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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Women's Health Miscarriage

Miscarriage

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Miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy without obvious cause before the 20th week.


About 15 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, but the actual number is probably much higher because many miscarriages occur so early in pregnancy that a woman doesn't even know she's pregnant.

Signs and symptoms include

  • Vaginal spotting or bleeding
  • Pain or cramping in your abdomen or lower back
  • Fluid or tissue passing from your vagina

In most cases, women who experience light bleeding in the first trimester go on to have successful pregnancies.

What causes miscarriage?

  • Problems with the baby's genes or chromosomes are typically the result of errors that occur by chance.
  • A mother's health condition — such as uncontrolled diabetes, thyroid disease, infections, blood-clotting problems, or problems with the uterus or cervix — may lead to miscarriage.
  • Routine activities — such as exercising, having sex, working or lifting heavy objects — can't provoke a miscarriage.
  • And a fall or other injury is unlikely to cause a miscarriage, unless the injury is serious enough to threaten your own life.

Risks of miscarriage

  • Age. Women older than age 35. Partners were age 40 or older had a higher risk of miscarriage.
  • The risk of miscarriage is higher in women with a history of two or more previous miscarriages. After one miscarriage, your risk of miscarriage is the same as that of a woman who's never had a miscarriage.
  • Certain chronic conditions, such as diabetes or thyroid disease, have a higher risk of miscarriage.
  • Uterine or cervical problems.
  • Smoking, alcohol and illicit drugs.
  • Evidence linking caffeine consumption and miscarriage is inconclusive.
  • Chorionic villous sampling and amniocentesis carry a slight risk of miscarriage.

Prevention

In the vast majority of cases, there's nothing you can do to prevent a miscarriage. Simply focus on taking good care of yourself and your baby. Regular antenatal checkups are very important. Avoid traveling.

Treatment Options

If you're having a threatened miscarriage, your doctor may recommend resting until the bleeding or pain subsides. You may be asked to avoid exercise and sex as well.

If inevitable miscarriage or after a miscarriage occurs you may have these treatment options.

  • Expectant management.

Recovery after Miscarriage

  • Physical recovery from miscarriage may take only a few hours, depending on how long you were pregnant. Expect your period to return within four to six weeks. In the meantime, call your doctor if you experience heavy bleeding, fever, chills or severe pain.
  • Try again for pregnancy
  • It's possible to become pregnant during the menstrual cycle immediately after a miscarriage. But if you and your partner decide to attempt another pregnancy, make sure you're physically and emotionally ready. Your doctor may recommend waiting at least one menstrual cycle, if not longer.

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