Miscarriage: what women should know

Miscarriage is talked about so rarely or only behind closed doors that many people – even women who have experienced miscarriage themselves – mistakenly believe it is a rare event. The truth is that about 30% of pregnancies end in miscarriage . [1]

What is a miscarriage?

A miscarriage is a spontaneous abortion (as opposed to a medically induced abortion) that occurs before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Week of pregnancy takes place.

What are the first signs?

There are several signs and symptoms of miscarriage, and it’s important to keep in mind that many of these symptoms can occur even in a perfectly healthy pregnancy. The two main symptoms that could indicate a miscarriage are vaginal bleeding and cramping. Note, however, that light bleeding during pregnancy can also be completely benign. 10 to 15% of women have bleeding in early pregnancy and almost all women with bleeding continue to have successful pregnancies .[2] Cramping can be caused by gas or the enlarging uterus. If cramping and bleeding occur at the same time, you should talk to your doctor. Other possible indicators of miscarriage may include:

  • Painful true contractions
  • Back discomfort or back pain
  • Excretion of blood clots or other tissue from the vagina
  • a whitish-pink mucopurulent discharge
  • A sudden disappearance of pregnancy symptoms or feeling like you’re no longer pregnant (though you should keep in mind that these symptoms can often occur even in perfectly healthy pregnancies – it varies from person to person).

What causes miscarriages?

Most miscarriages are due to chromosomal and genetic abnormalities or other health factors beyond our control. Chromosomes contain genes and in a viable pregnancy, each parent contributes a set of chromosomes. Abnormalities usually occur when an egg or sperm is damaged or when the fertilized egg has difficulty dividing. Placenta problems can also lead to miscarriages.

The mother’s age, health, lifestyle, and traumatic experiences can also affect the likelihood of whether a pregnancy ends in miscarriage.

How can you prevent a miscarriage?

First of all, there’s nothing you can do at all to stop or prevent miscarriages caused by chromosomal abnormalities. These miscarriages can happen to any woman and they account for the highest number of pregnancy losses.

It’s important to get as healthy as possible before you get pregnant. This means eating well, exercising regularly, managing your stress, and trying to keep your weight in a healthy range. Take a daily supplement with folic acid. Adequate folic acid can prevent serious birth defects that typically form before you even know you’re pregnant.

Drug and alcohol use, smoking or secondhand smoke, and drinking excessive amounts of caffeinated beverages ( more than 200 mg daily [3], the equivalent of two cups of coffee or five cans of caffeinated soft drinks) can increase the risk of miscarriage, birth defects, and negative pregnancy outcomes. Check with your doctor before taking over-the-counter medications. Once you are pregnant, you should avoid any contact sports, activities with risk of injury, and environmental hazards such as radiation and infectious diseases.

Underlying health conditions such as malnutrition, obesity or being underweight, hypertension, uncontrolled or. Untreated thyroid disease or diabetes or hormonal problems can cause problems conceiving and completing the pregnancy. Certain medications, cervical problems, or an unusually shaped uterus should definitely be discussed with your doctor if you are considering pregnancy.

Now for the good news: sexual intercourse does not cause miscarriages, and neither does labor – unless you work in a dangerous environment where you are exposed to radiation or chemicals, or where there is an increased risk of being physically harmed. Moderate exercise also does not cause miscarriage. In most cases, it is recommended to continue exercising during pregnancy, as this can lead to better health outcomes [4] for both mother and baby.

What are the different types of miscarriages?

As bad as it feels, neither you nor your doctor can stop a miscarriage that’s already in progress. Doctors can only monitor your condition and health to make sure the miscarriage doesn’t lead to further complications.

