What is a Miscarriage?
A miscarriage is when a woman losses her unborn baby before the 20th week of pregnancy. The term used in medical language for a miscarriage is spontaneous abortion and a threatened miscarriage if it happens before the 20th week. However, the term abortion, as used by doctors, isn’t what it is commonly known to be.
Up to 50 percent of all pregnancies result in miscarriage, mostly before a woman misses her menstrual period or even notices that she is pregnant. Between 15 to 25 percent of recognized pregnancies end in a miscarriage.
Above 80 percent of miscarriages occur in the first 3 months of pregnancy. Besides, miscarriages are less likely to occur after 20 weeks. If they do, doctors refer to them as late miscarriages.
Miscarriage Symptoms You May Experience
The following are a few signs of miscarriage:
- Severe cramps
- Bleeding that goes from light to heavy (miscarriage blood)
- Belly pain
- Worsening or severe back pain
- Fever with any of these symptoms
- White-pink mucus
- Fewer signs of pregnancy
- Tissue that appears like blood clots passing via your vagina
- a discharge of fluid from your vagina
- Weight loss
- Absence of signs of pregnancy such as feeling sick and having tender breasts (even though these symptoms may disappear after the first trimester)
When to Get Checked
If you find any of these symptoms, especially vaginal bleeding or pain, consult your doctor or nearest midwife immediately. They will tell you to come to their office or go to the emergency room.
Missed (or Delayed) Miscarriage
Certain women show no symptoms of having a miscarriage. This condition is known as a missed miscarriage. In such a case, women usually get to know it when they attend a routine antenatal appointment since it may be impossible to find the baby’s heartbeat when doing an ultrasound scan.
Certain miscarriages occur as a result of a pregnancy that develops outside of the womb. Such an occurrence is called an ectopic pregnancy and its symptoms usually appear within weeks 4 and 12.
If you notice these symptoms below, seek medical advice right away:
- vaginal bleeding or spotting after the pain has begun
- persistent and severe stomach pain, usually on one side
- diarrhoea and vomiting
- pain in your shoulder tip
- feeling so faint and lightheaded, and maybe fainting.
Call an ambulance or rush to a medical emergency department if you:
- have sharp, abrupt and intense stomach pains
- feel very faint or dizzy
- feel sick
- look very pale.
Before a miscarriage, there are usually few symptoms caused by cervical insufficiency. Cervical insufficiency is a miscarriage that sometimes happens when a pregnant woman has a weakness of the cervix or when her cervix can’t hold the pregnancy.
When this happens:
- You may feel sudden pressure
- Then your water might break
- The baby’s and placenta’s tissue may leave your body with little pain.
If you pass fetal tissue from your vagina, put it in a clean container and take it to your doctor’s office or hospital for analysis.