When a woman becomes pregnant with a child she wants, most women do everything they can to protect the embryo's development. Unfortunately, despite her best efforts, it simply is not to be sometimes, and she miscarries. Here is what you need to know about miscarriage, which is potentially physically painful and almost always emotionally painful.
What Is A Miscarriage?
A miscarriage is usually defined as a spontaneous abortion. This means the embryo or fetus dies in utero and must then be expelled.
While a miscarriage may happen up to 20 weeks, most miscarriages occur in the first trimester or 12 weeks. Many miscarriages happen before a woman even knows she is pregnant, a blessing in disguise.
What Are The Symptoms Of Miscarriage?
Vaginal spotting and bleeding is usually the first sign. Pelvic cramping and backache are also common. In pregnancies that are further along, a gush of amniotic fluid may occur.
Spotting doesn't necessarily mean a miscarriage is imminent, however. Hormonal fluctuations cause many women to experience spotting in early pregnancy and then still go on to deliver successfully at term, so don't panic. Just call your obstetrician so he can fit you in right away for an evaluation.
What Causes A Miscarriage?
A miscarriage can occur for several reasons, and many times, the exact cause is never known. Perhaps the most common cause is a genetic abnormality. The embryo may have an extra chromosome. It may be missing chromosomes. The genes can become damaged during the cell division process.
Nature responds to these abnormalities by aborting the nonviable embryo. In some cases, such as a with a blighted ovum, an embryo never even forms; it is basically a "bad egg."
Poor maternal health can play a role in miscarriage. A woman who has poorly controlled diabetes or develops gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that manifests initially during pregnancy, may be more apt to miscarry. Thyroid disease and underlying infections can also trigger a miscarriage.
Additionally, a woman may have a structural issue with her reproductive organs. For example, the cervix may not seal with a mucous plug as it is supposed. This keeps bacteria out as well as helps to keep the developing embryo contained. If the obstetrician is visited early, they can artificially close the cervix.
Another common cause of miscarriage is the placenta doesn't attach to the uterine wall as it should. This prevents the embryo from growing and the placenta will separate, resulting in miscarriage.
Women who discover they are pregnant should be sure to see an obstetrician such as one at Vita Center For Women LLC immediately. This can often prevent many problems and will provide peace of mind.