  • In a complete miscarriage, all pregnancy tissue is expelled from your body.
  • In a partial or incomplete miscarriage, some tissue or placental material is expelled, but the rest remains in your body.
  • In an unperceived miscarriage [5], the embryo dies without your knowledge. You don’t find out you’ve lost the baby until your next doctor’s appointment. Fortunately, this type of miscarriage is rare, occurring in only about 3% of all known pregnancies.
  • If a miscarriage is imminent, you have bleeding and cramping, which indicate a possible miscarriage. However, it is important to know that warning signs of miscarriage do not always lead to pregnancy loss. You may be advised to get rest, avoid intercourse, and monitor your symptoms. In many women who experience warning signs of miscarriage, the pregnancy continues normally.
  • In an inevitable miscarriage, bleeding, cramping, and cervical dilation indicate that a miscarriage is inevitable.
  • A septic miscarriage can be a miscarriage caused by an infection in the uterus (ex. B. An untreated sexually transmitted infection , which causes pelvic inflammatory disease). It can also be caused by an incomplete miscarriage, where not all the tissue built up during pregnancy has been expelled from the uterus, leading to an infection in the uterus. Therefore, it is important to see your doctor if you think you have had or are having a miscarriage. Your doctor can confirm the type of miscarriage and make sure the uterus has retained tissue from the pregnancy. Contact your doctor if you experience signs and symptoms of infection such as fever, foul-smelling vaginal bleeding or discharge, abdominal pain, a pressure-sensitive abdomen, or heavy bleeding (soaking one pad per hour for two hours).

Types of nonviable pregnancies that result in miscarriage or require medical intervention include an abortive egg, a mole pregnancy, and an ectopic pregnancy.

  • An abortive egg is when no embryo forms. Basically, this means that a sperm cell fertilized an egg, but the necessary genetic material was not present. Unfortunately, sometimes your body doesn’t always perceive this correctly and continues to produce the pregnancy hormones that are reflected in a positive pregnancy test.
  • A mole pregnancy occurs when there is a defect in placental cells that causes cells to grow too fast – much faster than the embryo does. Molar pregnancies are especially dangerous because the cells can sometimes move to different parts of your body and become cancerous. If you are going through a mole pregnancy, your doctor will monitor you carefully. It is likely that you will be advised to wait 6 to 12 months before trying to conceive again.
  • An ectopic pregnancy is when an egg implants in tissue outside the uterus. This type of pregnancy is not viable and must be treated immediately. Although some ectopic pregnancies end on their own with a miscarriage, many require surgery to prevent the fallopian tubes from bursting – which poses a real threat to the mother’s life.

Do you have to go to the hospital after a miscarriage?

A miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy is not necessarily a medical emergency. If you experience bleeding within a day or two of a positive pregnancy test, you may have had a chemical pregnancy , where the body produced just enough pregnancy hormones to show up positive on a test, but the pregnancy was never viable. Taking a second pregnancy test a day or two after bleeding begins will likely result in a negative result.

Instead of going to the hospital right away, it’s better to call your doctor first if you suspect you’re having a miscarriage. He will probably ask you to come to the doctor’s office. Your doctor has access to your medical records and will use diagnostic tests to determine if you are having a miscarriage.

If you have heavy bleeding (with a pad soaking every hour), fever or chills, severe abdominal pain or cramping, especially if it occurs on both sides of the lower abdomen, dizziness, or symptoms of shock, such as confusion, restlessness, or bluish lips and nails, you should go to the emergency room.

How to cope with a miscarriage?

If you had a complete miscarriage and no tissue remained in your body, no further treatment is needed. If tissue remains, there are several treatment options available.

  • You can wait to see if the remaining tissue is naturally eliminated from your body.
  • You can manage the condition medically by taking medication to help you expel the rest of the remaining tissue.
  • You can remove the remaining tissue through surgery. This is called dilation and curettage (or scraping). If all the tissue is not expelled using the first two options, which is entirely possible, a curettage becomes necessary.

For many women, miscarriage is a serious emotional event, made more difficult by the widely held belief that you should not announce a pregnancy before the end of your first trimester. Unfortunately, if no one knows you were pregnant and no one knows you had a miscarriage, there will be no one to talk to about it or be comforted by it.

