What you need to know about Miscarriage

A few months after my first child was born, I wanted to be pregnant again—as soon as possible. I wanted my children to be close in age, the closer the better, and when my son was 13 months old, I got my wish and discovered I was pregnant.

But before I even had a chance to share the news with my husband (he was traveling out of the country), I miscarried. I was only five weeks pregnant.
A miscarriage is the loss of a fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy. The medical term for a miscarriage is spontaneous abortion, but “spontaneous” is the key word here because the condition is not an abortion in the common definition of the term.

More than 80% of miscarriages occur within the first three months of pregnancy. Miscarriages are less likely to occur after 20 weeks gestation; these are termed late miscarriages.

Symptoms of Miscarriage

  • Bleeding which progresses from light to heavy

  • Severe cramps

  • Abdominal pain

  • Fever

  • Weakness

  • Passing tissue or clot-like material

  • White pink mucus

Causes of Miscarriage

  • Infection

  • Medical conditions in the mother, such as diabetes or thyroid disease

  • Hormone problems

  • Immune system responses

  • Physical problems in the mother

  • Uterine abnormalities and incompetent cervices

  • PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)

  • Unhealthy Lifestyle (excessive drinking, smoking and drug use).

What really happens during a miscarriage

"Depending on the medical situation, the physical process of losing a pregnancy can vary from person to person. Some women will start to have bleeding and cramping, which is caused by contractions that are working to expel the contents of the uterus, and may pass large blood clots and tissue. If it happens rapidly, the miscarriage is usually completed by the body without complications. In the case of a missed miscarriage (when a woman has no symptoms and her body has essentially “missed” the occurrence of fetal demise), a drug can be given to stimulate these contractions.

“If there is concern the woman could continue to bleed heavily without effective passage of the tissue, the recommendation is usually to proceed with quick evacuation of the uterus–a D&C,” Dr. Jolley explains. “Otherwise, it can become dangerous for the woman.” Dilation and curettage, or D&C as it’s commonly called, is a surgical procedure to complete the miscarriage. Dilation will open the cervix, if it is still closed, and curettage removes the contents of the uterus using a variety of suction and scraping instruments.

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