Miscarriage – What and How!

The joys that pregnancy brings, at times can end abruptly.  Such is a miscarriage, an unfortunate event that occurs in an expectant mother, leaving her scarred and traumatized.

So, what is a miscarriage?

Medically speaking, a miscarriage is defined as the unexpected loss of the embryo or a fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy. It is synonymously also known as “spontaneous abortion”. Indians, especially young couples are unaware how common miscarriage occurs, (10 – 20% of pregnancies end in a miscarriage) and think that its occurrence is rare.


What are the major risk factors for miscarriage?

Some major risk factors for miscarriage include:

  • Developmental abnormalities that lead to fetal death, leading to a miscarriage.
  • Overexposure to radiation during pregnancy
  • Hormonal imbalance during pregnancy
  •  Sudden and prolonged illness and/or an untreated infection of the mother
  • Low immunity of the mother
  • Expectant mother’s age is > 35 years
  • Previous history of recurrent miscarriages ( such cases should be supervised if the mother plans to have children in the future)
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Smoking  (increases the occurrence of miscarriage significantly)
  • Certain drugs that treat malaria, cancer and skin acne can lead to spontaneous abortion ( please consult your gynecologist and give a proper history of any known history of familial disease and previous treatments that you underwent to your gynecologist)

Things to know about a miscarriage 

  • First sign/ earliest symptom of a miscarriage is – cramping of your stomach ( this would be similar to your period, at times longer in duration) along with back pain
  • Bleeding (heavier than a period) with clots
  • Exercise and intercourse never cause an early miscarriage.
  • Predominantly, most miscarriages happen before the 13th week of your pregnancy
  • Two – three miscarriages occurring consecutively increases the chances of having another miscarriage
  • The early symptoms of miscarriage are stomach cramps (similar to menstrual pain) and a small percentage of bleeding.
  • Women experiencing miscarriage will experience nausea, painful cramps, heavy bleeding and blood clots.
  •  Blood tests/Advance investigations to detect any genetic problems and hormonal imbalance is a must
  •  CAT scan or MRI to detect any abnormalities in the uterus is advised


Dr. Aishwarya Rajeev has completed her MDS degree and is currently pursuing her PhD. She is an avid reader and loves to teach and write!

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