Updated: Jun 30
Miscarriage happens when you lose a pregnancy before the 20th week of gestation. Also known as spontaneous abortion, miscarriage can happen at any time with no sign or cause. Women who go through miscarriages are still able to have a subsequent healthy pregnancy.
Signs of a miscarriage.
Here are signs you are about to miscarry:
Abnormal vaginal bleeding.
Light spotting during pregnancy may be harmless, but when it comes with other symptoms such as back and abdominal pain, then you need to see your healthcare provider. Also, when the bleeding is quite heavy, then it is an indication miscarriage about to occur.
A fall in hCG levels.
Your hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) levels are supposed to rise every two days during your first trimester in a normal pregnancy.
If you notice it's falling, then it might be an indication of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy.
When you experience severe cramping with spotting or heavy bleeding and lower back pain, then there are chances that you are about to experience a miscarriage. Cramping during pregnancy is normal, but when it becomes constant, you should stop activities such as intercourse it is douching till it stops.
The vaginal discharge referred to here is not talking about the normal milky or watery fluid coming out of your vagina.
Vaginal discharge that precedes miscarriage comes with clumps of tissue which might be pregnancy tissues. Clots and fluid often accompany them. If you notice this, call your doctor immediately.
Diagnosis and ultrasound.
Ultrasound reading and series of tests can determine if you have really miscarried or not. Sometimes, a miscarriage may not come with any symptom and the only way to determine if something is wrong is through an ultrasound or tests to make a diagnosis. When there is no fetal heartbeat, then there is a big possibility of miscarriage has taken place.
Other signs include:
Pain in your lower abdomen which feels like cramps.
The disappearance of pregnancy signs such as tender breasts.
Heavy bleeding from the vagina.
Severe back pain.
Tissues covered with clots coming out of the vagina.
Frequent and painful contractions.
Unexplained weight loss.
Causes of miscarriage.
Not all causes of miscarriage are known. The causes are often like a bandwagon effect of one problem experienced during pregnancy. Some of the common causes of miscarriages are:
Chromosomes contain genes that determine the hair, eye color and other unique traits in a human being. When the chromosomes are not of good quality or the number of chromosomes is higher or lower than what is required for the growth of the baby, then there would be a problem that will often result in a miscarriage.
Chromosome problems are the leading cause of most miscarriages within the first 13 weeks and it is impossible to prevent problems arising from chromosome problems.
Women who are older than 35 are at more risk of having these chromosome problems just like they are at risk of having several pregnancy complications. One thing to note is that the next pregnancy you will have won’t have any chromosome problems.
Medical conditions could come in the form of infections or problems with the cervix. Problems such as cervix insufficiency which happens when your cervix dilates a bit too early, or hormonal problems that can cause uterus thinning thereby preventing eggs from implanting.
Chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure can also contribute to miscarriage if not managed properly during pregnancy.
Also, pregnant women with autoimmune disorders such as lupus and thyroid diseases are also at risk of having a miscarriage. Lastly, infections such as German measles or cytomegalovirus can also bring on miscarriage.
These problems are bound to cause miscarriage from the 13th to the 24th week if not managed properly by the mother.
If you have habits like smoking, drinking alcohol, drug abuse or taking hard drugs, then you are putting your unborn baby at risk, and the result is mostly a miscarriage and probably a host of other pregnancy complications.
There are lots of environmental hazards around you that you may not even be aware of until it's pointed out to you. Here are a few environmental hazards that could pose a risk to your pregnancy.
Insecticides and pesticides used for killing insects and rodents around the house or in the garden.
Arsenic found in the well water and waste disposals.
Lead, which could be found in old homes and water pipes.
Being exposed to dangerous chemicals, x-rays, etc.
Chemical poisons such as benzene, ethylene oxide and formaldehyde.
Substances such as solvent found in stain removers.
How to prevent a miscarriage?
A miscarriage can be triggered by anything, some of which you won’t know anything. The best you can do is to ensure that when it happens, the cause won’t be traced to any mistakes you may have made. Here are thoughtful ways you can use to reduce the risk of miscarriage:
Have a checkup and discussion with your doctor before you go ahead to conceive so that he can identify problems that may put you at risk for a miscarriage.
Always keep your appointments with your doctor when you get pregnant. Inform him of any chronic illness or autoimmune disorder you may have so that you can map out the best ways to manage the illness or disorder and ensure you have a healthy pregnancy.
If you’ve had more than one miscarriage, ask your doctor to refer you to an obstetrical specialist who specializes in complicated pregnancy.
Stay clear of negative vibes or feelings especially if you have experienced a miscarriage before. Every pregnancy is different and does not come with all the risks the previous one did. Keep a positive outlook, eat and rest well.
Avoid stress as much as you can as it also leads to miscarriage. According to research, when you are stressed, the brain senses it and releases hormones and one of those hormones called corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), has been identified as one of the causes of miscarriages during pregnancy.
In fact, a study showed that women who had multiple miscarriages had high levels of CRH in them. Other researches on CRH are ongoing to find out its relation to pregnancy and miscarriages.
The bottom line, however, is to reduce stress when pregnant. Have someone take care of strenuous jobs while you take on the less stressful responsibility. Your health and that of your baby is of utmost importance at this time.
Having a miscarriage is quite difficult to handle. Being hard on yourself will not solve anything. You have to know that miscarriage is something that sometimes happens, with no reason at all. Avoid beating yourself up and try to get help if you feel depressed.
“Miscarriage happens when you lose a pregnancy before the 20th week of gestation.”
“Women who are older than 35 are at more risk of having these chromosome problems just like they are at risk of having several pregnancy complications.”
“According to research, when you are stressed, the brain senses it and releases hormones and one of those hormones called corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), have been identified as one of the causes of miscarriage during pregnancy.” (The American Pregnancy Association: Promoting Pregnancy Wellness).
(The American Pregnancy Association: Promoting Pregnancy Wellness).
Unfortunately, miscarriage can affect anyone. Women are often left with unanswered questions regarding their physical recovery, their emotional recovery and trying to conceive again. It is very important that women try to keep the lines of communication open with family, friends and health care providers during this time.