Miscarriage is a loss of pregnancy within the first 20 weeks. To overcome the emotional stress and fears associated with this term, it is a huge step forward to collect more knowledge about it, learn about causes, symptoms and risk factors.
Future parents who are going through the hard times should always remember that they are not alone. For this and many other reasons, we have collected and answered the most common questions about miscarriage and hope that our readers will see that they are not alone with their issues, doubts and fears.
How common is miscarriage?
Unfortunately, and surprisingly to many, miscarriage is a very common experience. Up to 20% of recognized pregnancies end with miscarriage. The real number, however, seems to be a lot higher, potentially even 40%. This is because a lot of miscarriages occur on a very early stage of pregnancy, even before a women is aware of her condition.
When do miscarriages occur?
As stated in the definition, miscarriage is the termination of pregnancy within the first 20 weeks. It is very unlikely for a miscarriage to occur after that period and moreover, 80 % of all losses occur in the first 3 months of pregnancy.
What are the symptoms of miscarriage?
While miscarrying, some females may experience period like painful and heavy bleeding. However, some women do not have any symptoms at all. Sometimes, suspicion or miscarriage may be identified during the routine ultrasound check up.
When should we call a doctor?
First of all, future parents should feel free to reach out to the doctor anytime they feel the need. If woman experiences any of the following symptoms during pregnancy, we highly recommend to call/visit a doctor, ask for advice or medical tests and treatment if needed. Symptoms include:
● Bleeding or spotting, clotted fluid passing from vagina
● Abdominal pain or cramping, lower back pain
● Fever, weakness
What are the main causes of miscarriage?
Miscarriage does not always have a known reason and sometimes it can not be identified. However, most common causes include:
● Chromosomal abnormality
The most common reason behind the miscarriage during the first trimester (3 months) is chromosomal abnormality – genetically abnormal embryos. This means that fetus is not developing normally and has extra or missing chromosomes. Problems occur due to damaged egg or sperm cells , the errors that take place when embryo divides and grows.
● Medical condition of a mother (thyroid disease, uncontrolled diabetes)
● Hormonal problems
● Implantation failure (implantation means the attachment of the fertilized egg to the uterine lining)
● Poor lifestyle choices(alcohol or drug consumption, smoking, malnutrition or unhealthy diet)
What increases a risk of the miscarriage?
The chances of miscarriage rise after the age of 35. The number rises even significantly after the age of 40 and reaches as much as 80% by the age of 45.
While woman’s age is considered to be of a greater importance and influence, it is essential to know that quality of sperm in men decreases with age too and it can seriously contribute to the miscarriage and infertility.
● Previous miscarriages
● Wrong lifestyle and harmful environment (such as being exposed to radiation or harmful chemicals)
● Chronic diseases
● Being over or underweight
What comes next?
Miscarriage is a depressing, devastating, horrifying experience. Despite of their difficult past, thousands and millions of women manage to give birth to more than one child after they miscarry and keeping on trying is a right thing to do.
Physical healing may take from hours to several days. Even though it is possible to conceive right on the first following cycle, the decision about when to conceive should be taken together with the fertility doctor who is familiar with the patient’s medical history.
We encourage future parents to take their time, get mentally strong, plan everything with their doctor and continue to fight with the strongest attitude and determination!