What is a miscarriage?
A miscarriage is an unexpected loss of a pregnancy that occurs before the 20th week or the middle of the second trimester. It’s believed that most miscarriages occur very early in pregnancy before a woman is aware that she’s pregnant.
A miscarriage that happens in the first trimester, or before the 13th week of pregnancy, is also called an early pregnancy loss or a spontaneous abortion.
Signs and symptoms of miscarriage and early pregnancy loss include:
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting
- Abdominal cramps or lower back pain
- Vaginal fluid or tissue leakage
If you experience any of these signs or symptoms, make an appointment to see your doctor at Pure OBGYN as soon as possible.
What causes a miscarriage?
Most miscarriages happen because the fetus isn’t developing as it should; roughly half of all miscarriages are the result of missing or extra chromosomes. Most chromosome-related problems occur by chance as embryonic cells divide and grow and aren’t genetically inherited from parents.
What factors increase the risk of a miscarriage?
First, it’s important to note that work, high-intensity exercise, and sexual intercourse don’t cause miscarriage. Even so, there are other factors that can increase your risk of having a miscarriage, including:
- Being past the age of 35
- Having a history of miscarriage
- Having uncontrolled diabetes
- Smoking, drinking or using drugs
- Being underweight or overweight
Although there’s often nothing that can be done to prevent a miscarriage, it’s still important to seek regular prenatal care and avoid known miscarriage risk factors when you’re pregnant.
How is a miscarriage treated?
If you believe you’re having a miscarriage, the team at Pure OBGYN can perform a pelvic exam to check your cervix, an ultrasound to check for a fetal heartbeat, and blood tests to check your pregnancy hormone levels.
A threatened miscarriage, or one where you experience bleeding, but your cervix hasn’t begun to dilate, may actually proceed without any further problems. If you’re bleeding and cramping, and your cervix is dilated, however, a miscarriage is considered inevitable.
To avoid the possibility of a septic miscarriage, or an infection in your uterus, you may require vacuum aspiration to remove any remaining tissues from your womb.
Because miscarriage can be an extremely emotional ordeal for many women, the doctors at Pure OBGYN do their best to provide compassionate care and support, letting you know what you can expect every step of the way.
For most women, physical recovery from a miscarriage takes no longer than a few days. If you develop a fever or experience heavy bleeding or abdominal pain during your recovery, be sure to call your doctor.
To learn more, call your nearest Pure OBGYN location or schedule an appointment online today.