Home > Miscarriage: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Miscarriage is defined as a failed intrauterine pregnancy which ends before 20 weeks from the last monthly cycle. This can be the most painful thing for a woman who is expecting but at the same time, it’s very important for the expecting mother to review the events of early pregnancy for better understanding of the same.

The reproductive system of a woman includes uterus, cervix, two ovaries, fallopian tubes and vagina. Once in a month, ovary releases an egg that passes via the fallopian tube. If the same egg is fertilized with the sperm in the tube, it leads to pregnancy and rapid development of new cells. This bundle of cells called embryo usually implants on the inner wall of the uterus which continues to grow inside a sac of amniotic fluid. After weeks, the embryo transforms into foetus.

As per the reports by the March of Dimes, approximately 50% of the pregnancies end in spontaneous abortions. Most of the times, the pregnant women doesn’t even know about the pregnancy and sometimes before they even miss a menstrual period. As per the report, about 15-25% of known pregnancies end in miscarriages. Approximately, 80% of them occur within first 3 months and are less likely to occur post 20 weeks which are termed as late miscarriages.

Miscarriage Causes

There are many causes of miscarriage. Most of the time, these happen when the foetus has fatal genetic problems. Normally, these problems are not related to the expecting mother. Some other miscarriage causes include-

  • Infections
  • Medical conditions including diabetes or thyroid disease
  • Hormonal problems
  • Uterine abnormalities
  • Responses by Immune system
  • Other physical problems
  • A woman is at higher risk for pregnancy loss if she-

Is  above  the age of 35

Has diabetic or thyroid problems

Has  had 3 or 4 miscarriages in the past

The above mentioned are some of the miscarriage causes which lead to failed pregnancies.

 Miscarriage Symptoms

The miscarriage symptoms and signs can vary from women to women. Also, it can be completely different for women who had experienced multiple pregnancy failures previously. The two common symptoms are bleeding and mild discomfort post the loss. If you suffer from heavy bleeding with fever, chills or pain in the body or especially abdomen, consult your doctor right away. All of these may be signs of an infection.

The most common symptoms among all include-

  • Severe cramps
  • Weakness and Tiredness
  • Severe Abdomen pain
  • Constant and severe backache
  • Heavy and continuous bleeding

If you are going through any of the miscarriage symptoms mentioned above, you should immediately consult your doctor without further ado.

Miscarriage Rates

Spontaneous abortions are not very uncommon in early pregnancies. As some studies suggest, around 8%-20% of women who are aware of their pregnancy suffers a loss, sometime before 20 weeks in which 80% occurs in the first 12 weeks. Though, the actual rate of pregnancy losses is even higher since many women suffer early miscarriages without even realizing about their pregnancy.

Miscarriage Risk factors

Factors which may increase the rate of spontaneous abortions include-

  • Age- Older women are more prone to suffer a failed pregnancy than younger women.
  • Previous miscarriage- A past failed pregnancy may increase the risk of another one.
  • Fever- Women who suffer from fevers of 8°C or above may have an increased risk.
  • Smoking & Drinking- Smoking more than 10 cigarettes a day and drinking even the lowest amount of alcohol, can double the risk of spontaneous abortions.
  • Women who are exposed to certain substances or conditions including infections, medications, radiations, physical stress and environmental chemicals may have an increased risk of congenital abnormalities and failed pregnancy.

How cervical insufficiency can lead to miscarriage?

Cervical insufficiency is a condition in which a pregnancy gets failed because of the weakness of the cervix, which directly shows the inefficiency of the cervix to hold the pregnancy. This type of failed pregnancy usually occurs in the second trimester. Symptoms include sudden pressure on the uterus, woman’s ‘water’ may break, tissue from the foetus and placenta may be expelled without pain etc.

Pregnancy following a miscarriage-

Around 85% of women who have suffered pregnancy losses in the past have normal pregnancies and deliveries. Suffering from a miscarriage does not mandatorily mean that you have an infertility problem. On the contrary, 1%-2% of women may go through repeated miscarriages. According to some researchers, it is related to an autoimmune response.

Miscarriage Treatment

If you have suffered 2 consecutive miscarriages in a row, you should stop trying to conceive for the time being and opt for miscarriage treatment and ask your gynaecologist to perform required diagnostic tests to determine the cause before you try again.

Post a miscarriage, women are usually advised to avoid sex or putting tampons or douche in the vagina for at least 2 weeks. Traditionally, women are told to wait at least 2-3 months before trying to conceive again. Though several studies have shown no risks with a shorter interval too but still taking a gap is considered effective.

Medications may be used to help reduce bleeding and also, reduce the risk of infection. Women with Rh-negative blood type including A, B, AB or O negative need to be given an injection called Rh(D) immune globulin. If an Rh-negative mother is carrying an Rh positive baby, then this medicine can protect future foetuses.

To prevent another miscarriage, your gynaecologist may recommend you treatment in which progesterone hormone, a hormone which is needed for implantation and the early support of a pregnancy in the uterus. This is one of the miscarriage treatment which is opted as per the history and condition of miscarriage.

Taking time to heal from both physical and emotional pain is much required and important post-miscarriage. Above everything, a woman should never blame herself for the mishappening. Counseling is considered to be very helpful while talking about miscarriage treatment.

Miscarriage Prevention-

Preventing a miscarriage is usually not possible because it often occurs when the pregnancy is not normal. But, if a certain problem is identified while testing, then related treatment options may be available.

Many times, treatment of a mother’s illness can improve the chances for a healthy and successful pregnancy.

Women’s Heath-

A miscarriage affects a woman’s emotions in a number of ways. Here, the woman lands in a situation where nothing could be felt right or wrong. Some women cope up with the loss soon but reactions of some women can be long-lasting. Also, a woman should let her gynaecologist know about whatever she has been feeling be it sadness or depression following miscarriage, especially when the feeling is taking longer than several weeks. Counseling helps a lot in these types of cases.

At Indira IVF and fertility center, our fertility experts are keen to help and resolve all your queries related infertility or IVF. You can book your appointment for a free consultation now.

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