Most miscarriages occur in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. Diagnosing miscarriage can be challenging it does not occur as a single event but as a sequence of events over a period of several days.
A miscarriage is the loss of pregnancy within the first 23 weeks of conception. Vaginal bleeding, which may be followed by cramping and pain in the lower abdomen are indicators of miscarriage. The exact reason behind a miscarriage is unknown, but most miscarriages are due to abnormal chromosomes in the baby. If a baby has too many or not enough chromosomes, it may not grow normally.
Consult your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Vaginal bleeding (this is often the first sign of miscarriage).
- Abdominal pain or cramping, .
- Lower back pain.
- Weakness or dizziness.
- Persistent or severe nausea or vomiting.
- Urinary complaints such as burning, frequent, or pain with urination.
Visit the emergency department immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- You are pregnant or suspect pregnancy and have heavy vaginal bleeding (characteristic of soaking more than one pad every hour) with or without pain in the back or the abdomen.
- You know you are pregnant and are passing blood clots.
- There is a grayish (fetal) tissue like material being discharged from the vagina (collect the material if possible into a jar or container and take it along with you to the hospital for examination).
- You suspect pregnancy and have a history of ectopic (tubal) pregnancy.
- You feel extremely dizzy or pass out.
- You have fever that is greater than 100.4°F or are experiencing other symptoms such as severe vomiting (nothing stays down).
If your doctor thinks you may be going through a miscarriage, an ultrasound scan will be done to figure out whether the pregnancy is ongoing or you are really miscarrying. If the diagnosis confirms loss of pregnancy, the doctor will discuss with you ways in which pregnancy can be managed. In most cases, the tissues will pass out naturally within a week or two. If it doesn’t, medication to assist the passage of the tissue may be recommended or a surgery in extreme cases.
Miscarriage can be a very difficult situation to deal with. You may have feelings of guilt, shock and anger. Miscarriage does not rule out possible pregnancy in the future. In fact, most women are able to have a healthy pregnancy even after more than one miscarriage.
Read more articles on Miscarriage.
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