The loss of a baby through miscarriage can be very distressing. A miscarriage generally occurs for reasons outside your control and nothing can be done to prevent or stop it from happening. Most women who have had a miscarriage will go on to have a healthy pregnancy in the future.
What is a miscarriage?
A miscarriage is the loss of your baby before 20 weeks of pregnancy. The loss of a baby after 20 weeks is called a stillbirth.
Up to 1 in 5 confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage before 20 weeks, but many other women miscarry without having realised they are pregnant.
Common signs of miscarriage include:
cramping tummy pain, similar to period pain
If you think you are having a miscarriage, see your doctor or go to your local emergency department.
Many women experience vaginal spotting in the first trimester that does not result in pregnancy loss.
What are the types of miscarriage?
There are several types of miscarriage — threatened, inevitable, complete, incomplete or missed.
Other types of pregnancy loss include an ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy and a blighted ovum.
When your body is showing signs that you might miscarry, that is called a 'threatened miscarriage'. You may have light vaginal bleeding or lower abdominal pain. It can last days or weeks and the cervix is still closed.
The pain and bleeding may resolve and you can go on to have a healthy pregnancy and baby. Or things may get worse and you go on to have a miscarriage.
There is rarely anything a doctor, midwife or you can do to prevent a miscarriage. In the past bed rest was recommended, but there is no scientiﬁc proof that this helps at this stage.
Inevitable miscarriages can come after a threatened miscarriage or without warning. There is usually a lot more vaginal bleeding and strong lower stomach cramps. During the miscarriage your cervix opens and the developing fetus will come away in the bleeding.
A complete miscarriage has taken place when all the pregnancy tissue has left your uterus. Vaginal bleeding may continue for several days. Cramping pain much like labour or strong period pain is common — this is the uterus contracting to empty.
If you have miscarried at home or somewhere else with no health workers present, you should have a check-up with a doctor or midwife to make sure the miscarriage is complete.
Sometimes, some pregnancy tissue will remain in the uterus. Vaginal bleeding and lower abdominal cramping may continue as the uterus continues trying to empty itself. This is known as an 'incomplete miscarriage'.
Your doctor or midwife will need to assess whether or not a short procedure called a ‘dilatation of the cervix and curettage of the uterus’ (often known as a ‘D&C’) is necessary to remove any remaining pregnancy tissue. This is an important medical procedure done in an operating theatre.
Sometimes, the fetus has died but stayed in the uterus. This is known as a 'missed miscarriage'.
If you have a missed miscarriage, you may have a brownish discharge. Some of the symptoms of pregnancy, such as nausea and tiredness, may have faded. You might have noticed nothing unusual. You may be shocked to have a scan and find the fetus has died.
If this happens, you should discuss treatment and support options with your doctor.
A small number of women have repeated miscarriages. If this is your third or more miscarriage in a row, it’s best to discuss this with your doctor who may be able to investigate the causes, and refer you to a specialist.
A miscarriage can occur suddenly or over a number of weeks. The symptoms are usually vaginal bleeding and lower tummy pain. It is important to see your doctor or go to the emergency department if you have signs of a miscarriage.
The most common sign of a miscarriage is vaginal bleeding, which can vary from light red or brown spotting to heavy bleeding. If it is very early in the pregnancy, you may think that you have your period.
Other signs may include:
cramping pain in your lower tummy, which can vary from period-like pain to strong labour-like contractions
passing fluid from your vagina
passing of blood clots or pregnancy tissue from your vagina
What really happens during a miscarriage? WARNING — This article contains some graphic descriptions of what you might see during a miscarriage.
What should I do if I think I’m having a miscarriage?
If you are concerned that you are having a miscarriage, call your doctor or midwife for advice and support.
Keep in mind that many women experience vaginal spotting in the first trimester of pregnancy that does not result in a miscarriage.
If you are alone, consider calling your partner or a friend for help and support.
If you have very heavy bleeding, strong pain or feel unwell, call triple zero (000) or have someone take you to your nearest emergency department.
How is a miscarriage managed?
Unfortunately, nothing can prevent a miscarriage from happening once it has begun. What happens now depends on your own health and what is happening to you.
Each approach has benefits and risks. You should discuss these with your doctor.
Expectant or natural management
Also called ‘watch and wait’, expectant management may be recommended in early pregnancy. This involves going home and waiting until the pregnancy tissue has passed from your womb by itself. This can happen quickly, or it may take a few weeks.
You may be offered medication that speeds up the passing of the pregnancy tissue. You may be asked to stay in hospital until the tissue has passed, or you may be advised to go home.
You may be advised to have a form of minor surgery called a 'dilatation and curettage' (also called a D&C or a curette). This procedure is often recommended if you have heavy bleeding, significant pain or signs of infection. It may also be recommended if expectant or medical management has failed. You may also decide that you prefer this option.
This procedure is done under general anaesthesia in an operating theatre. It takes 5-10 minutes once you are asleep. The doctor opens the cervix and removes the remaining pregnancy tissue.
How is a miscarriage treated?
Once it is confirmed that you are having a miscarriage, your doctor may offer or recommend treatment. There are many options. All have benefits and risks — discuss these with your doctor.
