Miscarriage or pregnancy loss is the topic a woman never wants to hear when she is pregnant. But, unfortunately most pregnancies end in miscarriage. In general, a miscarriage is defined as spontaneous abortion which is the unexpected end of pregnancy in the first 20 weeks. The most common type of miscarriage is the spontaneous pregnancy loss and it cannot be prevented.
Signs of Miscarriage:
Some women don’t experience any symptoms of miscarriage at all; but the most common and possible signs and symptoms of miscarriage are as follows:
- Back pain
- Mild to severe cramps
- Loss of pregnancy symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, breast tenderness.
- Heavy bleeding possibly with clots or tissue; similar to a period.
- A negative pregnancy test after a positive one.
Causes of Miscarriage:
Although it is very common that a woman blames herself when she has a miscarriage, it’s so important not to do so. Miscarriage is most commonly caused due to the genetic or chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo i.e., the embryo do not develop as it should. The other risk factors which could be a cause of miscarriage are mentioned below:
- History of recurrent pregnancy loss.
- Chronic illness such as diabetes or thyroid disease.
- Advanced maternal age i.e., over 35
- Deficiencies of vitamin D and Vitamin B and high levels of vitamin A.
- Excess consumption of alcohol.
- Physical problems such as cervical inefficiency which means weakness of the cervix that cannot hold the pregnancy.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to stop a miscarriage from happening once it is started; it is crucial to consult a gynecologist and treated to prevent infection.
In general, giving birth to a healthy baby is a natural process. A normal pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks; in which a woman goes into labour on or before her due date mentioned by her gynecologist and gives birth to a healthy baby. After one or two days of her delivery, she starts her day-to-day life with her growing family. But this is not the case with all women, some women face challenges before, during or after delivery, what doctors refer to as a high-risk pregnancy.
A high-risk pregnancy is referred to presence of potential complications in a pregnancy which could affect the mother, the baby or both. Women who have high-risk pregnancy, need specialized care to help ensure the best outcome for the mother and baby.
Risk Factors for High-Risk Pregnancy:
The factors which place a pregnancy at risk are as follows:
- Maternal Age: One of the most common risk factors for a high-risk pregnancy is the age of the woman. Women who will be under age 17 and over age 35 are at higher risk. Pregnant teens are more likely to develop high blood pressure and anaemia. The risk of miscarriage and genetic defects further increases after age 40.
- Medical History: A history of miscarriage or recurrent pregnancy loss and a family history of genetic disorders are also risk factors of high-risk pregnancy. Conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes, lung, heart, thyroid problems can put mother and/or her unborn baby at risk.
It’s important to consult your doctor if you have any of these medical complications before you are planning to get pregnant. This helps you to get advice and precautions to optimize the health of you and your baby.
- Lifestyle Factors: Smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol can put a pregnancy at risk. Smoking during pregnancy puts the fetus at risk for preterm birth and certain birth defects. Even a second-hand smoke can cause serious health problems for woman and her developing fetus. Consuming alcohol during pregnancy passes directly to the fetus through umbilical cord which leads to abnormal facial features, short stature and low body weight.
Pregnancy Complications: Pregnancy risks are high when woman carries more than one baby i.e., twins, triplets, quadruplets etc. Various complications that develop during pregnancy such as problems with uterus, cervix or placenta and too much or low amount of amniotic fluid also increases the risk of pregnancy.