How To Prevent Early Pregnancy Loss?
- Mediworld Fertility
- Apr 22, 2021
Early pregnancy loss or miscarriage is a common pregnancy complication. Unfortunately, approximately one-fourth of all pregnancies all over the world is lost at an early stage. Although miscarriages are relatively common, they can be extremely devastating and traumatic experiences for the to-be parents, especially the to-be mother.
Table of Contents
(Feel free to skip ahead if a topic catches your eye)
- What do you need to know about early miscarriage?
- Signs of early pregnancy loss
- How can it be prevented?
1. What do you need to know about early miscarriage?
Usually, miscarriages can't be prevented.
Approximately 80 per cent of miscarriages happen in the first trimester (week 1 to 12). The common causes of miscarriages in the first trimester include:
- Blood clots: Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), a health condition, may result in blood clots that may end a pregnancy. This health condition can be treated with medications for preventing a miscarriage.
- Genetic abnormalities: More than one-third of all first trimester miscarriages are because of issues with the chromosomes of the fetus. The body will end the pregnancy if it detects the fetus has missing or damaged chromosomes.
- Ectopic pregnancy: This rare and potentially serious type of pregnancy occurs when the fetus starts developing outside the womb.
A miscarriage during the second trimester (week 13 to 28) may occur because of the following issues:
- Infection: Infections within the cervix or uterus may lead to a miscarriage.
- Chronic conditions: Health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes may increase the risk of a miscarriage.
- Thyroid disease: Untreated thyroid complications increase the risk of a miscarriage.
- Environmental factors: Exposure to certain hazards or chemicals such as solvents, paint thinners, pesticides, mercury, and heavy metals may lead to a miscarriage.
A miscarriage during the third trimester (week 29 to 40) may occur because of the following issues:
- Pregnancy complications: A miscarriage may occur because of the separation of the placenta from the womb or preterm labour.
- High blood pressure: In 5 to 8 per cent of all pregnancies, preeclampsia (that cuts off the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the fetus) may occur.
- Problems with the umbilical cord: The flow of oxygen and blood to the fetus may be cut off if the umbilical cord is squeezed or knotted.
Types Of Miscarriages
Doctors use a wide range of terms while discussing miscarriages, these include:
- Incomplete or inevitable miscarriage: Some women may experience back or abdominal pain, bleeding, and an open cervix. The miscarriage is regarded as inevitable when the cervix is open.
- Threatened miscarriage: The to-be mother experiences sexperience early-stage pregnancy bleeding with lower backache. In such cases, the cervix stays closed and the pregnancy continues.
- Complete miscarriage: In this loss of pregnancy, the embryo gets out of the uterus and it is followed by severe pain and bleeding.
- Recurrent miscarriage: This term is used to denote three or more miscarriages.
- Missed miscarriage: The embryo dies however there is a lack of symptoms like pain or bleeding.
Causes Of Miscarriages
The causes of early pregnancy loss include:
- Placental issues: The blood supply from the mother to the unborn baby is interrupted if there is an abnormal development of the placenta.
- Chromosome issues: In some instances, a fetus may receive the wrong count of chromosomes that lead to abnormal development of the fetus. Early pregnancy loss or a miscarriage that occurs during the first trimester are usually associated with chromosomal abnormalities in the baby.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): Miscarriages may occur due to a hormonal imbalance when the ovaries of a woman are abnormally big.
- Womb structure abnormalities: The developing fetus may be at risk because of abnormally shaped wombs and the development of non-cancerous growths (fibroids) in the womb.
- Weakened cervix: A miscarriage may occur if the cervix muscles are weak and open up in the early initial stage of the pregnancy.
There are certain underlying health complications among pregnant women that are usually linked to miscarriages:
- High blood pressure
- Coeliac disease
- Thyroid gland problems
It is important to remember that certain medications may be harmful during pregnancy. These include antidepressants, retinoids, methotrexate, misoprostol, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
2. Signs of early pregnancy loss
The common signs of early pregnancy loss or miscarriages are:
- Mild to severe pain and cramping in the abdomen and back
- Bleeding that may include tissue or clots
- Spotting that lasts for more than three days
- Weight loss
- Mucus or fluid discharge from the vagina
- A reduction in signs of pregnancy like nausea, vomiting, or breast tenderness
3. How can it be prevented?
If you are already pregnant or you are planning to get pregnant, it is important for you to follow these tips:
- Taking 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid and Vitamin B every day can minimise the risk of birth defects leading to miscarriages.
- It is important to stay away from nicotine (including second-hand smoke), alcohol, antidepressants, and illicit drugs.
- Women should perform regular exercises, get adequate sleep, and consume a well-balanced, healthy diet during all three trimesters.
- Women should maintain a healthy weight as being underweight, overweight, or obese can increase pregnancy complications.
- You should maintain the highest standards of hygiene and ensure your immunisations are up to date.
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) may lead to severe health complications during pregnancy. Women should make use of barrier methods during pregnancy, including anal or oral sex to minimise the risk for sexually transmitted diseases.
- Women should avoid raw eggs, processed meats (like lunch meat and hot dogs), raw or undercooked meat, shellfish, and unpasteurised milk and cheese.
- If you have existing health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, or an autoimmune disease, you should have a word with your doctor to properly manage or treat them.
If you want to know more about how to prevent early pregnancy loss, its symptoms, and guidelines, you can reach out to the Mediworld Infertility & IVF Centre. The expert team will help you gain a clear and complete understanding of different ways on how to prevent early pregnancy loss. At Mediworld, you will get the best suggestions and treatment options according to your concern.