What Happens When You Have A Miscarriage?

Posted By :


Miscarriage is a term used to denote the termination of pregnancy that ends on its own normally within the first 20 weeks of gestation. This potential complication or loss makes most women emotionally uncomfortable and the pregnancy loss under 20 weeks of time are regarded as a miscarriage.

Miscarriage is the most common type of pregnancy loss and studies reveal that 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end up in miscarriage. In case of chemical pregnancies there are 50-75% chance for miscarriages. When a pregnancy is lost shortly after implantation, bleeding occurs at time of her expected period.

Most miscarriages occur during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy and is referred as an unfortunate event some women may face during their pregnancy period. The types of miscarriage, treatments for each, and statistics for the chances may vary from person to person.

Why do miscarriages occur?

The cause of miscarriage cannot be identified and the reason may vary from one pregnancy case to other. The most common cause of miscarriage during the first trimester is chromosomal abnormality. This may be due to the cause of a damaged egg or sperm cell or due to a problem that the zygote went through the division process.

Other causes for miscarriage include:

  • Hormonal problems, infections or maternal health problems
  • Lifestyle issues. Subjected to smoking, drug use, malnutrition, excessive caffeine and exposure to radiation or toxic substances can increase the risks of miscarriage.
  • Improper implantation of the egg into the uterine lining
  • Maternal age
  • Maternal trauma

Factors such as sex, moderate exercise and working outside the home can also be considered as the reasons of the miscarriage. However, these are not proven factors and studies are still under progress.

What are the chances of having a Miscarriage?

The chances of having a miscarriage for normal women can range from 10-25%, and is between 15-20% in case of healthy women.

  • The increase in maternal age is proportional to risks of having a miscarriage.
  • Women under the age of 35 yrs old have about a 15% chance of miscarriage
  • Women of 35-45 yrs old have a 20-35% chance of miscarriage
  • Women over the age of 45 do have a 50% chance of miscarriage
  • A woman who has had a previous history of miscarriage has a 25% chance of having another.

What are the Warning signs of Miscarriage?

Contact the healthcare provider, if you experience any or all of these symptoms,

  • Mild to severe back pain
  • Weight loss
  • White-pink mucus
  • True contractions
  • Brown or bright red bleeding with or without cramps
  • Tissue with clot like material passing from the vagina
  • Sudden decrease in signs of pregnancy


Different types of Miscarriage

Miscarriage is not a single event, but a process including different stages or types of miscarriage. Different types of miscarriage in medical terms include:

Threatened Miscarriage: In some cases of early pregnancy, uterine bleeding will be accompanied by cramping or lower backache and the cervix remains closed. This bleeding may often the result in implantation.

Incomplete or Inevitable Miscarriage: Causes when the abdominal or back pain accompanied by bleeding with an open cervix. Miscarriage is inevitable when dilation of the cervix occurs and when there is rupture of the membranes. Bleeding and cramps may persist if the miscarriage is not complete.

Complete Miscarriage: A completed miscarriage occurs when the embryo have emptied out of the uterus. A completed miscarriage can be confirmed by performing an ultrasound or by having a surgical curettage (D&C).

Missed Miscarriage: A missed miscarriage causes when embryonic death has occurred but there is not any expulsion of the embryo. Signs of this condition include the loss of pregnancy symptoms and the absence of fetal heart tones which can be found out using an ultrasound.

Recurrent Miscarriage (RM):  Recurrent miscarriage can be defined as 3 or more consecutive first trimester miscarriages and this can affect 1% of couples who are trying to conceive.

Blighted Ovum: Also known as an embryonic pregnancy. A fertilized egg implants into the uterine wall, but fetal development never begins. Often there occurs a gestational sac with or without a yolk sac but with the absence of fetal growth.

Ectopic PregnancyA fertilized egg implants itself in places other than the uterus, most commonly the fallopian tube. Here treatment is needed immediately to stop the development of the implanted egg and if not treated rapidly, this may lead to serious maternal complications.

Molar Pregnancy: This happens as a result of a genetic error during the fertilization process that may lead to the growth of an abnormal tissue within the uterus which rarely involve developing an embryo. But since the egg is empty, no baby will be formed.

Treatment of Miscarriage:

The main goal of treatment is to prevent hemorrhaging and/or infection. The most common procedure performed to stop bleeding and prevent infection is a dilation and curettage, known as a D&C. Drugs may be prescribed by the doctor to help controlling bleeding after the D&C is performed.

Prevention of Miscarriage:

Most miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities, there are not much preventive measures available to avoid it. Anyway, taking in to account the below given points, the chances of miscarriage can be reduced considerably.

  • Exercise regularly
  • Manage stress
  • Have a healthy diet
  • Keep weight within healthy limits
  • Take folic acid daily
  • Quit smoking

To stay healthy and to have a safe healthy pregnancy,

  • Do not smoke or be around smoke
  • Keep your abdomen safe
  • Don’t drink alcohol
  • Check with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications
  • Limit the in take of caffeine
  • Avoid contact sports or activities that have risk of injury
  • Avoid environmental hazards such as radiation, infectious disease and x-rays

Emotional Treatment

It is very important that women try to keep the lines of communication open with family, friends and health care providers during this time as the miscarriage may affect her emotionally.