Miscarriages are known to happen quite early in pregnancy, mostly between the 12th and 20th week of the pregnancy, though some women miscarry their babies, even before they notice they are pregnant.
Although miscarriages are not a norm, there are still at least 10 to 20 percent miscarriages among pregnant women. Learn more about miscarriages, their causes, types, symptoms and effects.
Signs of A Miscarriage
It is important to know the signs that indicate a miscarriage. Some of these signs are:
Lower abdominal cramps. These cramps could be as subtle as menstrual cramps or as severe as labor cramps.
Vaginal bleeding and discharge of pregnancy tissues
Pains in the pelvic area and lower back, resembling labor pains.
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What Are The Stages Of Miscarriage
Types Of Miscarriages
Miscarriages are of different types and women can experience any of the different types of miscarriage. Let’s talk about them briefly.
Dealing with an incomplete miscarriage can be very stressful as the vaginal bleeding and cramps continue nonstop due to the persistence of some pregnancy tissues in the uterus, despite the efforts of the uterus to empty itself of them all. At this point, a D&C may be required to remove the pregnancy tissues remaining in the uterus.
A miscarriage is said to be complete when the uterus has been emptied of all pregnancy tissue. As the uterus contracts to remove all the tissues, there is bound to be severe cramps and continued bleeding from the vagina. Always check with your doctor to e sure your uterus is completely emptied.
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A threatened miscarriage happens when a pregnant woman begins to show any of the earlier mentioned signs of miscarriage. These signs could persists for couple of days or even weeks.
If these signs become more severe with time, she is very likely to end up miscarrying but if they reduce after few days and eventually stop, then she and her baby can continue to live healthy until full-term. This type of miscarriage does not really have a known, effective remedy for it.
In most cases, this type of miscarriage comes with no prior notice, just after the pregnant woman must have gotten over a threatened miscarriage. In this miscarriage, the bleeding and discharge from the vagina is usually heavier and the cramps are a lot worse. The cervix simply gives way and the developing child comes down with the blood.
A missed miscarriage is said to have occurred when you literally do not notice anything out of the ordinary with you; you still feel some pregnancy symptoms, but may notice a brownish vaginal discharge.
By the time you go for a scan, it is very likely to find out that you have a dead baby in your uterus. Your doctor or healthcare provider would advise you on the best line of action to take for treatments.
This is not very common, as most women only have miscarriages once or twice. We advise that you pay a visit to your doctor to identify the cause and recommend treatments or solutions, if you seem to be experiencing too many miscarriages consecutively.
Factors That Could Be Responsible For A Miscarriage
There are quite a number of factors that could be responsible for a pregnant woman miscarrying. They include:
Age: As a women gets older, her chances of having a miscarriage increases significantly. There is an 80 percent chance that a 45 years old pregnant woman will miscarry.
Medical History: A woman with a history of health issues like diabetes, problems with the cervix or one who has had a miscarriage before, is at a higher risk of having miscarrying.
Habits: There is a chance that a pregnant woman with a smoking or drinking habit will most likely miscarry her pregnancy.
Weight: Being underweight or overweight is not a very healthy thing for a pregnant woman as this can result in a miscarriage.
Chorionic Villous Sampling may result in infections and even miscarriage, as this procedure is usually carried out at the early stage of pregnancy.
Blighted Ovum: This is an abnormality that occurs when the fetus does not develop even when the eggs have been fertilized.
Ectopic Pregnancy: When a woman’s pregnancy does not develop in her womb as it should, instead goes ahead to grow and develop in her fallopian tubes, this pregnancy is referred to as an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies are usually very fatal and would always result in a miscarriage.
Effects Of Miscarriage
A miscarriage can have both physical and psychological effects on the woman.
The physical effects range from abdominal pain, back pain, fatigue, weakness, blood loss, amongst others.
The psychological effects of miscarriage vary. You could experience depression, emotional pain, disappointment, mood swings, fear of getting pregnant again, grief which is normal, irrespective of how far gone you were before the miscarriage, and many other mixed emotions.
We recommend seeking help from a mental health personnel or a psychologist to help you get over the emotional pain that you might be experiencing as a result of miscarriage.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Week Is The Highest Risk Of Miscarriage?
Miscarriages are mostly known to happen during the first trimester of a pregnancy i.e. within the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. A lot of these miscarriages are due to development abnormalities in the baby, although there is almost always an underlying cause.
What Do Miscarriage Cramps Feel Like?
Lower abdominal cramps are caused my contractions in the uterus as it tries to empty all the pregnancy tissues inside it and these contractions can hurt very badly. The contractions may be consistent or they may come and go at intervals.
These contractions in the uterus also result in pains at the lower back. For mild cramps, you can use regular painkillers but in a case of severe cramps, consult your doctor for his opinion.
How Long Is A Miscarriage From Start To Finish?
The total length of time a miscarriage will last, from start to finish, is not very easy to say since it is not the same with all women who miscarry. Miscarriages have different causes and different time frames in different women.
The different time frames are influenced by factors such as duration of pregnancy, how many babies you are pregnant with, or how long it takes your uterus to empty itself of the pregnancy tissues. Generally, the period of miscarriage ranges from a few days to one or two weeks in women.
Whenever you begin to feel any of the signs and symptoms of miscarriage, we advise that you immediately contact your doctor or healthcare provider. A number of tests and examinations would be carried out including blood test, pelvic scan and an ultrasound.
If some pregnancy tissues already came down with the bleeding, take a sample of it along to the hospital so that your doctor can ascertain the miscarriage.