Miscarriage is the termination of pregnancy on its own, within the first 20 weeks of gestation. Occurance of miscarriages is most common during the early phases of pregnancy i.e. around first 13 weeks. There are different types of miscarriages, each with different treatments and different statistics for what your chances are of having one. The chances of having a miscarriage in those under the age of 35 is about 10% while it is about 45% in those over the age of 40. Ladies above the age of 30 are more susceptible to the risks.
Causes of Miscarriage:
The reasons for miscarriage vary, and most often the cause cannot be identified. However, during the first trimester, the most common cause of miscarriage is chromosomal abnormality. Other reasons may be hormonal problems, infections or maternal health problems. The maternal age, or any previous miscarriage are also two important factors. Health conditions like obesity, diabetes, malnutrition can also lead to miscarriage. Exposure to tobacco, smoke, obesity, and drug or alcohol use, excessive caffeine consumption and exposure to radiation or toxic substances should be avoided in order to prevent miscarriages. Factors that are not proven to cause miscarriage are sex during pregnancy, working outside the home (unless in a harmful environment) or moderate exercise.
Symptoms of Miscarriage:
If you experience any or all of these symptoms, it is important to contact your doctor immediately to evaluate if you could be having a miscarriage:
Mild to severe back pain
White-pink mucus discharge
True contractions happening every 5-20 minutes
Brown or bright red bleeding with or without cramps
Tissue with clot like material passing from the vagina
Sudden decrease in signs of pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy and implantation bleeding can also produce similar symptoms.
Prevention of Miscarriage:
Prevention of miscarriage depends on decreasing risk factors. Often there is little a person can do to prevent a miscarriage. Though, good prenatal care, avoiding drugs and alcohol abuse, preventing infectious diseases and avoiding exposure to radiation can prevent miscarriages. Identifying the cause of the miscarriage may be helpful to prevent future pregnancy loss, especially in cases of recurrent miscarriage.