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Miscarriage is defined as the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy sometime before the 20th week of pregnancy is reached. Unfortunately, as much as 15 to 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. It is possible that this number is actually much higher simply because many women can experience a miscarriage sooner than they realize that they are pregnant. This is because many miscarriages occur very early on in pregnancy. Miscarriage is unfortunately a very common experience, but there is a lot to learn and understand about it.

Causes, Risk Factors and Complications of Miscarriage

It is important to understand what can and cannot cause miscarriage in order to take steps to prevent this from occurring. Miscarriage can be caused by abnormal chromosomes or genes such as a blighted ovum, a molar pregnancy or intrauterine fetal demise. In these situations, the fetus simply is not developing properly and so the fetus does not survive the development. Some health conditions on behalf of the mother may also lead to a miscarriage including uncontrolled diabetes, infections, thyroid disease, hormonal problems, cervix problems and uterus problems.

There are also some risk factors that can increase the risk of a pregnant woman miscarrying her child. These can include having had previous miscarriages, being older than 35 years old, having chronic conditions such as Diabetes, cervical problems, uterine problems, smoking or alcohol abuse and having invasive prenatal tests such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, which can increase the risk of miscarriage slightly.

The miscarriage itself is not harmful to the pregnant woman unless there are serious complications that cause the miscarriage in the first place. However, some women who miscarry while pregnant can develop a serious uterine infection known as a Septic miscarriage. This infection can be serious if not treated promptly, which is why medical care should be sought any time a miscarriage occurs. It is also important to consider that what looks or feels like a miscarriage may not actually be one and the baby may be alive, but in danger. Seeing a doctor for a diagnosis is vital if symptoms of a miscarriage occur.

Signs, Symptoms and Testsof Miscarriage

Many miscarriages occur before the twelfth week of pregnancy is reached. The most common symptoms of a miscarriage include: vaginal bleeding or spotting, abdominal pain or cramping, lower back pain or cramping and tissue or fluid passing from the vagina. Anytime a pregnant woman is experiencing bleeding from the vagina or a release of fluid without bleeding, a physicians assistance should be sought as soon as possible.

There are a variety of different tests that a physician may perform in order to verify the miscarriage or to check on the health of the baby. This may include an ultrasound, pelvic examination, tissue tests and blood tests. There are different types of miscarriage issues including threatened miscarriage and inevitable miscarriage where the baby is still trying to thrive. Missed miscarriage, incomplete miscarriage, septic miscarriage and complete miscarriage may also occur, and some of these will require treatment in order to make sure that all the required tissues pass from the body.

Treatment, Drugs and Preventionof Miscarriage

The most important treatment is that prescribed for threatened miscarriage. Medical treatment may also be prescribed for other types of miscarriage as well depending on the individual situation. While some miscarriages are painless and occur without issue, others can be difficult on the body and cause pain or excessive bleeding as well as the aforementioned Septic miscarriage. Working with a physician trained in pregnancy and miscarriage issues may help to ease the situation, whatever it may be.