Miscarriages can be very heartbreaking and traumatic for the couple and their families. Often when the couple finds out that they are going to have a baby, they become very cautious about the well-being of the mother-to-be. But sometimes, even after all the necessary precautions, miscarriages can occur, leaving the couple devastated. It is very important for the couples expecting a baby to know about the various factors that can cause a miscarriage so, that they can avoid them.
In this article, we will discuss different types of miscarriages, some commonly seen causes of miscarriages, how miscarriages occur, and what you should do if you have had a miscarriage. Before we discuss all these topics, it is important to address a few common questions that people have.
What is a Miscarriage?
A miscarriage is defined as the loss of a pregnancy before the period of viability, which is defined at 20 weeks. The foetus can not survive by itself before 20 weeks. Though miscarriages can occur anytime till 20 weeks, they commonly happen in the first trimester or the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy.
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There are a few types of miscarriage that can occur in a pregnant woman which are discussed below:
This type of miscarriage is characterized by an open internal os (internal opening of the cervix) in the presence of vaginal bleeding and/or abdominal cramps. The bleeding and abdominal cramps in this type are typically more than a threatened abortion. If the internal os is opened, a miscarriage is inevitable, hence the name.
If all the products of conception and the placental products are fully removed from the uterus after the miscarriage, it is known as a complete miscarriage. The woman will feel the passage of clots while bleeding.
A complete miscarriage is confirmed by doing an Ultrasound for the patient.
If the products of conception are not removed fully from the uterus and some products are retained, then this condition is called an incomplete miscarriage. These retained products are seen in the uterus in the Ultrasound.
In case of an incomplete miscarriage, the retained products have to be removed, either by taking medicines or by a procedure known as Dilation and Curettage Procedure (DNC).
A missed miscarriage is a condition when your foetus has not formed or is dead, but the placental products are still present in your uterus. This can be a little difficult to diagnose because the common symptoms that occur in a miscarriage like bleeding and abdominal cramps do not happen in this type of miscarriage.
You might experience a little brownish discharge from the vagina also some nausea and vomiting. You should be very vigilant about any such symptoms throughout your pregnancy and report this immediately to your doctor if you experience any of these.
While the products of conception are expelled from your uterus, the opening of a uterus is wider than usual. This increases the chances of getting an infection. An infection in the placenta can spread to other organs. This can also cause widespread infection in the body (sepsis) which is potentially life-threatening.
You must consult with a doctor if you experience any symptoms of miscarriage and have complete and aseptic removal of all products because septic miscarriage is quite a dangerous situation.
2. Main Causes of Miscarriage
Sometimes, miscarriages can occur with no known cause. But there are a few factors that have been implicated in women who have suffered from miscarriages. We will discuss these causes in the subsequent sections as given below:
The abnormal genetic make-up of the fetus
Maternal health problems
The Abnormal genetic make-up of the foetus
If a defective egg or sperm fuse to form a zygote or normal gametes lead to the formation of an abnormal embryo that can not sustain itself, then the foetus dies in-utero, and products are expelled from the uterus.
More chromosomal anomalies occur because the embryo is not dividing properly as compared to the inheritance of defective gametes from the parents.
Maternal Health Problems
As a mother nurtures the embryo, it is extremely important to maintain good maternal health. These factors, if identified at the right time, can be treated before conception or in the early stages of pregnancy to prevent any future miscarriages.
Some of these health conditions that are frequently associated with miscarriages are:
Any hormonal disturbances
Any known or unknown infections
Uterine or cervical problems
Some of the risk factors for miscarriages are mentioned below:
Age: Women at the extremes of age are more likely to suffer from miscarriages. As the woman grows older, the risk of miscarriages increases.
History of previous miscarriages: If you have had a previous miscarriage, you are more likely to suffer from subsequent miscarriages.
Smoking and alcohol consumption: Smoking and drinking during pregnancy are major risk factors for miscarriages.
Weight: Being underweight or overweight is associated with an increased risk of miscarriages.
Invasive prenatal tests: Some tests like CVS (Chorionic Villi Sampling) and amniocentesis are linked with the risk of miscarriages.
3. Why do miscarriages happen even after IVF or IUI?
IVF or IUI (Intra-Uterine Implantation) is only done to ensure the formation of a good zygote. So, it rules out the causes of chromosomal anomalies for miscarriage because only the best gametes are used for fertilization. But after the zygote is implanted in the uterus of the mother, this pregnancy is like any other pregnancy and recurrent miscarriages can still occur due to various other causes like maternal health problems such as uncontrolled sugar, thyroid, and risk factors like smoking and alcohol consumption, etc that we discussed earlier.
4. What to do after a miscarriage?
Miscarriages can be very disheartening for the couple. But you should remember that this is not the end of the world. Consult with your doctor, at the best IVF centre in Delhi, if you suffer from any symptoms of miscarriage. If you do suffer from a miscarriage, your doctor will first ensure that all the products are completely removed from the uterus in all aseptic conditions.
Your doctor will conduct a few tests for you like blood tests and radiological examinations to rule out any cause of miscarriage. If any particular cause is detected, it will be treated before you try again for a baby. You should ideally wait for about 3 months before you try again, during which all these tests would be conducted.
It is very important that you trust your doctor and listen to all the advice carefully and adhere to them.
Once all the causes have either been ruled out or treated, you can again try for a baby. Always keep an eye out for the symptoms of miscarriage like vaginal bleeding and abdominal cramps and immediately consult your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.
This was the basic information that you should be aware of in context with miscarriages. For more information, Contact a Qualified Professional who will guide you further.
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