The loss of pregnancy is known as miscarriage and can be for many reasons. Here you will get a detailed understanding on all about miscarriage and also how to prevent it with systematic care. Know the causes, the risk factors, the prevention techniques and more on miscarriage. It is definitely better to be aware of it and prevent it rather than falling in danger and trying to make up for it. Here is a guide for you to save your pregnancy from getting hampered.

According to Dr. Prachi Benara, Miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week. About 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. But the actual number is likely higher because many miscarriages occur so early in pregnancy that a woman doesn't realize she's pregnant.

Symptoms of Miscarriage

If a pregnant woman loses the child spontaneously before 20th week, it is called as miscarriage. This is an unfortunate event that causes an emotional turmoil in a mother’s life. Surprisingly, as per statistics, around 10 to 20% of pregnancies suffer miscarriage! Most miscarriages happen on or before the 12th week and most of them do exhibit certain warning signs that the woman is miscarrying. These are:
  • Acute abdominal pain and cramping
  • Spotting or vaginal bleeding
  • Blood tissues or fluid discharge from the vagina
These are warning signs but that doesn’t mean you are surely going to have a miscarriage. Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is experienced by most women and they delivery successfully.

What Causes A Miscarriage?

There are several reasons why a miscarriage occur. If you know about them beforehand, it becomes easier to manage pregnancy with reduced risk. Here are some of the common causes of miscarriage:

Abnormal chromosomes or genes

The most common cause of a miscarriage is abnormal development of the fetus. When certain imperative chromosomes or genes are missing from the fetus, miscarriages are highly likely to be caused. This could be hereditary or due to division of embryo. Here are some complications that chromosomal abnormalities might cause:

Intrauterine fetal demise- where the embryo is formed but it don’t develop and unfortunately dies causing pregnancy loss.

Blighted ovum- No formation of embryo

Molar and partial molar pregnancy- When both chromosomes of the baby come from the father, chances of abnormal placental growth increase which causes no fetal growth. In partial molar pregnancies, there are three chromosomes where one is of mother and two of the father. In this case also, fetal and placental abnormalities might occur.

Maternal health conditions

The next cause of miscarriage is ill health of the mother. Infections, uncontrolled diabetes, overactive thyroid, hormonal imbalance, uterus problems, etc. are some of the common conditions that puts the mother at risk of a miscarriage.

What Doesn’t Cause Miscarriage?

We have talked about causes of miscarriage but let us tell you what is believed to cause miscarriage but doesn’t. Here are some of the daily activities that pregnant women can do without fearing miscarriage:

  • Sexual activity during pregnancy
  • Exercising including jogging and cycling

But every pregnancy is not the same. Thus, you must consult your doctor before doing anything to stay safe. In some cases, doctor advises complete bed rest to the mother throughout the pregnancy period.

What are the risk factors for miscarriage?

Here is the list of possible factors that increase the risk of a miscarriage:

Age- Late pregnancies or getting pregnant after 35 years of age increases the risk of miscarriage. The risk increases with increasing age.

Weight- If a woman is overweight or underweight, it can affect the child-bearing ability of the mother. 

Previous miscarriages- If a woman has suffered miscarriage in the past, she may suffer it again. Someone who has suffered two or more miscarriages consecutively, can get it again.

Uterine or cervical problems- If there are uterine or cervical abnormalities, the mother may suffer a miscarriage.

Chronic conditions- If a mother has a chronic disease such as diabetes or hypertension or overactive thyroid, she is at risk of miscarriage.

Tobacco, alcohol or drug abuse- If a woman continues to smoke or consume alcohol during pregnancy, she may suffer a miscarriage.

Types of Miscarriage

There are several types of miscarriage that women do not know about. These differ in causes and complications.

Threatened miscarriage

According to Dr. Manisha Arora, Senior Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Max Hospital, Gurgaon, “the mother always has to be aware of the symptoms of threatened abortion. If there is cramping or pain lower abdomen with or without blood-stained mucoid discharge or feeling of pressure in the lower abdomen, then she should report immediately to the hospital. The mother has to be aware of symptoms of threatened abortion and once they develop these, it is important to be fearless, and positive but aware of the consequences of neglecting the symptoms.”

Inevitable miscarriage

This is similar to a threatened miscarriage but it doesn’t give warning signs. Cramping and vaginal bleeding might occur but there are various other problems that can cause this condition. In this type of miscarriage, the cervix opens up causing the fetus to come with the bleeding.

Complete miscarriage

This type of miscarriage occur when all the pregnancy tissues leave the uterus leaving behind vaginal bleeding. The bleeding may happen for many days after miscarriage. The pain is very chronic and strong that is very similar to labour pain during delivery. The uterus contracts to empty itself and get rid of all the pregnancy tissues.

Incomplete miscarriage

In this case, pregnancy tissues leave the uterus, however, not all the tissues would leave but some of them would remain in the uterus. Cramping and bleeding may occur for a few days. There are various procedures that may allow the uterus to empty itself. 

Missed miscarriage

This miscarriage happens when the mother don’t know that she is miscarrying. The dead fetus remains in the womb. While you may not bleed, there would be a brownish discharge. Also, common pregnancy symptoms such as tiredness and nausea would fade away by this time. If this happen, visit a doctor and get yourself tested. 

Recurrent miscarriage

This is when a woman suffers miscarriage recurrently. However, only a few women experience this. If you suffer miscarriage consecutively, see a doctor to know if this is a case of recurrent miscarriage.

How to prevent miscarriage?

Here are some tips to prevent miscarriage when you are pregnant:

Consume folic acid and iron daily when you plan to get pregnant.

Eat healthily and having balanced diet is important for a healthy pregnancy

Manage stress as it can cause pregnancy complications

Do not consume alcohol or smoke as these are hazardous for conception

Be physically active and manage your weight

Avoid X-rays and other radiations that can harm the baby in the fetus