If the miscarriage is complete
If it seems the miscarriage is complete, you should still see your doctor for a check-up. You may be advised to have an ultrasound to make sure your uterus is empty.
If you go to hospital
If you go to your hospital’s emergency department, you will be seen first by a triage nurse, who will assess how urgently you need to be seen by a doctor. Depending on your symptoms, you will either be taken in to see a doctor immediately, or you will be asked to wait.
If you are waiting to be seen and your symptoms become worse or you feel like you need to go to the toilet, let the staff know immediately.
What happens if I miscarry at home?
Some women miscarry at home before they have a chance to see their doctor or get to the hospital.
If this happens, then:
use pads to manage the bleeding
if you can, save any pregnancy tissue that you pass, as your doctor may recommend it is tested to see why your miscarriage happened
take medications such as paracetamol if you have pain
call your doctor or midwife
There is a chance you may see your baby in the tissue that you pass, but often the baby is too small to recognise, or may not be found at all. It is normal to want to look at the remains, but you may decide you do not want to. There is no right or wrong thing to do.
Some women miscarry while on the toilet. This can also happen if you are out and about, or in hospital. There is no right or wrong way to handle this.
Why do miscarriages happen?
Many women wonder if their miscarriage was their fault. In most cases, a miscarriage has nothing to do with anything you have or have not done. There is no evidence that exercising, stress, working or having sex causes a miscarriage.
Most parents do not ever find out the exact cause. However, it is known that miscarriages often happen because the baby fails to develop properly, usually due to a chromosomal abnormality that was spontaneous, not inherited.
Occasionally, miscarriage is caused by:
immune system and blood clotting problems
medical conditions such as thyroid problems or diabetes
severe infections causing high fevers (not common colds)
physical problems with your womb or cervix
What are the risk factors for miscarriage?
Women are more likely to have miscarriages if they:
drink alcohol in the first trimester
drink too much caffeine in coffee, tea or energy drinks
have had several previous miscarriages
Can you prevent a miscarriage?
Living healthily — no cigarettes, no alcohol and little to no caffeine — can decrease your risk of miscarriage. It’s a good idea to avoid contact with people who have a serious infectious illness when you’re pregnant.
Who can I talk to for advice and support?
Talk to your doctor or midwife for information and advice on what do and how to look after yourself if you experience a miscarriage.
Your hospital should be able to provide details of available support services, such as bereavement support.
SANDS is an independent organisation that provides support for miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death. You can call them on 1300 072 637 or visit www.sands.org.au.
You can also call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436, 7am to midnight (AET) to speak to a maternal child health nurse for advice and emotional support.
Speak to a maternal child health nurse
Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week.
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Miscarriage - Diagnosis and treatment
Your health care provider might do a variety of tests:
Pelvic exam. Your health care provider might check to see if your cervix has begun to dilate.
Ultrasound. During an ultrasound, your health care provider will check for a fetal heartbeat and determine if the embryo is developing as it should be. If a diagnosis can't be made, you might need to have another ultrasound in about a week.
Blood tests. Your health care provider might check the level of the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), in your blood and compare it to previous measurements. If the pattern of changes in your HCG level is abnormal, it could indicate a problem. Your health care provider might check to see if you're anemic — which could happen if you've experienced significant bleeding — and may also check your blood type.
Tissue tests. If you have passed tissue, it can be sent to a lab to confirm that a miscarriage has occurred — and that your symptoms aren't related to another cause.
Chromosomal tests. If you've had two or more previous miscarriages, your health care provider may order blood tests for both you and your partner to determine if your chromosomes are a factor.
Possible diagnoses include:
Threatened miscarriage. If you're bleeding but your cervix hasn't begun to dilate, there is a threat of miscarriage. Such pregnancies often proceed without any further problems.
Inevitable miscarriage. If you're bleeding, cramping and your cervix is dilated, a miscarriage is considered inevitable.
Incomplete miscarriage. If you pass fetal or placental material but some remains in your uterus, it's considered an incomplete miscarriage.
Missed miscarriage. In a missed miscarriage, the placental and embryonic tissues remain in the uterus, but the embryo has died or was never formed.
Complete miscarriage. If you have passed all the pregnancy tissues, it's considered a complete miscarriage. This is common for miscarriages occurring before 12 weeks.
Septic miscarriage. If you develop an infection in your uterus, it's known as a septic miscarriage. This can be a severe infection and demands immediate care.
For a threatened miscarriage, your health care provider might recommend resting until the bleeding or pain subsides. Bed rest hasn't been proved to prevent miscarriage, but it's sometimes prescribed as a safeguard. You might be asked to avoid exercise and sex, too. Although these steps haven't been proved to reduce the risk of miscarriage, they might improve your comfort.
In some cases, it's also a good idea to postpone traveling — especially to areas where it would be difficult to receive prompt medical care. Ask your health care provider if it would be wise to delay any upcoming trips you've planned.
