Pregnancy

Symptoms of Miscarriage

Spontaneous loss of pregnancy before 24 weeks is called miscarriage. It is quite common, occurring in 10 to 20 percent of confirmed pregnancies. Many occur in the first week of pregnancy. It results in emotional trauma at times, particularly if the expectant mother is excited to have the baby.

 

Symptoms
The most common symptom of miscarriage is vaginal bleeding, which can be from light spotting to heavier than a period. Blood clots can occur and there is a brown discharge as well as tissues that are released. At times, a sac-like structure can be seen. More physical symptoms include cramping, pelvic pain and back pain. Breast tenderness is another symptom that some women experience, as well as passing urine too frequently. Women experiencing a miscarriage tend to just feel sick overall.

Sometimes there are no symptoms at all, however and the miscarriage can only be identified via ultrasound.

 

Causes

A miscarriage occurs when the genetic material from the egg and sperm have problems combining after fertilization. It is difficult to identify the cause, however and usually blame cannot be placed on either of the parents for miscarriage.  Some other causes include:

  • Imbalances with pregnancy hormones
  • Problems with the immune system
  • Some serious infections ( not minor coughs and cold)
  • Stress
  • Excessive exercise

Types of Miscarriages
Threatened miscarriage refers to bleeding in early pregnancy, when the cervix is tightly closed. The pregnancy is most likely to continue. Rest is advised. Inevitable miscarriage is when the cervix is found open, which means that the pregnancy will be lost. Incomplete miscarriage refers to a miscarriage that has started, but signs of pregnancy tissue is still there. The cervix is found to be open in this case. Complete miscarriage means that the pregnancy is lost, the uterus is empty and cervix has closed. Missed miscarriage involves a pregnancy that stopped growing some weeks ago, but there was no bleeding at that time.

Some Risk Factors

  • A mother older than 35
  • A history of recurrent miscarriage (three or more)
  • A history of miscarriage from the mother’s side
  • A blood clotting disorder
  • Problems with the structure of the uterus
  • Chronic disease such as diabetes
  • A history of pregnancy with birth defects
  • A physical injury
  • Exposure to dangerous chemicals

 

Precautions

  • Avoid using alcohol, drugs and medication
  • Diet should be proper and adequate for fetal development
  • Avoid radiation
  • Avoid activities that risk physical injury

Although it is not yet known exactly what causes miscarriages in otherwise healthy women, taking the above precautions can at least lower the risk of miscarriage.

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