Miscarriage is a topic you don’t want to think about nor allow someone to discuss it because you are already pregnant. However, you shouldn’t avoid the topic since miscarriages are very common. 10 to 20 percent of confirmed pregnancy ends in a miscarriage. According to statistics, the percentage can be higher since a lot of women miscarry even before they are aware of the pregnancy. Thus, it is important to understand about it and take precautions to prevent it.
What is a miscarriage?
It is pregnancy loss in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Spontaneous abortion is the medical term used to refer to a miscarriage. To have a successful pregnancy, you have to be vigilant and look out for miscarriage symptoms. If you notice symptoms of miscarriage, call your gynecologist or midwife with immediate effect. The doctor will examine you to determine of you are experiencing signs of miscarriage and take the necessary precaution. If you experience spotting and cramping, don’t worry as these are not necessarily miscarriage signs; but ensure you call the doctor for her to judge if what you are experiencing are miscarriage symptoms signs or not.
What are the symptoms of a miscarriage?
You may be wondering “what are signs of a miscarriage.” Miscarriage signs and symptoms will vary according to the stage of pregnancy you are in; although most miscarriage will occur during the first trimester.
Here are signs and symptoms of a miscarriage:
- Back pain (can be severe or mild)
- Vaginal bleeding
- Passing of tissue with clots through the vagina
- Severe abdominal pain
- Cramping (can be mild or severe)
- White, pink mucus
- Loss of pregnancy symptoms like nausea and vomiting
Cramping accompanied by spotting is the first sign of miscarriage. Your concern of what are signs of miscarriage has been well covered. Do you know you can have a missed miscarriage? Surprised? A missed miscarriage can also be referred to as a missed miscarriage or a silent miscarriage. After you conceive, the fertilized egg will implant in the uterus. But something may go wrong, and the pregnancy stops to develop; this is what is known as a missed miscarriage. The embryo dies, and your body doesn’t expel it. Sadly, you won’t even realize that something has gone wrong. Your body will give you signs that you are still expectant. In a missed miscarriage, the placenta may continue to release hormones which cause you to experience signs of pregnancy.
Signs of a missed miscarriage are usually delayed, but you will eventually miscarry. As you still believe you are expectant, detecting symptoms of missed miscarriage is hard. However, your doctor will help you realize you have a missed miscarriage through the following signs of missed miscarriage:
- Blighted ovum. Implantation of a fertilized egg takes place, but the fetus does not develop. It is detected when an ultrasound scan is carried out
- Empty pregnancy sac. It is also diagnosed when the doctor orders an ultrasound scan
- Lack of fetal heartbeat
- A decrease in pregnancy symptoms- if you are keen enough, a decline of the symptoms is one of the missed miscarriage symptoms that you can detect
Some women may not experience any symptoms of miscarriage at all since they miscarry at early stages of pregnancy. Symptoms of early miscarriage can be difficult to detect. Early pregnancy miscarriage symptoms vary from one person to another. You may miscarry at the exact time you are supposed to be having your monthly period; this means you won’t note you are experiencing a miscarriage! But if you are keen you will note the following early miscarriage symptoms;
- Lower abdominal pain or cramping
- Dark brown spotting
- Bright red spotting
- Vaginal bleeding that soaks more than one pad per hour
- Increased amount of bleeding
- Vaginal bleeding that starts suddenly and comes out in gushes
- Pelvic pain
- Decrease in morning sickness
Early miscarriage signs can be similar to symptoms of menstrual periods. For example, you may experience pelvic and lower abdominal pain during your monthly period. Furthermore, bright red spotting and cramping are early signs of miscarriage, and at the same time, they are signs of ovulation. If you experience the first signs of early miscarriage like vaginal bleeding and abdominal cramping, don’t panic since the symptoms may fade away, and the pregnancy will eventually carry on; this is referred to as a threatened miscarriage. However, visit a health center if you experience early signs of a miscarriage for the doctor to diagnose if it is a threatened miscarriage, a missed miscarriage or just normal signs of ovulation and menstruation period. It is important to note that sometimes, an early miscarriage is discovered during a prenatal visit.
What can cause a miscarriage?
Causes of miscarriage are numerous. What causes miscarriage in the first trimester? Causes of early miscarriage are thought to be as a result of chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo or the egg fertilized; this means that either the sperm or the egg had the wrong number of chromosomes thus the egg fertilized can’t develop normally. Normally, this is what causes missed miscarriage as elaborated previously. Improper implantation of the egg on the walls of the uterus is what causes early miscarriage.
Other common causes of miscarriage are:
- Uterine abnormalities
If your uterus has an abnormal shape or you have a uterine septum, chances of miscarriage are high because the embryo won’t get the required nourishment for its survival if implantation occurs.
- Incompetent cervix
A weak cervix is a leading cause of miscarriage. As pregnancy progresses, the fetus continues to grow, and a weak or incompetent cervix can’t hold the fetus.
- Autoimmune diseases
An autoimmune disease is a chronic illness. If you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system will attack your body tissues and organs including an embryo resulting in a miscarriage.
- Bacterial and viral infections
Ureaplasma is a bacteria that can cause a miscarriage. Also, some viral infections can cause miscarriages.
If you are pregnant and you fall ill, some medication can cause a miscarriage. Always consult a doctor before taking a drug.
- Placenta problems
The placenta is the link between the mother and the developing fetus. It supplies blood to the baby, if a problem occurs as the placenta develops, a miscarriage will take place.
- PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)
If you have PCOS, your ovaries are significantly large and abnormal, and the condition can cause you to miscarry.
Although any pregnant woman is at a risk of a miscarriage due to miscarriage causes, some factors put you at risk of having a miscarriage.
If you have advanced in age, you are likely to miscarry due chromosomal abnormalities
- A history of miscarriage
If you have had more than one miscarriage, if you conceive, you can miscarry.
- Using drugs, smoking and drinking alcohol
All the above increase chances of a miscarriage
- Environmental toxins
Environmental toxins like lead and benzene is a threat to your pregnancy
- Obesity and underweight
Both obesity and underweight are closely related to pregnancy loss.
Your gynecologist discovers you are at risk to miscarry. She or he will offer you treatment for miscarriage. He or she will recommend a bed rest. Within the period of bed rest, you will restrain from regular activity, abstain from sexual intercourse and avoid traveling. It is believed that the bed rest will prevent a miscarriage from happening. If the doctor diagnoses you with an incompetent cervix, he will put a stitch on your cervix to keep the cervix closed. The procedure is known as a cerclage, and it will be carried out at the end of the first trimester. The treatments are best for a threatened miscarriage.
If you yours is a missed miscarriage, the doctor will perform an ultrasound scan to determine if the embryo is dead or if it the embryo formed. You can opt for three choices:
- Natural management. You may opt for the miscarriage to take place naturally especially if there are no signs of infection.
- Medical treatment. Medicines speed up the process of miscarriage after a diagnosis of a pregnancy loss. Medication will help your body expel the placenta and other pregnancy tissues.
- Surgical treatment. The final option is a surgical procedure referred to as suction dilation and curettage (D&C). The doctor dilates the cervix to remove tissues from the uterus.
In conclusion, a miscarriage can be traumatic. Join a support group for emotional healing. Also, seek to understand what caused the miscarriage to avoid miscarriages in future and get the necessary medical care.