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
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Aishwarya

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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