What is a miscarriage? This is the actual death of a fetus or an embryo before it is able to survive on its own, an event that results in the loss of a fetus or an embryo during pregnancy.
There are many different types of miscarriage. Those types depend on the cause of miscarriage and stage of the pregnancy, doctors classify those condition as :
- Ectopic miscarriage: an egg implants in the Fallopian tubes
- A missed miscarriage: the embryo dies without the pregnant mother’s knowledge. Meaning the pregnant mother had no idea that she was pregnant.
- Complete miscarriage: the products of conception are expelled from the body
- Recurrent miscarriage: a pregnant mother had three or more consecutive first-trimester miscarriages
- Threatened miscarriage: bleeding and cramps point to a possible upcoming miscarriage
- Blighted ovum: fertilized egg implants into the uterine wall, but fetal development never begins
- Incomplete miscarriage: the membranes are ruptured, and the cervix is dilated or thinned
What Causes Miscarriage?
Most miscarriages happen when the fetus has a genetic problem such as Chromosomal Abnormalities.
The fetus stops growth due to lack of certain necessary genes for continuous development, or production of extra copies of certain genes causing the placenta to grow improperly. In these cases, the problems are unrelated to the mother.
Other causes of miscarriage include:
- Chlamydia: is a sexually transmitted disease: Chlamydia may increase miscarriage since the bacteria alters the pregnant woman’s immune response against an early pregnancy.
- Toxoplasmosis: bacteria called Toxoplasma gondii, found in cat feces, is bacteria causes a disease known as toxoplasmosis, which often causes congenital problems in a baby or miscarriage in some cases.
The pregnant woman’s Medical conditions
- Hormonal imbalance: which prevents the lining of the uterus from thickening, thus the blast cyst’s need to implant is not able to be achieved.
- Chronic diseases: such as diabetes or high blood pressure: If not treated probably it might cause miscarriage. So, the pregnant mother has to be under a doctor’s care.
- Fibroids: Problems with the uterus or cervix an unshaped uterus; a cervix that opens and widens too early. This is treated by the closing of the virginal tube.
Immune system responses
During pregnancy, the embryo suppresses the mother’s immune system from its normal size. Usual activity of attacking foreign entities begins. If the immune system is defective these actions do not occur. If the immune system it not defective then it attack the embryo and cause recurrent miscarriages.
Physical problems in the mother
A fall or an accident: Falling on the hard object of down the stairs might cause miscarriage although most time the fetus is safe with the existence of amniotic fluid.
A miscarriage at times happens due to weakness of the cervix, known as incompetent cervix, thus the cervix is not able to hold the pregnancy. Is kind of miscarriage usually happens in the second trimester.
Causes of Incompetent cervix
- Cervix or uterus malformation: due to damage during a difficult birth thus cause a birth defect
- DES (Diethylstilbestrol) exposed women: those born by exposed diethylstilbestrol in uterus mothers may have structural reproductive tract anomalies hence poor pregnancy outcomes and increased infertility rate.
- Previous surgery on the cervix: thus it may not be able to hold the increase of the fetus weight as time goes by.
- Dilation and curettage (D and C): previous trauma to the cervix, most likely a termination or a miscarriage of the previous pregnancies.
Pregnant mother’s age
With increase in age, a woman’s amount of calcium in the body becomes less and lesser.
Amount of calcium in her body might not be strong enough to fight against diseases such as diabetes or thyroid problems thus miscarriage can occur easily.
Signs and symptoms of miscarriage
Vaginal bleeding is the most common sign. The bleeding can be spotting or more voluminous and red or brown in color.
Note: its normal to have a spotting vaginal bleeding in early stages of pregnancy so learn to differentiate. However, in the event of persistent spotting or bleeding, seek medical attention.
The abrupt end of Pregnancy Symptoms in the first trimester
At the first trimester, many pregnant women experience symptoms such as tenderness and swelling of the breasts and morning sickness.
These symptoms often reduce by the end of the first trimester, but if they end earlier or abruptly, it can be a sign of a miscarriage.
Abdominal pain in the first trimester is due to incompetent cervix thus the miscarriage is accompanied by abdominal pain and cramping. The pain can be severe and persistent and occurs in the lower back or pelvis.
Miscarriages can be prevented but not all types can be prevented. However, miscarrying doesn’t mean the mother will not conceive in the future.
- Maintain a healthy weight before and during pregnancy in order not to overload the cervix.
- Avoid infections; stay away from people who are already sick and advice your partner to be faithful.
- Take prenatal vitamins to help ensure that you and your developing fetus get enough nutrients.
- If you are diabetic or you have high blood pressure make regular visits to you gynecologist.
- Don’t ignore any miscarriage sign, once you see any seek medical attention.
- Engage in light regular exercise to improve fetal health and avoid dangerous exercise that might lead to accidents.
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- Pregnancy and Miscarriage(2017). webmd.com/baby/guide/pregnancy-miscarriage#1
- Everything You Need to Know About Miscarriage(2019). healthline.com/health/miscarriage
- Early pregnancy loss. (2015). acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Early-Pregnancy-Loss
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2019). Pregnancy after miscarriage: What you need to know. mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/pregnancy-after-miscarriage/art-20044134