Miscarriage or spontaneous abortion is the
spontaneous end of a pregnancy at a stage where the embryo or fetus is
incapable of surviving, generally defined in humans at prior to 20
weeks of gestation.
Unfortunately, miscarriages are fairly common. On average, 1 in 5
pregnancies will end in a miscarriage - most of which occur in the
Some miscarriages occur before women recognize that they are pregnant.
About 15% of fertilized eggs are lost before the egg even has a chance
to implant (embed itself) in the wall of the uterus. A woman would not
generally identify this type of miscarriage. Another 15% of conceptions
are lost before eight weeks' gestation. Once fetal heart function is
detected in a given pregnancy, the chance of miscarriage is less than
The reason for miscarriage is varied, and most often the cause cannot
be identified. During the first trimester, the most common cause of
miscarriage is chromosomal abnormality - meaning that something is not
correct with the baby's chromosomes. Most chromosomal abnormalities are
the cause of a faulty egg or sperm cell, or are due to a problem at the
time that the zygote went through the division process. Other causes
for miscarriage include (but are not limited to):
- Hormonal problems, infections or maternal health problems
- Lifestyle (i.e. smoking, drug use, malnutrition, excessive
caffeine and exposure to radiation or toxic substances)
- Implantation of the egg into the uterine lining does not
- Maternal age
- Maternal trauma
Factors that are not proven to cause
miscarriage are sex, working outside the home (unless in a harmful
environment) or moderate exercise.
increase in maternal age. Women under the age of 35 have about a 15% chance of miscarriage,
but if you are over 35 yrs old, your chance of having a miscarriage goes up (your eggs get
2. Pregnancies involving more than one fetus.
3. Uncontrolled diabetes. Women with controlled diabetes are not at
higher risk of miscarriage.
4. Polycystic ovary syndrome is a risk factor for miscarriage, with
30-50% of pregnancies in women with PCOS being miscarried in
the first trimester.
5. High blood pressure during pregnancy, known as pre eclampsia, is
sometimes caused by an inappropriate immune reaction to
the developing fetus, and is associated with the risk of miscarriage. Women with a
history of recurrent miscarriages are at risk of developing pre eclampsia.
6. Severe cases of hypothyroidism The effect of milder cases of
hypothyroidism on miscarriage rates has not been
7. The presence of certain immune conditions such as autoimmune
diseases is associated with a greatly increased risk of
8. Certain illnesses (such as rubella, chlamydia and others)
increase the risk of miscarriage.
9. Tobacco (cigarette) smokers have an increased risk of
miscarriage. An increase in miscarriage is also associated
with the father being a cigarette smoker.
10. Cocaine use increases miscarriage rates. Physical traumas, exposure
to environmental toxins, and use of
an IUD during the time of conception have also been linked to increased risk of
Types of miscarriage or abortion-
- If a pregnant woman has bleeding, little or no pain, a
closed cervix, and is found to still have a fetus with a heartbeat in
her uterus, she may have had a threatened abortion. Most pregnancies
with early bleeding but with a detectable heartbeat turn out fine.
- Blighted ovum, which is a miscarriage that has occurred so
early that no clearly defined fetal tissues have formed.
- An inevitable miscarriage is when bleeding and cramping
occur during pregnancy, with an opening cervix.
- An incomplete miscarriage is when a miscarriage has
occurred, but the body does not expel all the elements of the
- A missed miscarriage is when the body does not discharge
the fetus, the placenta, or other elements for several weeks - this
might occur when the woman has neither menstrual periods nor any signs
- A recurrent miscarriage is when a woman miscarriages three
or more consecutive pregnancies.
Cramping and vaginal bleeding are the most common symptoms noticed with
spontaneous abortion. The cramping and bleeding may be very mild,
moderate, or severe. There is no particular pattern as to how long the
symptoms will last.
Vaginal bleeding during early pregnancy is often referred to as a
"threatened abortion." The term "threatened" abortion is used since
miscarriage does not always follow vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy,
even after repeated episodes or large amounts of bleeding. Studies have
shown that 90-96% of pregnancies with fetal cardiac activity that
result in vaginal bleeding at 7 to 11 weeks of gestation will result in
an ongoing pregnancy.
The main goal of treatment during or after a miscarriage is to prevent
hemorrhaging and/or infection. The earlier you are in the pregnancy,
the more likely that your body will expel all the fetal tissue by
itself and will not require further medical procedures. If the body
does not expel all the tissue, 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 to help control bleeding
after the D&C is performed. Bleeding should be monitored
closely once you are at home; if you notice an increase in bleeding or
the onset of chills or fever, it is best to call your physician
Although miscarriage usually can't be prevented, some precautions has
to be taken to increase chances of having a healthy pregnancy:
- Maintain a proper diet loaded with folic acid and calcium.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid mental stress.
- Maintain a healthy weight (women who are overweight or too
thin are more likely to have miscarriages).
- Avoid drugs and alcohol.
- Limit caffeine drinks to no more than 1 to 2 cups a day.
- Quit smoking.
- Many prescription and over-the-counter medicines should be
avoided during pregnancy.
- Avoid abdominal trauma.
- Avoid environmental hazards such as radiation, infectious
disease and x-rays.
- Get immunized against communicable diseases and know family
medical and genetic history.
- Go to all of scheduled prenatal appointments and discuss
any concerns with doctor.
- Call doctor right away if you have fever, feel ill, notice
decreased fetal movements, or are having bleeding, spotting, or
Role of homoeopathy
Homeopathy has a definite outcome to increase prospects of
advancing pregnancy in most patients. Homeopathic treatment
for miscarriages focus both on physical and emotional imbalances in a
person. Homeopathy plays a constructive role in treating miscarriages
by reinforcing the reproductive organs in both men and women, by
improving uterine hostility and by regulating hormonal balance. The
homeopathic constitutional approach also aides by mounting the
thickness of the uterine lining and preventing the uterus from
contracting hence abating chances of a miscarriage; it corrects
placental insufficiency and can increase the quality and quantity of
sperm count in men. The remedies furthermore help improve the patient's
immunity hence acting as prophylactic against infectious and systemic
diseases. It can also be advantageous in reducing anxiety and grief
caused by recurrent loss of pregnancy. Furthermore, reducing these
overwhelmed emotions can help the embryo implantation take place in a
favourable environment. Homoeopathy is a system of medicine directed at
assisting the body's own healing process and healing diseases.
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