In which week there is the highest risk?

The risk of miscarriage is highest in the first trimester or first 13 weeks of your pregnancy. For most women, the chance of miscarriage at 14 weeks is less than 1% . [6]

A chemical pregnancy is a very early miscarriage that occurs before the fifth week of pregnancy – or within about a week of your expected menstrual period. A clinical pregnancy is a pregnancy that progresses up to the sixth week.

In pregnancies with confirmed fetal heartbeat, the miscarriage rate decreases between 6 and 10 weeks. Keep in mind that pregnancies are counted from the first day of your last menstrual period; that is, the sixth week of pregnancy is about two weeks after your missed menstrual period.

6 9,4 %
7 4,6 %
8 1,5 %
9 0,5 %
10 0,7 %

The likelihood of miscarriage increases in women over age 35.

A study [7] of 384 women 35 years of age and older found that women between 35 and 37 years of age had a miscarriage rate of 2.8%, women between 37 and 39 years of age had a miscarriage rate of 7.5%, and women over 40 years of age had a miscarriage rate of 10.8. By age 45, a woman’s risk of miscarriage is nearly 100% . [8]

How soon can you get pregnant again after a miscarriage?

A miscarriage does not mean you will have trouble getting pregnant again or carrying a baby to term. In fact, after a miscarriage, it may even be easier to get pregnant again if you try right away.

While there is evidence that your ovary function may not return to full normal in the first cycle after a miscarriage, ovulation returns quickly for most women .[9] Contrary to conventional wisdom, which advises waiting 3 to 6 months after a miscarriage before trying to conceive again, a large-scale study found significant evidence that couples who had a new conception within three months of a pregnancy loss [10] were more likely to go through a normal pregnancy that resulted in a live birth than those who waited three months or more to try again.

After an early loss, it’s natural to be afraid to try again. Repeat miscarriages are relatively rare; only 1% of women will have more than one. If you have multiple miscarriages, it may be due to an underlying condition and you should consult your doctor.

Once you’ve stopped bleeding, you can have intercourse again. Tracking your fertility with Ava or other methods can help you determine the days when intercourse is most likely to result in conception.

What is a rainbow baby? Just as the rainbow represents hope after a storm, a healthy baby born after a miscarriage or stillbirth is often called a rainbow baby. Most women who experience a miscarriage will have a rainbow baby.

Questions& Answers

How to tell if a miscarriage is starting?

Often, a miscarriage is a process, not a single event. Diagnosis may take up to a week, as repeated tests are needed for confirmation. If you don’t have heavy bleeding, cramping, or other symptoms that indicate an emergency, you should call your doctor and talk about your concerns and options.

Do I have a miscarriage or a menstrual period?

Many women have early miscarriages and don’t even know they were pregnant. In general, bleeding and cramping are more severe with miscarriage – although that alone is not a sure symptom. Usually, the symptoms of a miscarriage worsen and last longer than a menstrual period.

Can a pregnancy test tell you if you have had a miscarriage?

Pregnancy tests measure a pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone is produced by the placenta only after implantation of the egg. If a negative pregnancy test follows a positive one, it is possible that you have had a miscarriage or are in the process of miscarrying. However, a pregnancy test is not used to detect miscarriages and cannot detect other serious complications such as an ectopic or mole pregnancy.

Can you have a miscarriage without knowing it?

Many women miscarry without even knowing they were pregnant. These chemical pregnancies are easily mistaken for menstrual periods because the miscarriage happens around the same time the period was expected.

Unfortunately, some women have undetected or silent miscarriages. These miscarriages have no symptoms and the lost pregnancy is not discovered until the next prenatal visit, when scans show that embryonic death has occurred.

How can you confirm a miscarriage at home?

Only a doctor can confirm a miscarriage. A doctor will use diagnostic tests such as pelvic exam, ultrasound, blood tests, tissue tests, and chromosome tests to confirm that a miscarriage is occurring or has already occurred.

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