A miscarriage is an experience which every person would like to avoid. It is a depressing and sad situation where a conception is terminated due to unavoidable reasons. It can also be potentially dangerous to the woman if proper medical attention is not sought. Miscarriages are more common in the first trimester, although the possibility of it cannot be ruled out during second or third trimesters. There are several miscarriage symptoms. Once it is established that a pregnancy has taken place, pregnant women are advised to take care to avoid potentially detrimental activities that can lead to miscarriage. It is always safer and better for the mother-to-be to be aware of the signs of miscarriage. Such knowledge will help her prevent a miscarriage from occurring by taking prompt action at the first sight of the indicative signs of a miscarriage.
Causes of Miscarriage
A miscarriage can happen due to many reasons. Some of them carry high risk, while others can only rarely cause complications.
- Chromosomal Abnormalities – Chromosomes are what makes each person different from the other. They are also what gives a child hair colour, eye colour and the features of each parent. Chromosomes multiply many times over during the development of the fetus. Any problem that occurs during the development process can lead to a miscarriage. Usually, if any one of the parents has any genetic abnormalities, the risk of miscarriage is greater.
- Diabetes – Diabetes is one of the major contributory factors to miscarriages in women. Mismanaged diabetes can result in birth defects or early miscarriage. However, with proper medical treatment, a woman with diabetes will be able to carry a child to full term without experiencing any symptoms of miscarriage.
- Collagen Vascular Diseases – Abnormal antibodies can attack organs in the mother’s body. These can be potentially harmful to the growing fetus. Any couple hoping to start a family should ensure that no harmful antibodies are present in the mother’s body before they plan to conceive a child.
- Infections – Pregnancy is a time when a mother is most prone to infections. These infections can affect the fetus or the placenta. Untreated infections can result in premature termination of pregnancy.
- Hormone Imbalance – Hormonal imbalances are another common cause of miscarriage. Proper balance of progesterone and oestrogen is an essential element in conception and a healthy pregnancy. When there are irregularities in hormone levels, a miscarriage can be the final outcome.
- Uterine Abnormalities – Uterine abnormalities are not detected unless the pregnant woman has had previous miscarriages or has been treated for delays in conceiving. Double uterus, separated uterus, as well as abnormal growths in the uterus can cause miscarriages. However, once such abnormalities are detected, these can be treated to ensure the pregnancy is not affected adversely.
Symptoms Associated with a Miscarriage
There are several symptoms of miscarriage. These can be categorized as possible miscarriages and definite miscarriages. Having a good awareness of the signs of miscarriage can help in detecting them beforehand, determining whether it is a possible miscarriage and preparing for the inevitable, if it is definitive.
On and off bleeding is a sign of a possible miscarriage. When this occurs it is advised to obtain HCG hormone level tests to find out if a miscarriage may be likely or whether it is a certainty. However, not all women who have “spotting” will need to assume it is a sign of miscarriage. “Spotting” is common during most pregnancies and will disappear after the first trimester, reappearing nearer to the delivery. However, heavy bleeding is a definite miscarriage symptom. Cramps along with bleeding are also among the possible miscarriage symptoms that need to be attended to by a physician. Early detection and treatment will help save the fetus from a definite miscarriage.
Definite signs of miscarriage will include severe cramping, heavy bleeding and passing of tissue. The tissue will resemble large blood clots and are blackish red in color. If you suspect any symptoms of miscarriage, it is advised to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Certain miscarriages can put the pregnant woman’s life in danger due to heavy, uncontrolled bleeding and emergency medical attention is an imperative.
Risk Factors Associated with Miscarriage
Certain factors contribute to increasing the risk of miscarriage. These include excessive smoking, excessive alcohol intake, age, history of miscarriages, exposure to dangerous chemicals, certain medications such as Ibuprofen, caffeine, polycystic ovaries etc. Being aware of these risk factors and ensuring certain elements are avoided will help to reduce the risk of miscarriage to a certain degree. However, some miscarriages cannot be avoided as the factors are beyond medical control. These may include chromosomal abnormalities and abnormalities in the reproductive system. Once the underlying cause of miscarriage has been detected, they can be treated to reduce future risk of miscarriages. Uterine abnormalities, such as abnormal structure or growths, can be repaired through surgery. In addition, hormonal imbalances can also be corrected to increase progesterone levels with medication. Unfortunately, some women will suffer from recurring miscarriages and will need to consider other means of having a child such as adoption or surrogacy.
A miscarriage is not an experience which any woman should have to suffer through, as this is both physically and emotionally taxing. However, when it takes place, it is often unavoidable. Thorough observation and medical attention are recommended for those who display miscarriage symptoms, to preserve the pregnancy. Not paying attention to the signs of miscarriages can lead to further health complications for the expecting woman, in addition to the loss of the unborn child.