Miscarriage. Signs, Symptoms and Causes

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Miscarriage can be a sad and tragic loss for any woman, regardless of how far along she is in her pregnancy. Read on for more information on the signs of pregnancy, the causes, and what you should do if you think you might be suffering from a miscarriage.

1. What Causes Miscarriage?

Miscarriage, also sometimes known as spontaneous abortion, is defined as a spontaneous loss of pregnancy anytime in the first twenty weeks. Most of the time, miscarriage is caused by a genetic or chromosomal abnormality within an embryo, and not by anything that a pregnant woman could have done differently.

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It is important for women to avoid blaming themselves. There are, however, some risk factors that make miscarriage more likely with some women. Those risk factors include things like drug use, alcohol abuse, smoking, the mother’s age being over 35, uncontrolled illness like lupus or diabetes, or hormonal or structural abnormalities in the mother, such as uterine fibroids, or fallopian tube defects.

2. Signs of Miscarriage

Most of the time, the first and foremost sign of miscarriage is abnormal vaginal bleeding. In some cases, spotting during early pregnancy does not indicate a problem, but it should always be reported to a doctor.

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Bright red bleeding, or bleeding that is moderate to severe are both signs of a miscarriage, along with things like mild to moderate cramping, back pain, or the passing of tissue or other clot like material. If you notice a sudden ceasing of your pregnancy symptoms, such as nausea or breast tenderness, this could be a sign that a miscarriage is occurring.

However, keep in mind that some women never have any symptoms associated with miscarriage, so normal and regular prenatal care is very important to stay up to date about any changes going on in your pregnancy.

3. If You Suspect A Miscarriage

It is important to remember that once a miscarriage starts, there is no way to stop it. The only thing that there is to do is get to a doctor ASAP in order to get proper medical care. If you think you are having a miscarriage, get to the emergency room right away.

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Once there, a doctor will be able to perform a pelvic exam, blood tests and possibly an ultrasound to determine if you are in fact having a miscarriage. Some women’s bodies are able to handle the miscarriage on their own, but some women do need medications to help the body heal from the miscarriage.

In more than 85 percent of cases, women who suffer a miscarriage go on to have a healthy pregnancy later in life. If you have a miscarriage and are interested in trying to get pregnant again, ask your doctor if there is a certain amount of time that you should wait before attempting to conceive again.

Ms. Wisniewski has over 15 years experience as a labor and delivery nurse, having also worked previously as a nurse midwife in the Philippines and India. She enjoys empowering women and providing family centered care to women from all cultural and educational backgrounds.