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Miscarriage

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Introduction

Miscarriage is a relatively common experience for women. Approximately 10-20% of pregnancies end with a miscarriage. The figure is likely to be higher since most miscarriages happen very early in pregnancy, even before a woman can realise she is with a baby.

Miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy before the twentieth week. Miscarriages happen because the fetus is not developing normally.

Miscarriage is a common occurrence. However, that isn’t to say it is an easy experience. It can be emotionally scarring to lose a baby. Knowing more about miscarriage can help you deal with it better.

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What are the Causes of Miscarriage?

Miscarriage isn’t something that is caused by your action or inaction. However, it is better to consult a doctor if you are having problems maintaining your pregnancy. Generally, your body supplies the nutrients and hormones needed for the fetus to grow. Miscarriages in the first trimester usually happen because the fetus didn’t develop as it should have.

Some genetic issues can cause a miscarriage. Chromosomes carry genes. Examples of some chromosome abnormalities are:

  • ● In some cases, the embryo doesn’t form. This condition is called a blighted ovum.
  • ● Sometimes, the embryo does form, but the fetus stops developing due to some reason. Intrauterine fetal demise happens even before you can feel the symptoms of a miscarriage.
  • ● In ordinary circumstances, both the father and the mother provide one set of chromosomes to the fetus. In some cases, both sets of chromosomes are from the father. In such cases, the fetus doesn’t develop. In other cases, the fetus does get one set of chromosomes from the mother, but it also gets two sets of chromosomes from the father. In such cases, too, no fetal development occurs.

Some miscarriages can happen due to lifestyle habits or underlying conditions. Some of these habits or conditions are:

  • ● poor diet
  • ● Advanced age of the mother
  • ● Drug and alcohol use
  • ● Hormonal issues
  • ● Thyroid disease when left untreated
  • ● Diabetes is not managed properly
  • ● Trauma
  • ● Infections
  • ● Obesity
  • ● Abnormally shaped uterus
  • ● Cervix problems
  • ● Food poisoning
  • ● High blood pressure

What are the Symptoms of Miscarriage?

The symptoms may vary depending on the stage of pregnancy when it happens. In many cases, you may not even realise you’re pregnant when it happens. Here are some symptoms:

  1. Vaginal Bleeding
  2. Heavy Spotting
  3. Severe abdominal cramps
  4. Fluid or tissue discharge from the vagina
  5. You can also experience back pain

You shouldn’t hesitate to call your doctor if you suffer from any of the symptoms mentioned above. You should also note that these symptoms are not exclusive to miscarriage. But, doctors will conduct several tests to ensure that everything is alright.

How is Miscarriage Diagnosed?

A miscarriage can be diagnosed in the following ways:

  • ● Your doctor might perform a pelvic exam to check whether your cervix is dilating or not.
  • ● An ultrasound can be performed to check for a heartbeat and to see if the embryo is developing as it should. However, if nothing can be ascertained, you might need to go for another ultrasound in a week.
  • ● Your doctor might do a blood test to check the level of your pregnancy hormone. He will then compare it to your previously recorded measurements and see if it is abnormal.
  • ● In case you have passed fluid or tissues, they can be sent to the lab to check if there has been a miscarriage. This is done to see if your symptoms are related to the miscarriage.
  • ● Your doctor might do a chromosomal test in case you have experienced two or more than two miscarriages. This is done to see if chromosomes are a factor in your miscarriages.

How is Miscarriage Treated?

Treatment depends on several factors. Factors like the pregnancy stage, the type of miscarriage, and the symptoms of miscarriage decide the treatment. In cases where there is no pregnancy tissue left, i.e. a complete miscarriage, there is no treatment required.

When some tissue remains, there are different treatment options, namely:

  • Expectant Management: In this treatment option, you have to wait for your body to pass the pregnancy tissues naturally.
  • Medical Management: In this option, the doctors will prescribe you some medicines to pass the rest of the tissues.
  • Surgical Management: The remaining tissue is surgically removed from your body.

Result

There is no need to worry if you have suffered a miscarriage. In many cases, the body will pass the remaining tissue naturally. However, you must go to your doctor if you have the symptoms of miscarriage mentioned in the article. He might suggest medication or surgery. The outlook of both these treatments is good.

What are the Risks Associated with Miscarriage treatments?

There are some risks involved, such as:

  • ● Medium to severe pain
  • ● Pelvic infection
  • ● Heightened anxiety

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FAQ's

What Causes Miscarriage?

The most common cause is a genetic abnormality in the embryo. Other causes such as drug abuse, hormonal problems, thyroid disease, can cause a Miscarriage.

What are the Signs of a Miscarriage?

You might experience abnormal vaginal bleeding, tiny lumps of liquid or tissue in the vaginal discharge along with abdominal pain or cramp.

Is Miscarriage Painful?

Not necessarily. In some cases, you might not have any pain, but you might experience cramps. Vaginal bleeding is relatively common when a miscarriage happens. You might also pass blood clots the size of lemon during vaginal discharge.

What Happens if you have a Miscarriage and Don’t Get Cleaned Out?

If some issues remain, it is better to get it treated with medication or surgery. If the remaining tissue is not taken care of, it can cause heavy vaginal bleeding and infection.

Do you have Surgery for Miscarriage?

Yes, dilation and curettage surgery can be performed to get rid of the remaining tissue. It is successful 95 to 100% of the time, but there is a small risk.

Will I Experience Vaginal Bleeding After Miscarriage Surgery?

You might go through vaginal bleeding for up to two weeks after the operation.

Can you Miscarry and Still Feel Pregnant?

Yes, after a Miscarriage, it takes time for hormone levels to come back to normal.

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