With ultrasound, it's now much easier to determine whether an embryo has died or was never formed. Either finding means that a miscarriage will definitely occur. In this situation, you might have several choices:
Expectant management. If you have no signs of infection, you might choose to let the miscarriage progress naturally. Usually this happens within a couple of weeks of determining that the embryo has died. Unfortunately, it might take up to three or four weeks. This can be an emotionally difficult time. If expulsion doesn't happen on its own, medical or surgical treatment will be needed.
Medical treatment. If, after a diagnosis of certain pregnancy loss, you'd prefer to speed the process, medication can cause your body to expel the pregnancy tissue and placenta. The medication can be taken by mouth or by insertion in the vagina. Your health care provider might recommend inserting the medication vaginally to increase its effectiveness and minimize side effects such as nausea and diarrhea. For about 70 to 90 percent of women, this treatment works within 24 hours.
Surgical treatment. Another option is a minor surgical procedure called suction dilation and curettage (D&C). During this procedure, your health care provider dilates your cervix and removes tissue from the inside of your uterus. Complications are rare, but they might include damage to the connective tissue of your cervix or the uterine wall. Surgical treatment is needed if you have a miscarriage accompanied by heavy bleeding or signs of an infection.
In most cases, physical recovery from miscarriage takes only a few hours to a couple of days. In the meantime, call your health care provider if you experience heavy bleeding, fever or abdominal pain.
You may ovulate as soon as two weeks after a miscarriage. Expect your period to return within four to six weeks. You can start using any type of contraception immediately after a miscarriage. However, avoid having sex or putting anything in your vagina — such as a tampon — for two weeks after a miscarriage.
It's possible to become pregnant during the menstrual cycle immediately after a miscarriage. But if you and your partner decide to attempt another pregnancy, make sure you're physically and emotionally ready. Ask your health care provider for guidance about when you might try to conceive.
Miscarriage is usually a one-time occurrence. Most women who miscarry go on to have a healthy pregnancy after miscarriage. Less than 5 percent of women have two consecutive miscarriages, and only 1 percent have three or more consecutive miscarriages.
If you experience multiple miscarriages, generally two or three in a row, consider testing to identify any underlying causes. Such causes could include problems with the uterus, blood clotting or chromosomes. If the cause of your miscarriages can't be identified, don't lose hope. About 60 to 80 percent of women with unexplained repeated miscarriages go on to have healthy pregnancies.
Dilation and curettage (D&C)
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Coping and support
Emotional healing can take much longer than physical healing. Miscarriage can be a heart-wrenching loss that others around you might not fully understand. Your emotions might range from anger and guilt to despair. Give yourself time to grieve the loss of your pregnancy, and seek help from loved ones.
You'll likely never forget your hopes and dreams surrounding this pregnancy, but in time acceptance might ease your pain. Talk to your health care provider if you're feeling profound sadness or depression.
Preparing for your appointment
If you have signs or symptoms of miscarriage, contact your health care provider right away. Depending on the circumstances, you might need immediate medical care.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your health care provider.
What you can do
Before your appointment, you might want to:
Ask about pre-appointment restrictions. In most cases you'll be seen immediately. If that's not the case, ask whether you should restrict your activities while you wait for your appointment.
Find a loved one or friend who can join you for your appointment. Fear and anxiety might make it difficult to focus on what your health care provider says. Take someone along who can help remember all the information.
Write down questions to ask your health care provider. That way, you won't forget anything important that you want to ask, and you can make the most of your time with your health care provider.
Below are some basic questions to ask your health care provider about miscarriage:
What are the treatment options?
What kinds of tests do I need?
Can I continue to do my usual activities?
What signs or symptoms should prompt me to call you or go to the hospital?
Do you know what caused my miscarriage?
What are my chances for a successful future pregnancy?
In addition to the questions you've prepared, don't hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment — especially if you need clarification or you don't understand something.
What to expect from your health care provider
Your health care provider is likely to ask you a number of questions, too. For example:
When was your last menstrual period?
Were you using any contraceptive methods at the time you likely conceived?
When did you first notice your signs or symptoms?
Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
Compared with your heaviest days of menstrual flow, is your bleeding more, less or about the same?
Have you had a miscarriage before?
Have you had any complications during a previous pregnancy?
Do you have any other health conditions?
Do you know your blood type?
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What to do after a miscarriage
If a woman has a miscarriage, it is important to take competent measures to restore health. This will help to cope mentally and prepare the ground for a new pregnancy. According to medical statistics, 15-20% of pregnancies end in spontaneous termination for various reasons. The symptoms of what happened rarely go unnoticed, which makes it possible to diagnose the pathology in time, consult a gynecologist, undergo adequate treatment and plan the birth of a child for the future.
Specialists classify spontaneous abortion into two categories:
1. Termination of biochemical pregnancy - the embryo leaves the uterine cavity in the first or third weeks after conception. A woman during this period most often does not suspect that she is carrying a child. Pregnancy becomes known only when testing for the content of hCG in the urine and blood. The blood that has left the body is usually perceived as menstruation, which, for unknown reasons, began outside the scheduled time. Units who carefully monitor their health go to the doctor.
2. Spontaneous abortion or miscarriage in early pregnancy - up to 22 weeks, when the weight of the embryo does not reach 0.4 kg.
What is a miscarriage like? If parts of the fetus remain in the uterus, they speak of an incomplete miscarriage, which occurs more often in the early stages of pregnancy. To neutralize the negative consequences, to prevent the development of an infectious process in the tissues, the product of conception is evacuated from the uterine cavity by the methods of medical interruption, gynecological curettage, and vacuum aspiration. Therapy may include the use of drugs aimed at contracting the uterus and pushing the contents out. Ultrasound examination is considered to be the control method of diagnostics.
Why the body rejects the embryo
The causes of miscarriage often lie in the presence of chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus. Among the factors provoking rejection of embryos are also:
Heredity and genetic failure at the stage of fertilization of the egg by the sperm.
A non-viable fetus may appear as a result of various risk factors - environmental conditions, occupational hazards, viral illness of parents. It is impossible to neutralize these factors. The only way out of the situation is to reduce the likelihood of their manifestation by protecting the expectant mother from dangers during gestation.
Hormonal imbalance caused by disruption of the endocrine system. The situation can be affected by an insufficient amount of progesterone in the mother's body or an excess of testosterone. With early detection of a failure of the hormonal system, a woman undergoes specially organized therapy before pregnancy.
The presence of tumors , neoplasms in the pelvic organs.
Isthmic-cervical insufficiency when the isthmus and cervix dilate prematurely, unable to cope with the increasing pressure caused by the growing fetus in the body.
There is a risk of miscarriage in the presence of anomalies in the work of the cardiovascular and renal systems.
Drug addiction , alcohol addiction, substance abuse of mother and father.
Depressive conditions , stress, nervous stress of a pregnant woman.
Mechanical stress , blows, bruises, excessive physical labor of the future woman in labor.
X-ray examination - radiation can cause miscarriage.
Drug use . In the first trimester, you can not use potent medicinal formulas. Drugs can cause the development of defects in the embryo. Some decoctions of herbs are also contraindicated - parsley, tansy, cornflower, nettle, St. John's wort. It is forbidden to self-medicate. Each drug is agreed with the attending physician.
Infectious and viral process in the body. Any sexually transmitted infection can provoke a miscarriage, which must be cured before pregnancy, otherwise there is a high risk of infection of the fetus in the womb. A great threat of miscarriage in the early stages exists due to viral infections and inflammation of the internal organs. A dangerous symptom is the high temperature of the mother, accompanied by intoxication of the body. At the stage of pregnancy planning, it is important to stop chronic diseases.
History of abortion , unsuccessful surgery, unprofessionalism of the doctor and unfortunate circumstances.
Immunological factors .
The list of causes of miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy and in the later period may be more extensive, in each case, doctors identify the pathology individually.
Isthmic-cervical insufficiency (ICI)
One of the most common causes of spontaneous miscarriage during pregnancy is CCI - dilatation of the cervix and isthmus of the uterus as a result of increasing pressure from the growing fetus. Pre-pregnancy manipulations with the uterus (cervical dilation due to abortion, childbirth or curettage) affect the condition of the muscle ring. Damaged areas are tightened by scar tissue that does not have elasticity, is not amenable to stretching and contraction. ICI also has a functional nature when there is a hormonal imbalance.
ICI occurs in the period from the 11th to the 27th week after conception, when the embryo begins to produce androgens in the mother's body with the launch of the adrenal glands. Taking into account the mother's hormones, their indicator can be exceeded - this softens the cervix, opens and shortens it. Harmful bacteria and microorganisms penetrate into the formed channel, infecting the fetal egg. The initial stages of ICI do not have obvious symptoms, since they do not entail the tone of the uterine muscles. With the loss of strength of the membranes, amniotic fluid pours out. There are no pain sensations.
If a woman has had a miscarriage that started with amniotic fluid, she should report it to her doctor when monitoring a subsequent pregnancy.
Treatment of isthmic-cervical insufficiency
Endocrine disorders are corrected by prescribing hormonal drugs. An assessment of the condition of the uterus is carried out by a doctor a couple of weeks after the start of taking medications. They say about positive dynamics when the opening is suspended and no further expansion of the neck is observed. In the absence of the planned effect, surgical intervention is prescribed. Similar measures are used for the traumatic nature of the neck deformity. You should not be afraid of the operation, the doctor acts delicately, without causing additional injuries to the patient, without causing discomfort to the baby growing in the womb. The procedure is most effective in the early stages of pregnancy. Suturing can significantly reduce the risk of infection of the embryo through the lower edge of the cavity.
Surgical intervention takes place in a hospital. Before the operation, the pregnant woman is examined. After the procedure, the vagina is sanitized, for which the suturing site is treated with chlorhexidine and furatsilin for three days. The patient needs to undergo a weekly follow-up examination with the attending physician, where he assesses the situation, making adjustments to the therapeutic protocol if necessary. The sutures are removed at the 38th week of pregnancy. During this time, the neck matures, preparing the birth canal for the passage of the fetus. Many women in labor worry that they will need a caesarean section if they have stitches, but this is not true. In most cases, women give birth on their own.
Immediate action is recommended if the amniotic sac prolapses (falls out) into the cervix between 16 and 24 weeks. The suturing of the neck obliges the woman to observe bed rest, strictly follow the daily routine, avoid physical exertion, and do not skip taking medications. In rare cases, complications occur. Among them, the eruption of sutures through the tissues, provoked by the frequent tension of the muscles of the uterus. To prevent tone, tocolytics are prescribed - medicines to prevent premature birth. The expectant mother should be prepared for frequent examinations and smears, which may be caused by the likelihood of accumulation of pathological microflora on the suture threads.
It is also important to conduct psychological therapy, where a woman is taught relaxation techniques. The behavior of the future mother is a decisive factor in the successful bearing of the fetus in case of pregnancy complications. Panic and fuss create an unfavorable prognosis in stabilizing the situation. If a spontaneous abortion occurred for reasons of ICI, when you can get pregnant after a miscarriage, the doctor will say. Ideally, the period should be at least two years. The specialist must also take measures to prevent a repeated situation of losing a child.
In addition to the suture, ICI correction is also carried out using an obstetric pessary. An alternative method is the imposition of a special ring of hypoallergenic materials on the cervix. Silicone is the most commonly used. The ring creates additional support, preventing the opening of the neck.
Uterine hypertonicity - risk prevention
Uterine contractions before natural delivery is called hypertonicity. The condition is not an independent disease, it signals a malfunction in the body, often manifesting itself in the early stages of pregnancy. The causes of the pathological phenomenon are:
Hormonal disorders caused by insufficient function of the placenta, ovaries, problems with the adrenal glands, causing imbalance.
Genital infantilism , organ defects.
Neoplasms , tumors in the uterus that are not necessarily malignant (eg, fibroids).
During pregnancy infectious processes, viral diseases.
CCI - opening of the cervix under increasing pressure created by the growing embryo.
Immunological problems .
Chronic diseases of the body (cardiovascular disorders, renal insufficiency).
Past miscarriages early pregnancy, symptoms of which may recur, induced abortions.
In addition to physiological causes, psychological factors are of no small importance. A woman who is in a depressed state can provoke hypertonicity in herself.
You can feel the tension of the muscles of the uterus on your own, without the help of a specialist. This is evidenced by the heaviness that appears in the lower abdomen, pulling pains in the lumbar region. Symptoms are similar to painful menstruation. Arising in the first trimester, the condition provokes spontaneous abortion, missed pregnancy, death of the fetal egg. In the subsequent period, premature birth due to hypertonicity is likely.
Why does the tension of the walls of the uterus cause irreversible consequences? The reason is the disturbed blood supply to the placental tissues, the occurrence of hypoxia of the embryo and the slowdown in the development of the emerging child. Following the contraction of the muscles of the uterus, the placenta does not contract, which causes its detachment and provoking the release of the fetal bladder.
Hypertonicity is diagnosed during a scheduled visit to a specialist. Stabilization of the situation requires the appointment of sedative drugs and antispasmodics. A strengthening effect is provided by therapy with the inclusion of vitamin B6, magnesium. In most cases, the measures taken are sufficient to neutralize the risks. Self-treatment, which can cause irreversible consequences, is strictly prohibited. With hypertonicity, the main rule for a pregnant woman is calmness and lack of physical activity. Some women who have had a successful delivery say they "didn't get up" during their entire pregnancy. With hypertonicity, sexual intercourse is also excluded.
If the threat cannot be neutralized, hospitalization is recommended. It is especially dangerous when severe cramping pain is complemented by spotting. To lie down "for preservation" is an adequate measure in the struggle for the birth of a healthy and strong baby. In the hospital walls, a pregnant woman is prescribed a vaginal examination, ultrasound. If necessary, a woman takes urine and blood tests, checks the hormonal background, and is examined for the presence of STIs.
At the onset of labor activity before the 34th week, the condition is tried to be stabilized with tocolytics. The most dangerous period is from the 25th to the 28th week, when the woman is recommended the maximum possible bed rest. After that, the fetus has every chance of survival. In order to quickly form the pulmonary system of the embryo, allowing it to survive with an early birth, hormones are prescribed.
Having an unfavorable prognosis for miscarriage and the threat of miscarriage, it is necessary to take up prevention at the stage of conception planning.
Stages of spontaneous abortion
There are certain signs that attract attention and divide the course of a miscarriage into specific stages:
Threat - having noticed factors threatening pregnancy, you can take measures to restore the situation, normalize the mother's well-being.
Start of abortion - at this stage, the doctor can apply life-saving manipulations and give recommendations to the pregnant woman.
Miscarriage in progress – the condition is irreversible, it is impossible to stop the pathology. The death of the fetal egg begins, which leaves the uterine cavity.
Completed abortion - the uterus gets rid of the residual tissues of the embryo, cleanses, restores its original parameters. It is important to prevent the remnants of foreign fibers inside, otherwise the organ becomes infected with decaying residues and toxins go into the bloodstream.
Symptoms of a miscarriage - how not to miss the threat
If there is a threat of miscarriage in the early stages, the following symptoms may occur: The pain may be monotonous or come in waves.
Slow bleeding opens, the signs of which are reduced to brownish spotting. Bright scarlet blood can stand out, it is often confused with menstruation.
Uterine tone .
A woman who does not know how an early miscarriage occurs should listen to her inner state.
spasmodic pain impulses;
Drawing pain in the lumbar region.
In the later stages, the above symptoms are added:
liquid discharge from the vagina, which may indicate damage to the amniotic sac;
pain when urinating;
internal bleeding, which warns of a deterioration in the general condition, fainting, dizziness, pallor of the skin. All this is an indication for emergency hospitalization of a pregnant woman.
The beginning of an abortion is characterized by more pronounced symptoms of miscarriage - contraction-like pain, severe dizziness, loss of strength. Instead of smearing discharges, clot-like ones appear, abundantly manifested during movement. Pregnancy can be saved if the area of detachment of the fetal egg is small and the fetal heartbeat is determined.
The third stage is useless for saving the fetus. There is girdle pain in the lower back and abdomen. Together with abundant blood loss, a fetal egg comes out of the uterus. Incomplete miscarriage requires curettage of the uterine cavity if parts of the embryo or membranes of the fetal egg remain in it, otherwise there is a high risk of complications that will endanger the life of the mother.
In rare cases, complications and serious health consequences can occur after a spontaneous abortion. But in the majority of situations, the body independently copes with what happened, expelling the parts remaining in the uterine cavity with a natural contraction of the muscles. An early spontaneous miscarriage does not always occur, a dangerous condition can also occur in the later stages. Some women try to provoke the release of the fetus with decoctions of herbs and medications. This is fraught with complications, including sepsis, dysfunction of the reproductive organs, after which pregnancy becomes impossible.
Methods of diagnosis
The symptoms of a threatened miscarriage at an early stage will be determined by a doctor during a visit to the antenatal clinic. The specialist will check the size of the uterus, determine the tone of its muscles, the condition of the cervix, and examine the discharge from the genital organs. A reliable method to identify the existing threat is transvaginal ultrasound diagnostics. The doctor draws attention to segmental muscle contractions of the uterus, detachment of the fetal egg. Genetic testing will help analyze the likely causes of a miscarriage. The patient's history is carefully collected.
Any method is useful to maintain pregnancy. A qualified doctor develops an individual treatment protocol based on the available diagnostic data. Drugs used may include:
hormone stabilizing drugs;
vitamin and mineral supplements.
The specialist eliminates the threat of miscarriage in the early stages, tells how to prevent a relapse. In the later stages, the cervix is fixed with a special suturing (usually for a period of 16-25 weeks, if there is an ICI).
In case of an unsuccessful attempt to stop a spontaneous abortion, the following treatment tactics are used:
Waiting - an organism that has freed itself from an embryo does not require specialized treatment.
Drug therapy - the patient is prescribed drugs that complete the removal of foreign tissues from the body. By causing severe spasms of the muscular walls of the uterus, the tablets provoke the expulsion of residues from the cavity.
Surgery - is used in case of complications or inconvenient for the independent exit of the fetus, the bending of the uterus.
Having symptoms of a miscarriage in early pregnancy and faced with the need for a curettage (gynecological cleansing), a woman worries about the state of her reproductive system. It is not worth doing this, the operation takes place in a gentle mode, with maximum delicacy in relation to the patient's childbearing ability. Curettage is performed when there is a risk of incomplete exit of the embryo from the uterine cavity and the development of infection in the pelvic organs due to the elements remaining in it. Ignoring the procedure can lead to blood poisoning and the formation of a pathology that prevents re-conception.
Vacuum aspiration, however, is performed more frequently, which is more gentle. The complex application of the method with hysteroscopy allows you to carefully examine the internal contents of the uterus in order to prevent poorly cleaned areas on the mucous membrane.
Preparation for gynecological cleaning (curettage)
Gynecological cleaning is carried out for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes for various indications :
in missed pregnancy, miscarriages;
for menstrual irregularities;
for accurate diagnosis of gynecological disorders.
Curettage is recommended a few days before the onset of menstruation. In this case, blood loss decreases and a favorable prognosis is given for rapid tissue recovery. The operation requires a preliminary examination, testing. This is :
complete blood count;
blood coagulation test;
smear for examination of the bacteriological environment;
analysis for STIs.
Before curettage, you stop taking any medications, dietary supplements that have not been discussed with a specialist. Even plant components that can affect blood clotting and provoke blood loss during surgery can be dangerous. Your healthcare provider should be made aware of the medications you are taking so that they know what risks may arise.
Rules for preparing for the procedure:
refrain from sexual intercourse three days before the operation;
avoid the use of intimate hygiene products (gels, creams, ointments, liquids), suppositories, tablets and vaginal sprays;
Do not douche;
Do not eat or drink 10 hours before surgery. This is necessary for high-quality anesthesia.
Curettage is carried out in a hospital, the woman is placed on the gynecological chair of the operating room. The doctor removes the upper layer of the mucous lining the uterine cavity from the inside. The exclusion of pain involves anesthesia. If there were signs of miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy or at a later period, after which it spontaneously terminated, the dilated cervix allows for curettage without anesthesia. For anesthesia, intravenous administration of the drug is used, selected individually, taking into account the characteristics of the patient's body. A few seconds after the injection, the woman falls into a shallow sleep, the discomfort disappears, which makes the doctor's actions painless.
A dilator inserted into the cervix straightens the walls of the organ, facilitating access to the internal cavity. Holding the neck, the specialist inserts a rounded probe with a small diameter, after which he replaces it with a more voluminous analogue. A special video camera attached to the end of the probe allows for hysteroscopy - examination of the cavity before curettage. Cleaning is done with a curette, shaped like a small spoon on a long handle. Carefully collected tissues are stored in a specialized sterile tube, which is later sent to the laboratory for histological examination.
The procedure rarely takes more than one hour, usually 20 minutes is enough for the doctor. Together with the cavity, the cervical canal is cleaned. Manipulations are called RDV - separate diagnostic curettage. Collected samples are placed separately. Histology is used to identify the structure of tissues in order to exclude the presence of atypical cells in them, indicating cancerous lesions, precancerous conditions. The study is carried out within two weeks, after receiving the results, the woman revisits the gynecologist for a follow-up examination.
Curettage is often carried out for diagnostic purposes to determine the symptoms of pathological conditions in the functioning of the organs of the reproductive system. These can be:
voluminous discharge and painful menstruation;
bleeding during menopause;
difficulties in conceiving in the absence of visible causes of pathology;
suggestion of developing uterine cancer.
Complications can occur, as after any surgical intervention. A serious consequence is the discovery of uterine bleeding. In order to prevent it, oxytocin is used - injections stimulate the cessation of abnormal blood flow. Oxytocin will help if the bleeding is due to insufficient contraction of the uterus. In violation of blood clotting, it is ineffective.
Another complication of is hematometra, when blood clots accumulate in the uterine cavity, which can cause an inflammatory process in the tissues. It is caused by a spasm of the cervix that occurred immediately after cleaning, which interferes with the evacuation of blood. Experts recommend the use of antispasmodics that relax the muscles of the organ and contribute to the normal outflow of blood. A woman should be alerted by pulling pains in the lower abdomen and a sharp cessation of discharge.
After cleansing, endometritis may occur when inflammation affects the lining of the uterus. A measure of therapy for a dangerous diagnosis is a course of antibiotics. Pain in the abdomen and a sharp increase in body temperature testify to the pathology. Any dangerous change in condition should be reported to the doctor immediately. In this case, countermeasures will be taken in a timely manner, which will eliminate the risks of developing more formidable complications.
How to behave after a miscarriage
A miscarriage that has occurred requires a certain tactic of behavior. Among the measures recommended by doctors:
It is advisable to postpone a new pregnancy attempt for 3-6 months . Otherwise, the risk of repeating the undesirable development of events is high. If pregnancy occurs before the expiration date, there is no need to panic. The main thing is the supervision of a specialist.
If you are waiting for , ask for advice on effective contraception.
Follow your doctor's advice .
Complete the required examinations , get tested.
Consult what effect the medicines you take will have on the fetus if you become pregnant during therapy. Find out after what period of time you can fearlessly try to conceive a child.
How to detect genetic pathologies during repeated pregnancy
If a miscarriage of the first pregnancy occurs due to a genetic factor, it is especially scary to decide on a second one. But you should not be afraid of this, with a well-designed therapy, the chances of success are more than great. Diagnostic procedures today are highly accurate and allow you to identify pathology in the early stages. Examination in this case is mandatory, as well as the following:
who are over 35;
has screening changes;
who had markers of chromosomal pathologies and malformations of the embryo;
who already have children with chromosomal abnormalities.
Ultrasound diagnostics can detect malformations in 80-85% of cases. However, the technology is not impeccably reliable, as it misses pathologies in 20% of situations. Biochemical screening, invasive examinations have valid data. The latest version of the study allows you to identify up to 99% anomalies. No less popular is the high-precision PANORAMA test for determining DNA pathologies.
When planning a new pregnancy, it is imperative to visit a geneticist. Screening diagnostics for the detection of abnormal genes will help eliminate the risks of possible pathologies, the factor of heredity and genetic failure during conception. Sometimes the threat of miscarriage in the early stages exists in almost healthy carriers. The examination will allow you to find out about the anomaly in advance and undergo treatment.
Planning a new pregnancy
The medical community is unanimous in the issue of planning a new pregnancy after a spontaneous abortion. Conception is not recommended for at least 3-6 months. During this period, the woman's body will recover and gain strength to bear the fetus. Observation by a doctor, harmonization of hormonal levels, examination of parents to identify possible pathologies are important. In order not to become pregnant in the first months, it is recommended to use contraceptive methods prescribed by your doctor.
Examination after a miscarriage includes blood and urine tests, examination of the microflora of the vagina with a smear, detection of overt and latent genital infections, glucose and hormone testing, examination of partners for biological compatibility. Planning is an important step towards having a healthy baby. After the studies, the woman is prescribed strengthening therapy. It is important to completely reconsider eating habits, to exclude factors that are harmful to well-being. Vitamins, folic acid are used. Fast food, food containing carcinogens and preservatives are excluded from the diet. Subject to the rules recommended by the doctor, a successful pregnancy with a favorable outcome is likely.
