Pregnancy can be an exciting time, yet because miscarriage is common, it helps to be informed about the symptoms and risks, in the unfortunate event that you find yourself or someone you know experience. Miscarriage is the most common type of pregnancy loss, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Miscarriage is a term used for a pregnancy that ends on its own, within the first 20 weeks of gestation.
According to the March of Dimes, 50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, often before a woman even knows she is pregnant. With recognized pregnancies, studies reveal that anywhere from 10-25% will end in miscarriage; if a miscarriage happens, it’s 80% likely to occur within the first trimester.
What Are the Symptoms of a Miscarriage?
Symptoms of a miscarriage include:
- Light to heavy bleeding
- Back and/or stomach pain
If you experience the symptoms listed above, contact your health care provider right away.
How Do I Know if I Had a Miscarriage?
Common symptoms after a miscarriage are weight loss, bleeding, and cramping. If you experience an increase in bleeding with fever, chills, or pain, contact your health care provider right away as these could be signs of an infection.
What Causes Miscarriage?
Most miscarriages happen when the unborn baby has genetic problems. During the first thirteen weeks, the most common cause of miscarriage is that the baby’s chromosomes aren’t correct (chromosomal abnormality). Other causes of miscarriage include:
- Medical conditions in the mother, such as diabetes or thyroid disease
- Hormonal problems
- Ectopic pregnancy (the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus)
- Physical problems in the mother
- Maternal trauma
A woman has a higher risk of miscarriage if she:
- Is over age 35
- Has certain diseases, such as diabetes or thyroid problems
- Has had three or more miscarriages
Can I Get Pregnant Following a Miscarriage?
As many as 85% of women who have miscarriages later have healthy pregnancies and births. A miscarriage does not necessarily indicate fertility problems. However, once a woman has had two miscarriages in a row, she should stop trying to conceive, and talk to her health care provider about determining the cause of the miscarriages. It’s important to be as healthy as possible before conceiving by exercising regularly, eating healthy, and managing stress.
Unfortunately, miscarriage can affect anyone. It is critical that women try to keep the lines of communication open with family, friends and health care providers during this time. If you have had a miscarriage or have questions about miscarriage, please call Creekside Center at Women to speak with our caring physicians.
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