Ins and Outs of MISCARRIAGE:
The period of pregnancy is considered to be an exhilarating and joyous occasion in any household. When the unborn child is loss, the effects can be far reaching. Most marriages come under significant threat after this loss. In most cases, the two parents deal with the loss individually, which leads a void developing between them. That is a discussion for another article. Carrying a pregnancy is a time of great anticipation. However, a great deal of pregnancies results in a miscarriage. When pregnancy is terminated on its own, the phenomenon is termed as a miscarriage. It results in the death of the fetus prior to the 20th week of pregnancy or gestation period. In medical terminology, it is commonly referred to as ‘spontaneous abortion’.
Miscarriages take place mainly because the development of the fetus is not normal. Almost 80 percent of pregnancies end in a miscarriage within the first 3 weeks of pregnancy and miscarriages occurring after the 20th week of pregnancy is termed as late miscarriage. Unfortunately, miscarriage is one of the most common types of pregnancy loss. In fact, it has been reported that 50 to 80 percent of pregnancies result in a miscarriage, which is equivalent to one in four pregnancies ending in a miscarriage.
The most common symptoms of a miscarriage are as follows:
- Vaginal bleeding that increases in intensity as time progresses.
- Acute cramps resulting in abdominal pain.
- Fatigue and a sense of weakness
- Severe backaches
A miscarriage causes immense physical and emotional exhaustion to the parents. It is truly a heartbreaking phenomenon that a lot of women are subjected to. Therefore, this article will serve as a guide providing all the necessary information in relation to miscarriages.
Causes of Miscarriage:
In most cases, a miscarriage occurs when the expected fetus showcases malignant genetic complications. There are several causes that lead to the unfortunate incident of a miscarriage; usually it isn’t directly related to the mother. The five most common causes of a miscarriage have been illustrated below:
- Genetics/Hormonal issues – When the sperm comes in contact with the egg, it stimulates the process of fetus formation. Normal human beings are comprised of 23 chromosomes from each parent during the gestation period. However, if there is a complication during the process of cell division it may lead to unequal distribution of chromosomes. This disturbs the process of attachment of the egg to the uterine lining. This may result in a miscarriage.
- Infections – Infections occurring in the uterus or cervix region can prove to be detrimental to the process of development of a baby. It may result in a miscarriage. Some common infections are Chlamydia, gonorrhea, mycoplasma and ureaplasma.
- Anatomic problems – It generally refers to any issues in relation to the uterus cavity. It signifies that the uterus has not developed enough to bear a child and it results in a miscarriage.
- Maternal age related issues – The age of the mother during the pregnancy is a crucial factor since a healthy pregnancy is synonymous with a healthy uterus. After a certain age, the health of the uterus and the ability to conceive a newborn diminishes significantly. If a woman is under 30, she has a 1 in 10 chance of miscarriage. If a woman is between the age of 35 and 39, the probability of a miscarriage ranges between 20 to 35 percent. If a woman is above the age of 45, the probability of a miscarriage is 50 percent.
- Maternal trauma – Any form of traumatic events in the past or present play a pivotal role in defining the outcome of a pregnancy. It has a negative effect on the health of the fetus. It may lead to a miscarriage.
- Clotting disorders – This condition results in the formation of blood clots more often than usual. It results in the formation of blood clots in the placenta. This restricts any form of nutrition supplementation to the awaited baby and prevents the transportation of waste material.
- Progesterone deficiency – The progesterone hormone plays a pivotal role in the period of pregnancy. This condition signifies that the body is not producing the optimum amount of progesterone and it may result in causing a miscarriage.
- Lifestyle – Consumption of large amounts of alcohol, drug abuse and indulging in the act of smoking or chewing tobacco can lead to pregnancy complications in the future. It may eventually increase the probability of the occurrence of a miscarriage.
Types of miscarriage:
- Threatened Miscarriage –The symptoms include excessive vaginal bleeding in addition to abdominal pain and cramps or lower back pain. The bleeding is the result of improper implantation of the egg to the uterine lining.
- Inevitable or incomplete miscarriage – The symptoms include severe abdominal pain along with excessive vaginal bleeding with an open cervix. Miscarriage is an unavoidable circumstance when there is dilation in the cervix or if any blowout occurs to the membranes.
- Complete miscarriage – A complete miscarriage occurs when the embryo has completely been unloaded out of the uterus. An ultrasound can confirm the event of a complete miscarriage.
- Missed miscarriage – Sometimes a woman can experience a miscarriage without her knowledge. A missed miscarriage occurs when the death of the embryo takes place but there is no sign of expulsion of the embryo.
- Recurrent miscarriage – When a miscarriage occurs consecutively 3 or more times it is termed as recurrent miscarriage. Only one percent of the women population is subjected to this misfortunate condition.
Symptoms of very early miscarriage:
A miscarriage is considered to be early if it occurs within the period of four to five weeks. The symptoms in relation to an early miscarriage include acute cramps, abdominal pain, tiredness, fever, brown discharge and excessive vaginal bleeding that intensifies over time.
How common are miscarriages?
The occurrence of a miscarriage is far more common than people think it to be. It is estimated that one in four pregnancies result in a miscarriage. A miscarriage is primarily seen during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Sometimes miscarriages take place before the mother realizes she is pregnant.
When is the best time to get pregnant after a miscarriage?
It takes a lot of courage to try for pregnancy one more time after experiencing a miscarriage. The pain involved in losing one’s own child cannot be put into words. However, it is advisable to wait for a considerable period of time to ensure that the person is emotionally and physically capable of going through the entire process once again. Many doctors advise their patients to wait at least a couple of months before trying again. If a woman is not physically ready to conceive but still tries to get pregnant, it increases the risk of a miscarriage occurring again resulting in a recurrent miscarriage. It is acceptable to try for pregnancy after two or three menstrual periods. Some physicians advise their patients to wait for as long as six months to an entire year where as others don’t see the need to wait for such a prolonged period of time. It entirely depends on the current health and physical capacity of the patient to conceive.
Miscarriage risk by week:
|Gestation Period||Risk of Miscarriage|
What happens after a miscarriage?
There are several important things to do once a miscarriage occurs. If a woman miscarries at home, she has the option to collect her baby in a small container to get a professionals opinion. Depending on the situation, the doctor may send the baby for further examination to decipher the root cause of the problem. If a woman miscarries in a hospital, the woman may opt to see her child depending on the situation. This can only be done depending on the stage of the pregnancy, whether the patient had dilation and when the baby passed away. Some services offered by a hospital in case of a miscarriage are saving the pregnancy tissue, cremation of the pregnancy tissue and getting back the pregnancy tissue in order to facilitate a private burial service. There are no legal obligations to be met while conducting a private burial ceremony. However, there are several other legal obligations that need to be met when a miscarriage occurs. It may differ from state to state. If the death of the child occurs within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, then neither a birth certificate nor a death certificate can be issued, which means there is no formal documentation.
Prevention of miscarriage:
An individual can take several steps in order to curb the chances of a miscarriage from occurring. They have been illustrated below:
- Lead a healthy lifestyle and incorporate a balanced diet.
- Avoid the consumption of excessive amounts of caffeine.
- Avoid the consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol.
- Avoid tobacco in any form. Whether it is smoking or chewing tobacco, it must be avoided in order to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
- Indulge in physical activities such as visiting the gym on a regular basis or taking up a sport.
- It is important to visit your physician from time to time and get a routine checkup done in order to avoid the event of a miscarriage in the future.