Miscarriage: the premature end of pregnancy

If a woman is diagnosed with a pregnancy, there is great joy. At the same time, there is often a fear of losing the child prematurely. Especially in the first weeks of pregnancy there is an increased risk of miscarriage. We’ve compiled facts and answers to the most pressing questions about this important topic for you here.

In this article:

Doctors refer to a miscarriage when a pregnancy ends before a child is viable. Medically, a fetus after the 23rd week of pregnancy is considered a miscarriage. and a birth weight of 400 grams is considered to be viable. If the child is born alive after this time, it is called a premature birth.

If it dies after the 23. If the baby is still in the womb during the first week of pregnancy, it is a stillbirth.

How many miscarriages there are per year?

According to recent studies by an international team of experts published in the Lancet, an estimated 23 million miscarriages occur worldwide each year.

This means that every seventh pregnancy ends prematurely. About one in ten women has suffered at least one miscarriage.

In general, it is assumed that the number of miscarriages – as miscarriages are called in medical jargon – is significantly higher. They often go unnoticed at a time when the women were not yet aware of being pregnant and the miscarriage is mistakenly classified as a late menstrual bleed.

In which week do miscarriages most often occur??

Unfortunately, the risk of miscarriage is highest in early pregnancy. About 85% of all miscarriages occur during the first trimester of pregnancy, with the remaining 15% occurring primarily between the 13th trimester. and 20. Week of pregnancy.

In medicine, miscarriages are divided chronologically:

  • A miscarriage in the first 12 weeks is an early miscarriage.
  • If the pregnancy ends between week 13. and 24. If the baby dies after the 23rd week, it is called a late abortion.

In which cases there is an increased risk of miscarriage?

Miscarriage can have a variety of causes. Often, it is a combination of several factors.

In most cases, a miscarriage in early pregnancy is due to a chromosomal mutation in the child.

Risk factors on the part of the mother include:

  • Advanced age: According to a Danish study, the risk of miscarriage increases from the age of 30 onwards. The rate of miscarriages increases significantly from the age of 45 onwards, and already exceeds 50%
  • Malformations of the reproductive organs such as fibroids, scar tissue or cervical insufficiency
  • Maldevelopment of the placenta
  • Severe injuries and falls
  • Infections
  • Poorly controlled diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, blood pressure in mother and child
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Stress and anxiety during pregnancy

The more miscarriages a woman has had beforehand, the greater the risk of a repeat miscarriage. Other risk factors include male genetic disorders and sperm abnormalities.

What does a miscarriage look like?? Know the signs

In most cases, a miscarriage is indicated by bleeding. In early pregnancy, it is often only light vaginal bleeding, in the later stages it can be heavy bleeding and violent cramps.

Bleeding during the first 20. Pregnancies are not rare. They may or may not be a sign of miscarriage! In any case, medical treatment should be sought immediately.

A severe form of miscarriage is septic miscarriage, also called abortus febrilis. It is accompanied by fever, purulent discharge, palpitations and other severe symptoms, and can be fatal to the mother.

Sometimes a miscarriage progresses without externally recognizable symptoms. In what is known as a missed abortion, the doctor often does not detect any signs of life in the embryo until the next ultrasound examination.

How is a miscarriage diagnosed?

Even if there are seemingly minor signs that could indicate a miscarriage, a pregnant woman should immediately contact her gynecologist or visit a clinic.

The gynecologist will first thoroughly palpate the abdomen and examine the vagina and uterus. An ultrasound scan will tell you if the baby is alive or if there has already been an abortion. Additionally, a blood test can be done to detect the pregnancy hormone hCG.

Treatment: what happens when you have a miscarriage?

The further medical procedure depends on the individual case:

  • If it is only an imminent miscarriage, d.h. signs of life can be detected in the fetus and the cervix is not yet open, it is always tried to maintain the pregnancy. The pregnant woman is prescribed bed rest, often also stationary. In addition, close-meshed examinations of mother and child take place, as well as, if necessary, a drug treatment to suppress the labor activity.
  • If the fetus and placenta were expelled during an abortion, no further treatment is necessary.
  • If the fetus or placental tissue remains in the uterus after the miscarriage, it is surgically removed by abrasion.

The doctor treating the woman after a miscarriage will probably write her off sick for some time due to the physical and emotional stresses. In order to come to terms with the traumatic experience, one should not be afraid to seek psychotherapeutic help.

On topic:

Legally, a miscarriage is not considered to be a delivery. So there is no right to the legal maternity protection and maternity benefit. If you have a miscarriage after 12 weeks. However, special protection against dismissal applies after the first week of pregnancy.

What to consider when pregnant after miscarriage?

After an abortion, there is an increased risk of miscarriage again in a subsequent pregnancy. In principle, however, there is no impairment to become pregnant again. Doctors, however, advise you to wait at least three months before planning a family. Beforehand, you should consult your gynecologist and have some tests done. Potential risk factors can be detected and treated in time, if necessary.

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