What is it? A baby born preterm after 24 weeks of pregnancy is able to survive under special care. However, if the baby is lost before 24 weeks, it is called a miscarriage. It may be threatened, missed or inevitable. A threatened miscarriage is one in which there is a threat to the pregnancy with vaginal bleeding and pain but the foetus remains healthy and pregnancy completes its term. In a missed miscarriage, the foetus dies but is not expelled from the womb. It may be expelled later or removed by an operation. An inevitable miscarriage is one in which the foetus is expelled from the womb.
* Hormonal problems
* Disease or infection
* Ectopic pregnancy
* Incompetent cervix
* Defects in the placenta, egg or sperm
* Abnormalities in the womb
* Chromosomal problem
The causes above are the known causes. Sometimes a miscarriage may happen for no apparent reason. Miscarriages most commonly occur in the first three months of pregnancy.
Symptoms: An early miscarriage is quite similar to a period with the same sort of bleeding and pains. Infact, many women sometimes are unaware that they have miscarried and mistake a miscarriage for a normal period. Late miscarriages are characterised by bleeding accompanied with labour like pains. Any kind of bleeding in pregnancy must be reported to a doctor or midwife immediately.
Treatment: After the miscarriage, you will undergo an ultrasound scan to try and determine what caused the miscarriage. Sometimes, a D and C (Dilation and Curettage) or ERPC (Evacuation of Retained Products of Conception) may be required to clear the womb and prevent infection which could affect later pregnancies.