What is a miscarriage?
We use the term “Miscarriage” when a pregnancy ends on its own, within the first twenty weeks of gestation. Most women experience discomfort during miscarriages. This can affect their mental and emotional well-being. Understanding the nature of miscarriages, the symptoms and prevention and possible treatment, can help women to assess this situation more medically and objectively.
According to the studies conducted at American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Chemical pregnancies may account for 50-75% of those miscarriages, which occur shortly after implantation. This may result in bleeding, around the time of her expected period. In a chemical pregnancy, the woman may not even realize that she conceived.
Fortunately, medical science has multiple options to help a woman have her own genetic baby even with a history of multiple miscarriages.
In many cases, the reason why a miscarriage occurs cannot be identified since they can be so varied. The most common reasons could be as follows:
- Chromosomal abnormalities resulting in a damaged egg or sperm cell during the zygote division process
- Hormonal problems
- Infections or maternal health problem
- Ineffective implantation of the egg into the uterine lining
- Maternal age and maternal trauma
Some of the most common myths associated with miscarriages is that it is due to some food (especially papaya), which is untrue. Having sex during pregnancy or working outside the home or doing moderate exercises are all myths associated with miscarriages.
Typical percentage of miscarriages:
In the women in their reproductive years, there are 10-25% chances of miscarriage are 10-25%, and in most healthy women the average is about 15-20%.
- As a woman ages, the chances of miscarriage also increase.
- Women below 35 yrs have about a 15% chance of miscarriage
- Women between 35-45 yrs have a 20-35% chance of miscarriage
- Women above 45 yrs have up to a 50% chance of miscarriage
- A woman who has had a previous miscarriage has a 25% chance of having another miscarriage, which is slightly more risky than for someone who has not had a previous miscarriage.
Signs of miscarriage:
If you experience any or all of these symptoms, it is important to contact your health care provider or a medical facility to evaluate if you could be having a miscarriage:
- Mild to severe back pain, similar to menstrual cramps
- Weight loss
- White-pink mucus discharge from the vagina
- Painful contractions happening every 5-20 minutes
- Passing tissue or clots from the vagina
- Sudden decrease in signs of pregnancy
- Slight or heavy bleeding with or without cramps (20-30% of all pregnancies can experience some bleeding in early pregnancy, but can result in normal pregnancies in almost half the cases).
The Different Types Of Miscarriage:
Miscarriages are not all the same and can be differently labelled based on the causes that are underlying the situation. You can educate yourself with information available online about healthy fetal development so that you might get a better idea of what is going on with your pregnancy. Here are a few terms that are used for the various types of miscarriages:
Inevitable or Incomplete Miscarriage: In such cases a woman experiences abdominal or back pain accompanied by bleeding with an open cervix. When there is a dilation or effacement of the cervix and/or there is rupture of the membranes, miscarriage becomes inevitable. In case the miscarriage is not complete, one may see persistent bleeding and cramps.
Threatened Miscarriage: A woman with this kind of miscarriage experiences uterine bleeding accompanied by cramping or lower backache in the early stages of pregnancy. In this case the cervix remains closed and pregnancy continues.
Missed Miscarriage: Sometimes women can experience a miscarriage without their knowledge. In such cases the embryonic death has occurred without any expulsion of the embryo. One can detect this in an ultrasound scan where there is an absence of fetal heartbeat.
Complete Miscarriage: A complete miscarriage is when the embryo and all the products of conception have exited the uterus. In such cases bleeding should subside quickly, without any pain or cramping. This can be confirmed by an ultrasound scan or through surgical curettage (D&C).
Recurrent Miscarriage (RM): This term is referred when there are two or more consecutive miscarriages during the first trimester. Almost one percent of the couples who are trying to conceive may experience this.
Ectopic Pregnancy: When a fertilized egg implants itself in places other than the uterus, which could be the fallopian tube, it is termed as Ectopic pregnancy. One should seek immediate treatment in such cases to stop the development of the implanted egg. If this situation is left untreated it could end in serious complications for the woman.
Blighted Ovum: Blighted ovum or anembryonic pregnancy happens when a fertilized egg implants into the uterine wall, but there is no fetal development. Your doctor may detect a gestational sac with or without a yolk sac, but will notice that there is no fetal growth.
Molar Pregnancy: Molar pregnancy is when there is a genetic error during the fertilization process. This can lead to growth of abnormal tissue within the uterus. In the cases of molar pregnancies, the embryo does not develop, but still the women can have the common symptoms of pregnancy of missing a period, getting a positive pregnancy test and having severe nausea.
Treatment For Miscarriage:
After a miscarriage it is important to take the necessary medications and treatments to prevent hemorrhaging and/or infection. If the miscarriage happens during the early stages of pregnancy, it is most likely that your body will expel all the fetal tissue by itself and you will not require further medical procedures. But, if the body does not expel all the tissue, D&C (dilation and curettage) is done to stop bleeding and prevent infection. You may also be prescribed with drugs to control bleeding. Keep checking your bleeding if it is increasing; if you notice an increase in bleeding or the onset of chills or fever, it is best to call your physician immediately.
Most of the miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities, unfortunately there is nothing much that can be done to prevent them. And it could be nature’s way of eliminating a pregnancy that will not result in a healthy baby.
Ofcourse what is in your hands is to get as healthy as you can before you plan to conceive.
- Exercise regularly
- Do not smoke
- Manage stress
- Eat healthy
- Maintain weight
- Take folic acid daily
Once you find out that you are pregnant, again the goal is to be as healthy as possible, to provide a healthy environment for your baby to grow in:
- Keep your abdomen safe
- Do not smoke or be around smoke
- Do not drink alcohol
- Check with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications
- Limit or eliminate caffeine
- Avoid environmental hazards such as radiation, infectious disease, and x-rays
- Avoid contact sports or activities that have risk of injury
Emotional Treatment For A Miscarriage:
Emotionally a miscarriage can take a toll emotionally on a woman and it can affect anyone, whether healthy or not. Many women have unanswered questions regarding their physical and emotional recovery and also about their chances to conceive later. It is very important that you meet with a fertility expert who specializes in recurrent miscarriages.
Get more information on https://mothertobe.in/treatments/recurrent-miscarriages/
Or fix an appointment with the recurrent miscarriage clinic: