Signs Of Miscarriage
Miscarriages are a very common occurrence: around one in three women will experience a miscarriage and up to 60 per cent of all conceptions miscarry, many before a period is missed and before the woman even knows she's pregnant.
Many miscarriages are unreported or go unrecognised because they occur so early on in pregnancy.
Signs of miscarriage
Known as a 'threatened miscarriage', vaginal bleeding is fairly common during pregnancy, with 25 per cent of women who go on to have a baby experiencing some vaginal bleeding. Always see your doctor if you experience vaginal bleeding.
Cramps or period pain:
Another symptom of miscarriage is cramping or period-like pain. again, if you experience this, it does not necessarily mean the pregnancy will be lost, but always see your doctor if you're concerned.
What causes a miscarriage?
A miscarriage usually occurs because the pregnancy is not developing properly. Another cause of miscarriage may be that the developing pregnancy did not embed itself properly into the lining of the uterus.
Other types of miscarriage
- Missed miscarriage - This is when the pregnancy has stopped developing, but there is no bleeding. Pregnancy symptoms disappear as the uterus stops growing and it is diagnosed by an ultrasound examination.
- Blighted ovum - This is diagnosed by ultrasound, usually after some bleeding, and occurs when a pregnancy sac is formed but there is no developing baby inside it.
- Ectopic pregnancy - This is when the developing pregnancy implants outside the uterus so the pregnancy cannot be sustained.
Don’t blame yourself
While tests can be performed after a miscarriage to try and determine the cause, often the reason can't be identified. This can add to the distress and may lead to feelings of guilt. However, remember that doctors agree that a miscarriage is rarely caused by anything the mother did - or didn’t - do, such as worked at a computer screen, ate spicy food, had sex or did not rest enough. And most times, the next pregnancy will proceed to full term.
While a woman should never feel guilty about miscarriage, it's also worth noting that there are lifestyle factors that can affect miscarriage rates:
- Smoking. Studies show that women who smoke are at increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, oxygen-starved baby and pre-term delivery, due to the reduced supply of oxygen to the placenta.
- Alcohol. Drinking more than two units of alcohol a day has been linked to miscarriage.
- Caffeine. The role of caffeine in miscarriage is controversial. However, most experts recommend limiting caffeine intake to one cup of strong coffee or tea a day.
- Obesity. Women who are obese are twice as likely to miscarry as women in the normal (BMI) weight range.