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According to research conducted by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, approximately 15-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Itâ€™s therefore recommended to learn everything that happens during pregnancies including pregnancy risks such as miscarriage. Even if it isnâ€™t directly essential to you, it could help someone else. In this article, we will discuss in details about miscarriage, primarily the causes, symptoms, how to confirm the miscarriage, and much more.
What Is A Miscarriage?
Generally, a miscarriage is a pregnancy that terminates on its own before it reaches the first 20th weeks of the pregnancy. Miscarriage is actually among the most common and feared pregnancy complications. It can take place within the first 20 weeks, any time after conception. In fact, some women confuse an early miscarriage with a regular menstrual cycle. The risk of a miscarriage depends upon some factors including the pregnancy history, motherâ€™s risks, method of conception, health conditions.
Regardless of the cause or your history experience of a miscarriage, if you note any signs of a miscarriage, you should always seek immediate medical attention. Such dangers if addressed at the right time can be solved while delaying treatment can cause more severe cases which could even lead to the death of the mother. Itâ€™s always best to confirm whatâ€™s happening before taking a step to whether ignore or treat the condition.
How To Confirm Miscarriage?
Treating or confirming a miscarriage at home is not recommended. You should always seek the help of a gynecologist to be sure. Usually, a miscarriage is diagnosed through some tests which include Ultrasound, HCG Blood Test, Pelvic Exam, and Fetal Heart Scanning among others. Below are some of the diagnoses your doctor can perform
Your doctor can check whether or not your cervix is dilating. In most cases, a dilating cervix can be an indication that you are miscarrying. Also, in case you are experiencing spotting or vaginal bleeding without any signs of your cervix is dilating. It would mean a threatened miscarriage. In this condition, the pregnancy is still viable, and your doctor should monitor the situation closely.
In addition, this exam may help check an ectopic pregnancy. Itâ€™s a condition where the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. This condition is nonviable, and immediate medical attention should be administered.
Your doctor can perform a blood test to check the levels of your pregnancy hormone, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG). HCG is a hormone that is produced by the body during pregnancy. It takes about one week after ovulation to be detected. Your doctor can perform tests and compare them with previous measurements. In case your hormone levels are abnormal, this could indicate a complication.
Your hormones levels are supposed to double every 2-3 days in the early weeks of the pregnancy. To confirm this diagnosis, your doctor will have to perform at least two HCG levels within a range of two days. The usefulness of a blood test to determine miscarriage. However, decreases as the pregnancy progresses. In this stage, another test such as ultrasound can be more useful.
After a considerable stage of the pregnancy, an ultrasound can be performed to evaluate the pregnancy. Your doctor will check the fetal heartbeat and assess whether or not the embryo is developing normally. The doctor may have to perform another ultrasound in about one week to confirm a miscarriage.
In case you happen to pass tissue while pregnant, your doctor can use it to confirm whether a miscarriage has occurred or whether the symptoms are related to another condition.
This test is used in case you have had about two or more miscarriage in the past. Your doctor will request blood tests for both you and your partner to find out if your chromosomes are to blame for the miscarriage.
Below are other symptoms that can confirm a miscarriage. You should seek medical care in case you experience these signs
- Heavy bleeding
- Mild to Severe Cramps
- Pain in your abdomen or at the back
- White Pink Mucus
- Lack of pregnancy symptoms such as vomiting and nausea
- Passing tissue or clot-like material
What Are the Most Common Miscarriage Causes?
A mother can blame themselves for a miscarriage. However, in most cases, the miscarriage is not related to her behaviour or anything she has done and sadly. There is nothing she can do about it. The most common cause of a miscarriage according to the American Pregnancy Association is a genetic abnormality in the embryo. Other common reasons include
Hormonal Imbalance - Research claims that approximately 15% of all miscarriages are as a result of unbalanced hormones including insufficient progesterone levels.
Chromosomal Problems - Usually, during fertilization, both the egg and the sperm contribute 23 chromosomes each to create 23 perfectly matched pairs of chromosomes. Clearly, this is a complex process and in case of a minor glitch, a genetic abnormality can result. The risk of these glitches increases as you age.
Uterine Complications - For instance, uterine fibroids in the uterus can interfere with the implantation of the fetus. In addition, some women are born with a septum condition which is linked to miscarriage. Your doctor can perform specialized X-rays to determine what caused the uterine defects.
High Fever - A high fever is the one associated with a core body temperature of over 102 degrees. In early pregnancy, a high fever can result in a miscarriage since these high temperatures can damage the embryo, especially before six weeks.
Below are some risk factors that contribute to a miscarriage
- Drug use
- Excess drinking
- Maternal trauma
- Advanced maternal age
- Certain medication
The main issue in pregnancy is never to ignore any symptoms of miscarriage especially if you are not sure about what you are experiencing. Whatever you find alarming during pregnancy, whether minor or severe, consider consulting your doctor. Itâ€™s possible to confirm a miscarriage at home, but doctorâ€™s tests for a miscarriage are recommended. They can detect a minor complication before it becomes severe and also you will get an effective and early treatment.