What is Miscarriage?
Miscarriage refers to the spontaneous pregnancy loss before the 20th week.
According to WebMD, as many as 50% of all cases of miscarriage, most often occur before a woman misses a menstrual period or before finds out that they are pregnant. The number is likely higher because many miscarriages occur very early in pregnancy that a woman does not realize that she is pregnant.
In general, miscarriage occurs because the fetus is not developing normally. About 15% to 25% of recognized pregnancies end in a miscarriage. More than 80% of miscarriages occur in the first 3 months of pregnancy. Miscarriages are less likely to after the 20th week of pregnancy.
Many pregnant women who experience a miscarriage need to take a step toward emotional healing and understand what causes the miscarriage, the symptoms, the appropriate medical care. Talk to an obstetrician for more accurate information.
Causes of Miscarriage
Miscarriage often occurs because the fetus is not developing normally — not due to problems inherited from the parents. Below are several factors that may cause a miscarriage:
1. Abnormal Genes or Chromosomes
The most common cause of miscarriage is because the fetus is not developing normally. About 50% of miscarriages are linked to extra or missing chromosomes. Chromosome problems result from errors that happen by chance as the embryo divides and grows. Chromosomal abnormalities may cause:
- A blighted ovum is a condition when no embryo grows or forms.
- Intrauterine fetal death (IUFD) is when an embryo grows, but stops developing and dies before any symptoms of a miscarriage appear.
- Molar pregnancy is a pregnancy problem due to abnormal growth of the placenta that causes the absence of fetal development. Molar pregnancies can sometimes be associated with cancerous growths on the placenta
2. Maternal health conditions
In some cases, a miscarriage may be caused by the mother’s health condition, such as:
- Thyroid disease.
- Hormonal disorders.
- Uterine or cervical problems.
- Uncontrolled diabetes.
When to See A Doctor for Miscarriage
Your obstetrician needs to perform various tests to diagnose your health condition. These tests may include:
- Pelvic exam — to see if there is an enlarged cervix.
- Ultrasound — to check the fetal heartbeat and see if the embryo is developing normally. If the diagnosis is deemed inadequate, you may need to have another ultrasound one week later.
- Blood test — to check the level of the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), in your blood and compare it with previous measurements. It is possible you may have a problem if you have abnormal HCG levels.
- Tissue test — Your tissue sample will be sent to a laboratory to confirm that you had a miscarriage.
- Chromosome test — If you have had two or more miscarriages in your previous pregnancy, your doctor may recommend blood tests for you and your partner to determine if chromosomes are a factor.
Symptoms of Miscarriage
Many pregnant women have miscarriages before the 12th week. Signs and symptoms of a miscarriage may include:
- Belly pain
- Weight loss.
- Severe cramps.
- No signs of pregnancy.
- Severe back pain.
- White or pink mucus discharge.
- Bleeding that goes from light to heavy.
- A blood clot-like tissue passing from the vagina.
- Fever with any of the symptoms listed above.
If you experience any symptoms of a miscarriage as mentioned above, talk to your obstetrician immediately for proper treatment.
Treatment for Miscarriage
There is a difference between the prevention and the treatments of pregnancy loss
Reducing The Risk of Pregnancy Loss
Your doctor may advise you to bed-rest until the bleeding or pain goes away. Bed rest has not been proven to prevent miscarriage, but it is widely recommended as a preventative measure. Additionally, you may also be asked not to exercise and have sex.
In some cases, it is best if you do not go on long trips — particularly to areas where medical care is difficult to access.
Treatments for Pregnancy Loss
Having had a miscarriage does not mean you have a miscarriage problem. According to WebMD, at least 85% of women who experience a miscarriage can have a normal pregnancy in the future. On the other hand, about 1% to 2% of women may have three or more recurrent miscarriages. Some studies believe that the condition is due to an autoimmune response.
If you have a miscarriage, you may not require further treatment. However, your doctor may perform dilation and curettage (D&C) to clear out the remaining tissues in the uterus after a miscarriage to prevent infection or heavy bleeding.
You may be given medications to remove any remaining tissues in the uterus after a miscarriage. This can be an alternative option if you do not want to have surgery.
When the bleeding stops, you may return to normal activities. If the cervix opens on its own while you are still pregnant, you may have an incompetent cervix. Your doctor may perform a cerclage procedure to close the cervix.
Furthermore, your doctor may also order blood tests, genetic tests, or other medications if you have had more than two recurrent miscarriages. Several tests will be used to diagnose this condition, such as a pelvic ultrasound, hysterosalpingogram, and hysteroscopy.
Treatment Cost for Miscarriage
The treatment costs for a miscarriage may vary depending on the method of treatment recommended by the doctor and the hospital’s policies.
For more details regarding the treatment cost for miscarriage at home and abroad, contact Smarter Health
Prevention of Miscarriage
You cannot completely prevent a pregnancy loss. The following are steps that you can take to focus on your pregnancy:
- Get regular prenatal care.
- Take daily multivitamins as recommended by your doctor.
- Avoid factors that increase the risk of miscarriage, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and consuming illegal drugs.
- Reduce caffeine intake. Drinking more than two caffeinated drinks a day can increase the risk of miscarriage.
If you have a chronic condition, it is best to consult your doctor about your condition.
Home Remedies for Miscarriage
Emotional healing after a miscarriage can take much longer than physical healing. Having miscarriage may lead to a range of emotions from anger to guilt to despair. It is best to give yourself time to grieve the loss of your pregnancy and seek help from your loved ones or talk to a professional.
You will likely never forget your hopes and dreams of this pregnancy. But acceptance may help ease your pain. Talk to your health care provider if you are feeling profound sadness to the point of depression.
In order to reduce the risk of being exposed to COVID-19, we recommend that you do a teleconsultation with an ob-gyn through Smarter Health’s free service. With Smarter Health, you can easily make appointments with ob-gyns at home and abroad.