Miscarriage: It's a topic you never want to think about, let alone discuss, especially if you're pregnant. Sadly, it's very common. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), about 15 to 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Here we explain what a miscarriage is, what causes it, the signs of miscarriage, and more.
What is a miscarriage?
Miscarriage or spontaneous abortion, which is defined as the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy in the first 20 weeks, is the most common type of pregnancy loss. Statistics collected by ACOG reflect only the number of miscarriages in confirmed pregnancies; experts believe the actual number is much higher. "We estimate that about 30 to 40 percent of all conceptions result in a pregnancy loss," says.Helain Landy, M.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Hospital. "This is because many women miscarry before they know they're pregnant, or before it has been confirmed by a health-care provider."
What Causes Miscarriage :
Although it's common for a woman to wonder if she has miscarried because of something she did or didn't do, it's important not to blame yourself. Miscarriage is not caused by moderate exercise, sex, or a small daily cup of coffee. The most common cause, according to American Pregnancy Association (APA), is a chance chromosomal or genetic abnormality in the embryo.
Other risk factors include:
What are some miscarriage symptoms?
Spotting in early pregnancy is fairly common, but it should never be considered normal, and it always warrants a call to your ob-gyn, Dr. Landy says. Although the presence of spotting does not always indicate a miscarriage, it is a sign that something abnormal may be going on in the pregnancy, she adds. "Even if everything looks normal, the fact that the patient's had spotting will be kept in the back of our minds throughout her pregnancy."
Some women do not experience any symptoms of miscarriage at all; however, possible signs besides bleeding include:
Is it possible to stop a miscarriage if symptoms are caught early enough?
Sadly, there's no way to stop a miscarriage from happening once it's started. According to Dr. Pritam S., however, it is vital to be seen by your doctor and treated to prevent hemorrhaging and/or infection.
What is a chemical pregnancy?
A chemical pregnancy occurs when an egg is fertilized but never implants in the uterus. The fertilized egg signals the body to begin making hCG (human ghorionic gonadotropin, sometimes commonly referred to as the pregnancy hormone), which can result in an early positive pregnancy test--even three to four days before a woman's first missed period. Unfortunately, because the egg fails to develop and implant properly, no clinical evidence (such as a gestational sac or placenta) would be found on an ultrasound exam, and the pregnancy is not viable, Dr. pritam says.