Can UTI cause a miscarriage?

Having a miscarriage is one of the most traumatic feelings that a woman or mother can ever experience. A miscarriage robs you or denies you the chance to have a child and start a family. There is a limited level of consolation that can ease the woman’s pain. A miscarriage can be caused by many things.

Can a urinary tract infection (UTI) also cause a miscarriage? It is one of the many questions you might be asking trying to find out if that was or can be the cause of a miscarriage. 

Having a UTI can cause a miscarriage. In this article, you will get to know why this can happen and if there are any ways you can treat or prevent UTI. 

Symptoms of miscarriage include fluid, blood, or tissue passing from the vagina and pain in the stomach or lower back. It is also common to feel sadness or grief.

The process of miscarriage cannot be reversed once it has been started. However, medication or procedures such as dilation and curettage can prevent certain types of complications.

Can a UTI cause miscarriage?

A UTI alone cannot cause a miscarriage but complications from a UTI can cause miscarriage. If a UTI is not treated and the infection spread into the kidneys, it can lead to a severe case of total body infection called sepsis which can cause a miscarriage.

What causes miscarriages?

A chromosomal abnormality will cause a miscarriage most of the time. Moreover, there are other factors like age, health issues, or unhealthy behaviors that can all increase your risk of getting a miscarriage.

Causes of miscarriage include

Issues with the uterus or cervix

Sometimes the uterus can have growths like fibroids or polyps that have the potential to cause a miscarriage or even increase your risk of getting a miscarriage. Other problems with the uterus or cervix that can cause a miscarriage include abnormal tissue like in the case of a uterine septum (which women can be born with) or scar tissue in the uterus, from prior infections or surgeries. Additionally, a weakened cervix can sometimes cause miscarriage later in pregnancy. Women who have had previous surgeries on their cervix or have a history of preterm birth are at higher risk for a weakened cervix.

Abnormal chromosomes

Normally, an embryo should contain 46 chromosomes, but sometimes this is not the case. “Usually these are due to a random sporadic mutation such as an extra or missing copy of a chromosome,” says Alexander Chiang, MD, OB-GYN chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. 

When that happens, “the body realizes there is an issue and stops the pregnancy in the form of a miscarriage,” Chiang says. This type of miscarriage will usually happen within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. Sometimes doctors can perform genetic testing on the pregnancy tissue to determine if this is the reason for miscarriage, but this is not always possible.

Health issues during pregnancy

Health issues such as thyroid disease, diabetes, and serious infections like influenza, malaria, and HIV during pregnancy can lead to a higher risk of miscarriage.


Getting pregnant at an older age increases miscarriage risk. For example, in a large 2019 study published in the British Medical Journal, pregnant women aged 45 years and older had a 53% risk of miscarrying whereas women aged 25 to 29 had a 10% risk.

The eggs of women in their forties are much more likely to have abnormal chromosomes than eggs of women in their twenties. This is one of the reasons why there is an increased risk for miscarriage as women age.

Bad habits

Bad habits like smoking, drinking, and illicit drug use have all been found to increase a person’s risk of miscarrying.

Major injury

Trauma or severe injury can cause the placenta to separate from the uterus, which can lead to bleeding, cramping, and ultimately, miscarriage.

What are the types of miscarriage?

Here are the 5 main types of miscarriage

Complete miscarriage

A complete miscarriage means all of the tissue which includes the pregnancy and the placenta has passed out of the uterus. This can happen spontaneously, and the body should recover naturally without medical treatment. If bleeding has not subsided after two weeks, though, it is best to see a doctor. This type of miscarriage usually happens before the 12th week of pregnancy. 

Incomplete miscarriage

An incomplete miscarriage happens when some of the pregnancy tissue remains in the uterus. In this case, a woman might have heavy bleeding for a longer period. An ultrasound can be used to show that there is still a blood clot or placenta in the uterus. To remove the remaining tissue, the woman will likely need medication or a surgical procedure.

Missed miscarriage 

This type of miscarriage occurs when the embryo has died (or could not form properly) but remains in the uterus. Most times, the woman may not have symptoms, and this can be identified with the use of an ultrasound. When this happens, this pregnancy tissue can pass on its own, but the timing can be very unpredictable and so the woman may want to discuss medical or surgical options with a doctor or qualified health professional. 

Septic miscarriage

A septic miscarriage occurs when harmful bacteria infect the uterus. If you have a septic miscarriage, this is an emergency. The pregnant can experience very high fevers and abdominal pain. Doctors will need to remove any, and all, pregnancy tissue as quickly as possible, and it would be important to take antibiotics until the infection subsides.

Threatened miscarriage

Spotting early in pregnancy is very common and is considered to be normal, but bleeding at that point can be considered to be what is termed as a threatened miscarriage. For most, the bleeding will subside and the pregnancy will continue to term. However, if the bleeding increases, it can lead to a miscarriage. Any time there’s heavier bleeding early in pregnancy, notify a doctor.

The takeaway from this article

There is a possibility of a UTI causing a miscarriage but it cannot do that directly. Infections caused by UTI can result in a miscarriage. There are other factors too that can cause a miscarriage. So, it is recommended that pregnant women or women planning on getting pregnant get to know the causes of UTI to prevent them.


Michael Sarfo
Content Creator at Wapomu

Michael Sarfo is a graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon. He is a content creator for and a writer for Wapomu

Author at

Dr. Abel Daartey is a pharmacist by profession, a teacher, and a mentor by nature. He enjoys reading scientific journals and articles and publications in neuroscience and related topics. He aims at churning out content that educates the public and health care providers in meeting the healthcare needs of the populace.

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