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Miscarriage – symptoms, causes and ways to handle the loss

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Miscarriage is the most terrible thing that can happen to an expectant mother. Here are some facts about miscarriage symptoms which can clue you in to the situation and may help you handle the loss.

Miscarriage, or in its medical term Spontaneous Abortion (SAB), is the term used when a pregnancy ends before the 20th week. Miscarriages occur in about 10-25 percent of pregnancies, from which only 25-50% are natural, the rest being the result of chemical miscarriage which occur a short time after conception.  Most women don't even know they are pregnant.  Such a miscarriage results in massive bleeding around your due menstrual period, and loss of the fetus.  The majority of miscarriages occur during the first thirteen weeks. This might damper your spirits in the early stages of your pregnancy, but the more you know, the better you can handle it if the unfortunate does happens.

So, why does a miscarriage happen?

There are many reasons for early stage miscarriages but the most common reason is a chromosome abnormality, meaning that the fetus has chromosome problems and therefore can not develop properly. These abnormalities can be related to a faulty sperm or egg, or to the connection between them. Other common causes are: Hormonal abnormalities, infections, illnesses, severe emotional or physical trauma, excessive caffeine usage, drug or alcohol abuse, exposure to toxic or radioactive substances, maternal age or inappropriate egg implantation.

Does age matter?

Unfortunately yes. Older moms are at a bigger risk group for miscarriage. Women under 35 have a fifteen percent chance of  miscarriage, women 35-45 have 20-35 percent chance and a woman over 45 has a 50 percent chance for miscarriage.
As a matter of fact, recent studies show that the father's age may also be a factor for miscarriage.
To get more info on this matter see:
Does the Age of the Father Count?

Risks, Advantages and New Facts about Being a Mom over Forty


What are the warning signs of Miscarriage?

If you are suffering from any one of these symptoms, contact your physician for an evaluation and diagnosis: Weight loss, white-pinkish mucus, brown or bright red bleeding which might involve cramps, true contractions (when they occur in 5-20 intervals), back pain or sudden decrease in pregnancy symptoms.

If a miscarriage occurs, immediately go to a hospital. The most dangerous factors are blood loss and infection. The earlier it happens, the more likely the body will know how to take care of itself, disposing of the fetus without medical complications.

If the body is not able to dispose of the tissue, a medical procedure called C&D is done to assure a stop of blood loss and proper dilation. Even after you come back from the hospital, monitor your blood loss.

Is there a way to prevent miscarriage?

Since the most common cause of miscarriage is chromosome imbalance, there is not a lot you can do. What you can do is to lead a healthy and active lifestyle before you plan to conceive, trying to ensure your body is strong enough to carry a baby: Exercise regularly, stop smoking, make sure to take folic acid daily and mange stress levels. Pressure plays a vital roll in our health in general and increases when you are pregnant.

Once you are pregnant avoid large amounts caffeine and alcohol. Keep your abdominal area out of harms way, and consult your doctor about medicine use (allergy medicine and over-the-counter drugs).

The sad fact is that miscarriage can happen to any one. A lot of cases leave the mothers staggered. The most important thing to remember is that it is more common than we would like to think. Talk to your partner, your family and friends, and when you are ready, don't fear to try again. Avoid shutting down - get back to normal routine and when you eventually have a baby, you may regard this incident as a valuable life experience.




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Comments (2)Add Comment
written by Loretta Haynes, March 01, 2009
I have had 7 miscarraiges in the last 8 years. I don't do anything harmful to cause it or help it. I have had 2 beautiful kids and am wondering if maybe I am just getting old so I can't carry it or maybe it just isn't supposed to happen. Please help me.
written by autumn, March 08, 2009
i have had 2 miscarriages in the past 2 years and i am now pregnant.I just found out that its twins but 1 of them did not make it. I dont understand whats wrong.

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