A miscarriage is one of the biggest fears experienced by future parents. It is estimated that one in five pregnant women is at risk of miscarriage. Although this phenomenon is relatively common, the fact remains that it generates a lot of emotions and anxiety among those who live it. Here’s what you need to know about miscarriages, why they happen, and if they can be prevented.
What is a miscarriage?
A miscarriage is an involuntary and natural interruption of pregnancy. It is also called a “spontaneous abortion”. Although miscarriage can occur at any time during pregnancy, it occurs in the vast majority of cases in the first trimester, during the first 12 weeks. Miscarriage is spontaneous termination of pregnancy before the 22nd week of amenorrhea (about 5 months), the date of the viability of the fetus. Use Safe period to know about your pregnancy period.
- according to the date of the beginning of a pregnancy:
- The early miscarriage: it occurs before the 14th week of gestation (first trimester). It’s the most frequent case ;
- The late miscarriage: it occurs between the 14th and the 22nd week of gestation.
According to the number of miscarriages:
The false insulated layer: the pregnant woman is one miscarriage and then normal pregnancies. This is a frequent situation since it affects about 15% of pregnancies. In general, the following pregnancies take place without difficulty;
The recurrent miscarriages: women under 40, pregnant with the same partner, has at least three consecutive false spontaneous abortion before 14 weeks of gestation. This situation affects 1.5% of women.
What are the signs of a miscarriage?
Several signs may indicate that you are having a miscarriage.
- The vaginal bleeding, especially in early pregnancy can be a miscarriage indicator. These will be light or heavy, brownish or bright red and sometimes with blood clots. These bleeds may be accompanied by lower back pain or uterine cramps, which will increase.
- It may also happen, in rare cases, that the embryo or fetus dies, but remains in the mother’s uterus without bleeding.
- The disappearance of some pregnancy symptoms, such as breast pain or nausea, maybe another sign of miscarriage.
- If this happens to you, immediately consult a doctor who can determine if the pregnancy is interrupted or not.
What are the causes and risk factors for a miscarriage?
Very often, the cause of a miscarriage is not known. However, one of the most common causes is a genetic abnormality of the embryo. In these cases, the fetus is naturally eliminated by the body since it cannot develop normally. There is no way to prevent this type of miscarriage. Otherwise, health problems in women, such as hormonal problems, blood clotting, the presence of uterine fibroids or a malformation of the uterus, can lead to miscarriage.
Some factors increase the risk of miscarriage:
- Have multiple pregnancies (twins, etc.)
- the consumption of alcohol, coffee or tobacco during pregnancy;
- have an STBBI during pregnancy
- the risk of miscarriage increases with age;
- More rarely, amniocentesis.
Is it possible to prevent a miscarriage?
First of all, it is important to know that it is impossible to prevent a miscarriage that is due to genetic abnormalities in the fetus. However, it is possible to reduce the risk of miscarriage by opting for healthy lifestyle habits, such as:
- maintain a healthy weight
- do not drink alcohol;
- stop smoking;
- To be well hydrated.
In cases of recurrent miscarriage, that is, occurring 3 or more times consecutively, it is recommended that you consult a health professional. Although it is difficult to determine a specific cause, here are some that can sometimes be addressed:
- uterine or genetic abnormalities;
- hormonal disorders;
- Autoimmune disorders.
What to do after a miscarriage?
Generally, no treatment is necessary after miscarriage. The residual tissues are evacuated by the uterus in the weeks that follow. Occasionally, medication may be administered to facilitate this evacuation. Sometimes it may be necessary to curettage to remove the remaining tissue. It is also possible, after a miscarriage, to have milky climbs or vaginal bleeding even if you are no longer pregnant. In the case of recurrent miscarriages, detailed medical follow-up is recommended to try to identify possible causes.
The medical consultation
The gynecologist examines you. A pelvic ultrasound is needed to analyze the contents of the uterus. It can diagnose an intrauterine pregnancy stopped or even evacuated and to affirm that the bleeding is the symptoms of a miscarriage (and not of another origin such as an ectopic pregnancy). Sometimes pregnancy hormone (HCG) tests may be helpful: a low rate means that pregnancy is stopped.
Two situations then arise:
The miscarriage has already occurred
You have expelled the embryonic tissues and your bleeding is decreasing. The clinical examination is normal. The uterus is empty and contains no embryo visible on ultrasound. In this case, your doctor does not prescribe any particular treatment. It will eventually program a control consultation.
The miscarriage is not complete, but the pregnancy is stopped
You are bleeding and may have abdominal pain. Ultrasound shows the presence of an embryo without cardiac activity in the uterine cavity.