A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy at any time in the first 28 weeks of pregnancy. Most miscarriages occur in the first 12 weeks.
It is estimated that one in four to six pregnancies end in a miscarriage. The risk of a miscarriage decreases as the pregnancy advances.
Certain medical conditions increase the risk of miscarriage. Miscarriages are more likely in multiple pregnancies.
The common symptoms would be bleeding from the vagina and abdominal pain.
In most instances, we are unable to determine the exact cause of the miscarriage.
The pregnancy that miscarries is probably abnormal from the beginning. At the time of conception, the baby receives half the genes form the sperm and half from the egg. For unknown reasons, at this crucial time of the baby's development, some of the genetic information is lost. This results in a baby that has no chance of developing normally, resulting eventually in a miscarriage.
Certain maternal medical conditions may predispose to miscarriage including uncontrolled severe diabetes, thyroid disease or autoimmune disease.
Another possible cause of miscarriage is that the baby did not implant or bury itself in the womb lining properly.
What is certain is that a miscarriage does NOT result from eating specific foods, carrying heavy things, exercise or sexual intercourse. In short, a miscarriage does not occur as a direct result of something you or your partner has done during the pregnancy.
If you have any bleeding from the vagina or abdominal pain in pregnancy, you should consult a doctor.
The doctor will do an abdominal and an internal examination. If you are more than six weeks pregnant, an ultrasound may be used to determine if your baby is alive.
This will depend on your symptoms and the ultrasound examination of the fetus. If the bleeding is light and with no abdominal pain and the ultrasound examination confirms that the fetus is alive, your doctor may ask you to rest at home and return if your symptoms worsen.
An evacuation of the uterus is a procedure where the neck of the womb is opened up and the womb is emptied. This is done to reduce the chances of infection and to reduce the amount of bleeding from the vagina.
Normally, it is suggested that you wait for your first period and start trying from there. The exact timing will depend on when the couple is ready to start trying. Some couples will want to start trying straight away, while others need some time to get over their loss.
The fact that you have had one miscarriage does not mean that your next pregnancy will end in another miscarriage. Do not be discouraged by the miscarriage. You still have a very good chance of having a baby. If you have had three or more miscarriages, then your doctor may need to do some extra blood tests for you.
Leading a healthy lifestyle does help to improve your chances. This means you need to stop smoking, stop or at least reduce your alcohol intake, do regular exercise, eat a healthy diet, reduce stress and ensure that your weight is within the normal limits.
Taking folic acid when you have decide to start trying to conceive will help to reduce the baby's chances of having a spinal tube defect.
The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.
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