Miscarriage, the word you never want to hear!
A miscarriage, also known as a spontaneous abortion can be one of the most devastating times in couple’s life; it is both an emotional and physical issue. A miscarriage is considered a loss of pregnancy that is less than 20 weeks along. Unfortunately, miscarriages are the most common form of pregnancy loss and they will happen in about 25% of all pregnancies. As a woman ages her risk for miscarriage increases.
Most early miscarriages occur because of a chromosomal abnormality. Many explain that this is nature’s way of letting your body know that something is wrong. A miscarriage may also happen if the mother has a hormonal problem, it could be a hormone deficiency. The use of drugs and alcohol can also negatively affect a pregnancy at any stage and may result in a pregnancy loss.
Here is a list of some other common factors that may increase risk for miscarriage:
- History of previous miscarriages
- Physical injury or trauma
- Certain infections
- Improper implantation
- Problems with the structure of the uterus
- Blood clotting disorders
What should I watch for?
It isn’t uncommon for many women to fear pregnancy loss early on in their pregnancy, especially for those women who have suffered a prior miscarriage. There are some common symptoms and signs that you can look for. Keep in mind, if you experience any of the following, it doesn’t necessarily a miscarriage is or going to take place. It is important to call you doctor with any questions or concerns.
- Loss of pregnancy symptoms
- Bleeding, passing clots
- Extremely painful cramping or contractions
- Pain in lower back
Are there different types of miscarriage?
Each miscarriage is unique unto itself; it is an unfortunate event that typically happens over time. There are different types and stages that you may hear about that relate to miscarriage.
Blighted Ovum: A blighted ovum may also be referred to as an anembryonic pregnancy. It happens when a fertilized egg implants itself in the uterus but the embryo either stops developing very early or doesn’t form at all.
Complete Miscarriage: A completed miscarriage is when the embryo or products of conception have “completely” emptied out of the uterus. A woman will typically experience bleeding and cramping that will eventually subside.
Ectopic Pregnancy: An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized ovum develops in any tissue other than the uterine wall. Most ectopic pregnancies occur in the fallopian tube, you may hear these referred to as “tubal pregnancies”. Immediate medical intervention is necessary.
Inevitable or Incomplete Miscarriage: An incomplete miscarriage is when the woman has passed much of the pregnancy tissue, but some remains in the uterus. Typically, the fetus has been passed, but bits of the placenta still haven’t passes. The cervix stays open, and bleeding may be significant.
Missed Miscarriage: In a missed miscarriage, the woman doesn’t have any symptoms of losing the pregnancy because the body fails to “notice” the loss of the fetus. As a result, the uterus does not immediately expel the fetal tissue.
Molar Pregnancy: In a molar pregnancy, the early placenta develops into an abnormal mass of cysts referred to as a hydatidiform mole. It consists of abnormal tissue that rarely will develop into an embryo.
Recurrent Miscarriage: A women that suffers from recurrent miscarriage is diagnosed as having 3 or more consecutive first trimester miscarriages.
Threatened Miscarriage: In a threatened miscarriage, a woman may experience uterine bleeding along with cramping or lower backache. Her cervix remains closed, the bleeding may or may not be the sign of miscarriage.
Sadly, miscarriages can affect anyone. Many times there is not much a woman can to do prevent or stop a miscarriage from occurring. It is at this time that is it important to seek support from family and friends. Miscarriage is not easy for the female or the couple for that matter. It is essential to heal yourself emotional and understand the causes, risks, and what you can do in the future to help prepare for a happy and healthy pregnancy.