Miscarriage, simply explained as pregnancy loss is the death of the embryo/ fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy. It can be medically termed as ‘spontaneous abortion’. If there is bleeding or abnormal vaginal discharge, along with severe pain and spasm of lower back muscles in a woman of the first trimester, then we can suspect for a miscarriage. It is difficult to know the exact causes of miscarriage. Exercise, sex, mild injuries, medications or even falls do not cause miscarriage. Studies have shown that there are some other reasons for spontaneous abortion.
- If the fertilized egg has an abnormal number of chromosomes, it can’t be controlled or treated with any methods and which results in miscarriage.
- Abnormality of the uterus may cause miscarriage.
- Severe injury and blood loss can result in the death of the fetus.
- Severe infection to the vagina, cervix or uterus may cause loss of pregnancy.
- Tubal pregnancy
- Some illness like Diabetes mellitus can cause pregnancy loss.
Miscarriage is of different types according to the range of condition—
- Threatened miscarriage
- Inevitable miscarriage
- Incomplete miscarriage
- Complete miscarriage
- Missed miscarriage
Incomplete miscarriage, there is no need for treatment. Otherwise, the condition needs complete eviction of the pregnancy tissues from the uterus. Internal medications can be used. Aspiration can be done with a tube which is inserted into the uterus and the remaining tissues are sucked out.
Most dangerous risk factors for miscarriage/pregnancy loss:
- Age: Women older than 35 years have a high risk of miscarriage. When age increases the risk also increases. If the age is 45 or above the risk factor is 80%.
- Chronic illness: Women having chronic conditions like Diabetes mellitus have a high risk of pregnancy loss.
- Previous miscarriage: Women who have had a history of 2 or more consecutive miscarriages have a high risk for the next pregnancy to be a loss.
- Uterine/cervical problems: Certain abnormalities of the uterus and incompetent cervix might result in pregnancy loss.
- Smoking, alcohol, and use of drugs: Women who are using alcohol, cigarettes and drugs have more risk of miscarriage than nonuser women.
- Underweight or overweight has a mild role in miscarriage.
- Caffeine: Excessive use of caffeine during pregnancy can result in pregnancy loss.
- Food poisoning: Food poisoning from contaminated foods, by listeriosis, salmonella, and toxoplasmosis can result in pregnancy loss.
- Trauma: Severe injury may cause miscarriage.
- Use of some medications: Some medications like Misoprostol, Retinoids, Methotrexate, Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs may cause a risk of miscarriage.
- Infections: Some infections during pregnancy, like HIV, Bacterial vaginitis, Cytomegalovirus, Chlamydia, etc. increases the risk of miscarriage.
There are several misconceptions about miscarriage and their risk factors. Air traveling is considered as the most dangerous risk factor for abortion. But actually, pregnant women are allowed for air travel up to 36 weeks of pregnancy. You can reduce the risk factors simply by pay attention to some of your habits. Reduce weight, stop the use of alcohol, smoke, and drugs, avoid contaminated foods and water, be careful during the period of pregnancy, etc. Recovering from a miscarriage is emotionally painful. If you need support, take it. Because the loss of pregnancy is not that much rare and you can overcome it.