Miscarriage Symptoms with Diagnosis and Treatment

A miscarriage is a loss of the embryo in the womb, whose medical term is spontaneous abortion. Nearly a half of pregnancies end in miscarriages in which the woman doesn’t even know she is pregnant. As for recognized pregnancies, 15 percent of them end in miscarriage. More than 80 percent of the miscarriages take place within the first three months of pregnancy. Miscarriage is less likely to happen 20 weeks or more after conception, which can be called late miscarriage. Therefore, learning some common miscarriage symptoms can give you a chance to do some preparations suach as seeking medical from your health provider as soon as possible to take some effective measures.

What Causes Miscarriage?

There can be various causes for miscarriage. In most cases, the reason is hard to figure out. Yet, several common causes can be referred as follows:

  • Chromosomal abnormality. It means that something in the baby’s chromosomes is not right. This could be caused by damaged egg or sperm cell, or something going wrong while the zygote was going through division processes.
  • Hormonal or maternal issues. This issue can include infections or health problems concerning the mother.
  • Unhealthy lifestyle. Smoking, excessive alcohol and caffeine, drug use, malnutrition, exposure to radiation or toxic substances during pregnancy are very likely to result in miscarriage.
  • Age of the mother. The risk of miscarriage gets higher when a woman get pregnant after the age of 35. And the chances of miscarriage increase from 45 percent to 50 percent.
  • Maternal trauma. During the first trimester a minor trauma does not pose a grave risk to the fetus. In the second and third trimesters even an insignificant trauma can have adverse effects on the embryo.

Note: no research or proof showed that sexual or physical activities will lead to a miscarriage. Yet, things depend on your own conditions. If you have any discomfort in sexual or physical activities, call your doctor immediately.

What Are the Symptoms of Miscarriage?

There are some distinct symptoms of ongoing miscarriage. Specialists warn, however, not all women notice them in time. However, if you observe any miscarriage symptoms listed below, consult your obstetrician immediately.

1. Bleeding

About 20-25 percent of women bleed during their pregnancy. This does not necessarily mean that there is something wrong, but the issue definitely deserves discussing with the doctor. Bleeding often is a sign of imminent miscarriage. It can be pink, bright red or brown. Although, brown spotting is usually less concerning, beware that a miscarriage can start with such brown spotting which later turns into pink or red bleeding.  There could be other causes for bleeding, such as implantation, ectopic pregnancy or placental problems.

2. Cramping

Cramps are quite common during pregnancy. As the uterus stretches, it can cause light cramping or pulling sensations. However, severe cramping, especially when accompanied by spotting or bleeding, is often a miscarriage symptom. If you experience that, consult your doctor at once.

3. Discharging Clots

Heavy bleeding with clots of tissue is an almost definite symptom of miscarriage. Greyish or pinkish clots could be passing fetal tissue. In such condition, you may be asked to collect samples of tissue to be examined. Consult your doctor about the issue.

4. Back Pain

Miscarriage can be preceded by pain in the lower back or abdomen. It may feel like a dull ache or cramps. Severe pain could be a sign of ectopic pregnancy. Some of its symptoms are similar to those of miscarriage. Ectopic pregnancy is a condition which should be attended by a specialist. If you feel severe pain, especially when only one side of the abdomen hurts, call your doctor immediately.

5. Pressure in Pelvis

Pelvic pressure is common in the early stage of pregnancy and is not necessarily a symptom of miscarriage. However, if pelvic pressure is accompanied by bleeding or cramping, it could mean that you are miscarrying.

6. Loss of Pregnancy Symptoms

Not every woman experiences pregnancy symptoms during early stages. However, if you feel breast tenderness or nausea, and these sensations later disappear, you’d better call your doctor. As a whole, if you experience loss of pregnancy symptoms, it is not a cause for concern. Yet, after the disappearance of those symptoms, you notice spotting or bleeding, or any other signs of miscarriage, seek medical assistance immediately.

More tips to help you to know if you have miscarriage in the video:

How Is Miscarriage Diagnosed and Treated?

1. Diagnosis

There are some basic methods to diagnose miscarriage.

  • Common procedures

A pelvic exam is usually carried out to see whether the cervix is dilating, or if there is tissue or blood in the cervical opening or the vagina. A blood test is also performed to check the levels of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which is a sure sign of pregnancy. The doctor will prescribe several tests in a few days course, in order to confirm the ongoing pregnancy. (If you test blood for the first time, you may be advised to check if you are Rh-negative blood type.) A further check for miscarriage can be done through ultrasound. This test helps to see if the amniotic sack is intact, and shows the heartbeat and the age of the fetus.

  • Procedures for recurrent miscarriage

With three times or more miscarriages, you may be in a case of recurrent miscarriage. Then the doctor usually prescribes a series of tests to find out the causes for this condition. Your blood can be tested for antibodies against antiphospholipid antibody syndrome – an autoimmune disease, which is closely associated with recurrent miscarriage. A karyotype test is another blood test indicating the presence of parental chromosome abnormalities. Your hormone levels can be checked for polycystic ovary syndrome – hormonal imbalance which can affect ovulation. Last but not least, a hysteroscopy or pelvic ultrasound can be done to check for abnormalities of uterine structure.

2. Treatment

In case of miscarriage, the most important thing is to prevent hemorrhage or infection. The earlier you are in pregnancy, the greater the chance that your body will throw out the fetal tissue all by itself without further medical procedures. However, if it cannot get rid of all the tissue, the doctor will perform dilation and curettage, also known as D&C. It will scrape out the excessive tissue from the uterus, thus preventing infection. Your obstetrician can prescribe medicines to control bleeding after D&C. Bleeding should be carefully monitored afterwards. If it intensifies or accompanied with chill or fever, consult your doctor immediately.

How to Prevent Miscarriage

Although you cannot guarantee that your pregnancy will end successfully, you still can take some measures to prevent its premature termination. Most importantly, create a healthy life atmosphere before conception. Quit smoking, eat healthy food, keep your weight within healthy limits, exercise regularly, reduce stress, and take folic acid every day.

Once you are pregnant, be even more vigilant because now you have to take care not only of yourself, but also of the baby growing inside you. Protect your abdomen, do not smoke and stay away from smoke, do not drink alcohol, reduce or cut caffeine, avoid air-polluted areas or places which pose risk to your health, consult your doctor before taking over-the-counter medicines.