Miscarriage

March 2017


Definition


A spontaneous miscarriage is a spontaneous abortion, i.e. the unprovoked expulsion of a fetus before 22 weeks of gestation (the stage of pregnancy is calculated from the first day of last menstrual period), the legal term at which the fetus is said to be viable. A miscarriage can occur by itself, which is very common, and a doctor must then be called to search for the cause. The causes of miscarriage can be of the following origins:
  • maternal: general disease, hormonal problems, genital anomaly ...;
  • fetal: fetal malformation, hereditary disease, abnormal amniotic fluid, multiple pregnancies.

Symptoms


The symptoms of miscarriage depend on the progress of the pregnancy. In case of an early miscarriage, a more or less heavy gestational blood loss will often be noticed by pregnant women during the first weeks of pregnancy. Sometimes, the egg may be expelled spontaneously. Colic and abdominal cramps are not systematically observed. At a more advanced stage of pregnancy, a woman may suffer from regular contractions, more severe bleeding, and sometimes the loss of amniotic fluid.

Diagnosis


A clinical examination will confirm the opening of the cervix. Additional tests will confirm the miscarriage. These are:
  • A pelvic ultrasound,
  • A plasmatic dose of beta-HCG in case of doubt.

Several doses of plasma may be prescribed, a few days apart from each other.

Treatment


When the presence of a miscarriage is proven and it is shown that the fetus was not expelled spontaneously, several treatment options are discussed:
  • during pregnancy of less than 8 weeks of gestation, spontaneous and complete expulsion of the egg is common;
  • hormone-based drugs, namely prostaglandins, can be used to promote the expulsion of the egg (however this is a controversial technique);
  • the vacuuming of the egg is preferred in the case of miscarriage stage later than 8 weeks of gestation.

Prevention


To have all the chances on your side in carrying a pregnancy to term, prevention is important. It should include:
  • quitting smoking;
  • not using drugs or drinking alcoholic beverages;
  • reducing stress;
  • reducing the intensity of physical activity;
  • adopting a healthy and balanced diet.

Related

Published by Jeff.
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