What is a miscarriage?
Miscarriage is a pregnancy loss in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. About 1 in 10 women will miscarry in the first trimester (first 13 weeks of pregnancy). There are different types of miscarriage. These include:
- Threatened. Spotting or bleeding in the first trimester may or may not mean a miscarriage will occur.
- Complete. The fetus, placenta, and other tissues are passed with bleeding.
- Incomplete. Only a part of the tissues pass. Some tissue stays in the uterus. There may be heavy vaginal bleeding.
- Missed. The embryo or fetus dies, but does not pass out of the uterus. Sometimes dark brown spotting occurs. There is no fetal heartbeat or growth of the fetus.
- Septic. This is a miscarriage that becomes infected. The mother has a fever and may have bleeding and discharge with a foul odor. Abdominal pain is common. This is a serious problem and can cause shock and organ failure if not treated.
- Recurrent. Three or more miscarriages.
What causes a miscarriage?
About half of early pregnancy losses are from chromosome defects in the fetus. Other causes may include:
- Abnormal embryo development
- Hormone problems in the mother. These include low levels of progesterone or a thyroid problem.
- Diabetes in the mother, especially poorly controlled blood sugar
- Problems in the uterus. These include scar tissue inside the uterus, abnormal shape of the uterus, or fibroids.
- Opening of the uterus cannot stay closed during pregnancy (incompetent cervix)
- Infection from germs. These include cytomegalovirus (CMV), mycoplasma, chlamydia, listeria, and toxoplasma.
- Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, in which the body attacks its own tissue
- Injury or trauma
- Exposure to toxic substances and chemicals, such as anticancer drugs
Often, the cause of a miscarriage can’t be found.
Who is at risk for miscarriage?
Some things can make miscarriage more likely. They include:
- Being an older mother
- Having an early pregnancy loss in the past
- Smoking cigarettes
- Using alcohol
- Drinking more caffeine
- Using cocaine
- Having a low folate level. Folate is a B vitamin.
- Having a low or high weight
What are the symptoms of a miscarriage?
The most common symptom of a miscarriage is vaginal bleeding. The bleeding may be painless. Or you may have mild to severe back pain or cramping in the belly (abdomen). Some women may pass pregnancy tissue.
How is a miscarriage diagnosed?
Spotting or small amounts of bleeding during the first trimester is common. This may or may not mean you are having a miscarriage. Your healthcare provider will likely use ultrasound to diagnose miscarriage. If the fetus is no longer in the uterus, or there is no longer a heartbeat, your provider will diagnose a miscarriage. Other tests include blood tests for the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Lower than normal levels of this hormone or levels that do not go up may mean the pregnancy is not growing properly.
How is a miscarriage treated?
If you have vaginal bleeding, but the lab tests and ultrasound show that the pregnancy is OK, your healthcare provider may tell you to rest for a few days. You will be watched for more bleeding. You may have more hCG blood tests and ultrasound exams to check the growth of the fetus and the fetal heartbeat.
If tests show that you have had a miscarriage in the first trimester, you may have several choices. Talk with your healthcare provider about the treatment that is best for you. Treatment choices include:
- Expectant management. This means waiting to let the miscarriage happen on its own. You will be checked often during this time.
- Medical management. This is treatment with medicines to help the pregnancy tissues pass. You may get a medicine called misoprostol. It makes the uterus contract and push out the pregnancy tissues.
- Surgical management. You may need surgery to remove the fetus and other tissues if they have not all been naturally passed. The procedure is called a surgical evacuation of the uterus, or a dilation and curettage (D&C). Anesthesia is used because the procedure can be painful to the mother. The cervical opening is stretched open (dilated). The doctor uses either suction or an instrument called a curette to remove all the pregnancy tissues inside the uterus.
Pregnancy tissues may be sent to the lab to test for gene or chromosome defects.
If you have an infection, your healthcare provider will give you antibiotics.
Pregnancy loss after 20 weeks may need different procedures. You may get medicines such as misoprostol or prostaglandin. These medicines help open the cervix and make the uterus contract and push out the fetus and tissues.
What are the complications of a miscarriage?
A miscarriage is a significant loss to the woman and her family. It is appropriate and normal to grieve because of the loss.
Pregnancy loss does not usually cause other serious health problems, unless you have an infection or the tissues are not passed. A serious complication with a miscarriage after 20 weeks is a severe blood clotting problem. This is more likely if it take a long time (usually a month or more) to pass the fetus and other tissues.
Women with Rh negative blood may need treatment after a miscarriage to prevent problems with blood incompatibility in a future pregnancy. A medicine called Rh immunoglobulin may be given.
When should I call my healthcare provider?
Tell your healthcare provider if you have any bleeding during your pregnancy. If you also have other symptoms, such as severe cramping, see your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
Key points about miscarriage
- Miscarriage is a pregnancy loss in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- Bleeding in pregnancy may or may not be a sign of a miscarriage.
- If you have bleeding and other symptoms such as severe cramping, see your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
- If you have a miscarriage, you may need a procedure to remove the fetus and other tissues, if they have not all been naturally passed.
- If a miscarriage has not occurred, you will probably be told to rest. You and your baby will both be monitored.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
- Know the reason for your visit and what you want to happen.
- Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
- Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and remember what your provider tells you.
- At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you.
- Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.
- Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.
- Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
- Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
- If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
- Know how you can contact your provider if you have questions.
1351Baby shower guest sign in ideas
2533Boy baby shower decorations ideas
1607Girl baby shower favors ideas
1791TOP 10 Girl baby shower themes ideas for 2017
600Baby shower fruit tray ideas
3923Baby shower snack ideas pinterest
1909Purchase The Special Twin Baby Shower Cakes From Your Local Stores
4319Baby shower afternoon tea ideas
4291High tea baby shower ideas – 10 ways to have a High tea baby shower party!
2553TOP 10 Baby girl baby shower food ideas
218710 Useful Triplet baby shower ideas for you!
2463Baby shower ideas pinterest boy
554Welcoming a Baby Angel in Style with the Best Baby shower souvenir ideas
2041Planning a Baby shower program ideas – detailed guide
4315Baby shower centerpieces ideas pictures – 10 methods to brighten your baby shower party
23689It is Safe to Eat Raw Meat – A Guide to Choosing the Right Type
3165Baby shower charades ideas
4327Baby shower onesie ideas – 10 secrets to know
2667Baby shower party ideas for a boy
2681Creative baby shower invitation ideas
1703Diy baby shower decoration ideas
3271Ladybug baby shower decorations ideas
402Baby boy shower gift ideas
3723Baby shower cute food ideas
3259Ideas for baby shower invitations homemade
3471Baby shower ideas and decorations
4291High tea baby shower ideas – 10 ways to have a High tea baby shower party!
3073Food ideas baby shower
2431Cowboy themed baby shower ideas
1851Ideas for coed baby shower
2021Baby shower game gifts ideas
25808Protected: 18 Best Outdoor Toys for Toddlers
4239Girl baby shower ideas on pinterest
4283Baby shower gifts ideas for boys
2285Winnie the pooh baby shower centerpiece ideas
176Mustache baby shower ideas