages occur in the third week of pregnancy, and the number drops drastically by the 20th week.

The rate of miscarriages reported in the country increased in 2017 when from two cases in every 1,000 pregnancies, the number went up to three cases in 2018 and 2019. It should be pointed out that a service was introduced in 2018 through which there was a better gathering of certain information, so the increase in rates of miscarriage can also be attributed to this factor. Statistics indicate that Maltese women are having children at an average age of 30 years.

According to information available on the World Health Organisation site about the consequences of weight on miscarriages, it appears that being underweight or overweight both play an important role, with being underweight creating more complications than overweight and obesity. Smoking and alcohol are another two factors impacting heavily on pregnant women. In fact, with every cigarette a woman smokes, she is increasing the risk of miscarriage by 1%, and by inhaling others’ cigarette smoke she increases the risk by 11%. On the other hand, if a woman drinks more than two alcoholic drinks per week, the risk of miscarriage increases substantially.