Miscarriage

Miscarriage refers to the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks, most of which happens during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. Studies show that about 10-25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. In some cases, a fertilized egg may be lost even before it is implanted in the wall of the uterus. The women may continue to get her period at the expected time and may not realize that she lost the fertilized egg. It is important to be informed about this condition, looking at the increased prevalence of miscarriages.

Causes

There are many causes for miscarriage, and in many cases, a specific cause cannot be identified. In the first trimester, the most common cause of miscarriage is the presence of abnormal chromosomes in the fetus. Other causes of miscarriages include

  • Hormonal problems
  • Infections
  • Substance abuse
  • Chronic disorders
  • Malnutrition
  • Improper implantation in uterine wall
  • Maternal age
  • Exposure to radiation or toxic substances

Risk factors

The risk factors that increase the chance of miscarriage include

  • Increase in maternal age
  • History of miscarriage

Symptoms

  • Back pain that is worse than during periods
  • Weight loss
  • Contractions that happen every 5-20 minutes
  • Vaginal bleeding (often bright red or brown) with or without cramps
  • Clots being passed from vagina
  • Decrease in normal symptoms of pregnancy

When to go to the doctor

Do call your doctor if you have any of the above-mentioned signs of miscarriage. Bleeding and pain, two symptoms when occurring simultaneously, reduce the chances of continuing pregnancy. These two symptoms may also be a sign of ectopic or molar pregnancy.

Treatment

Treatment for miscarriage helps to prevent infection and reduces hemorrhage. If the pregnancy is in earlier stages the body will expel all fetal tissues, thus reducing further treatment. If fetal tissues are not expelled on its own, dilation and curettage (D&C) is recommended for removing the same. Medications are recommended to reduce bleeding after D&C. If there is increased bleeding or fever, it should be reported immediately to the doctor.

Prevention

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent miscarriages

  • Regular exercise
  • Healthy food habits
  • Reduce stress
  • Maintain healthy body weight
  • Take supplements daily
  • Avoid substance abuse

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