It is not uncommon for a pregnancy test to show two lines after a miscarriage. This is due to the restructuring of the body, the organs of the reproductive system. It is important to report the incident to your doctor. The presence of remnants of embryonic tissue in the uterus can provoke a positive test result. In this case, immediate curettage is necessary, which neutralizes the risk of inflammation and infection. To accurately determine her condition, a woman needs to undergo an ultrasound diagnosis, take tests to determine hCG in the blood.
The question of whether it is possible to get pregnant after a miscarriage worries many parents. The answer is unequivocal - yes, if you follow the recommendations of experts, carefully plan a new conception, monitor your well-being and state of your health.
Components of success after a miscarriage
Spontaneous abortion can provoke not only the health of the patient, but non-compliance with simple rules can become a threat. To reduce the risk of losing a child during pregnancy, required:
1. Keep calm - it is important for a mother to exclude from her life all the factors that make her nervous. Irritation is not the best way to normalize the condition. In order to stabilize the emotional background, rest is recommended, the use of soothing teas with the permission of the doctor. Good results are given by decoctions of chamomile, lemon balm, mint.
2. Avoid taking unnecessary medicines and preparations. But it is unacceptable to stop the therapy prescribed by the doctor on your own. Each step must be discussed with the gynecologist.
3. Eliminate harmful occupational factors. Work in the chemical industry and other hazardous facilities can create an undesirable background in the body, which prevents normal gestation. It is important to understand what is of great value to the mother - the birth of a healthy baby or a career factor. Many refuse to work to increase the chance of having a baby.
4. Eliminate bad habits. It is unacceptable for a woman who has experienced miscarriage to drink alcohol and smoke. It is forbidden to do this and the future father. This negatively affects the quality of spermatozoa, provokes difficulties with conception and risks of deviations in the development of the embryo.
5. Take vitamin complexes, specially designed to prepare the body for pregnancy, the formation of basic conditions for its favorable course.
6. Eat right. A complete, balanced diet works wonders. With a lack of weight, a nutritionist will develop an adequate diet for a woman with the inclusion of a large amount of protein foods rich in vitamins and trace elements of vegetables, fruits, and cereals. Recommended fats contained in fish, seeds, nuts, avocados, olives.
7. Get rid of extra pounds. Obesity adversely affects the development of pregnancy. Science has proven that enhanced nutrition during this period is not required. The main thing is its balance.
Infections during pregnancy
Infectious processes transferred before pregnancy develop immunity in the mother to similar agents of influence. Primary infection poses a great threat, so vaccination will be useful before planning conception. Perinatal diagnosis allows you to detect the infectious process at the initial stage and prevent its harmful effects. This is possible if the pregnant woman is registered from an early date.
Infection may develop due to an infection transmitted by airborne droplets. It is the most dangerous, since it is almost impossible to prevent it. This applies to mumps, measles, rubella. HIV and hepatitis infect the body through sexual contact, similar to chlamydia. Listeriosis is transmitted with poor-quality products. A pregnant woman can pass infections to a developing baby. Pathology is determined by profile tests of latent infection.
Routine pregnancy monitoring involves regular testing. Sexual infections are determined using a smear, ultrasound shows deviations in the development of the baby, and KGT is aimed at listening to the work of the fetal heart muscle. If there is a suspicion of a serious infection of the embryo, blood sampling from the umbilical cord and amniotic fluid analysis are practiced.
Infection of a child also depends on concomitant factors. The speed of diagnosis, the literacy of the treatment, the type of pathogen, the duration of the pregnancy are taken into account. The following infectious processes deserve special attention:
1. Viral etiology - a huge number of viruses poses a danger to a pregnant woman. The threat is genital herpes, rubella, infectious type erythema, cytomegalovirus, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, chickenpox.
2. Bacterial infections, detected during the analysis of biological materials (feces, urine, blood), examination of certain organs of the body. Active reproduction provokes a rapid growth in the number of bacteria in the vagina. Not all microorganisms pose a threat to the child. Dangerous candidiasis, streptococcus, chlamydia, bacterial vaginosis, cystitis.
The successful course of pregnancy is threatened by intestinal infections, often activated in the summer. Their carriers can be animals and poorly processed food before consumption. Of particular danger are listeriosis, salmonellosis, toxoplasmosis.
Prevention of infections during pregnancy
Infection of the mother threatens the life of the fetus. From the 3rd to the 12th week, the infected organism responds with a miscarriage or the formation of malformations of the child. From the 11th to the 25th - developmental delay. At a later date, organs are deformed and prerequisites for premature birth are created. In order to prevent intrauterine infection, it is recommended to apply a number of rules:
be examined for the detection of STIs;
examine blood, determine the presence of antibodies to infection carriers, pathogens;
avoid contact with sick people, visits to crowded places where there is a possibility of infection by airborne droplets;
Examine pets for dangerous infections and, if necessary, treat them or remove them from the home until the threat is eliminated;
to exclude fast food, store-bought semi-finished products from the diet, subject meat and fish to thorough heat treatment;
remove from the diet sushi and other culinary delights purchased in restaurants, cafes;
thoroughly wash hands, fruits, vegetables with special disinfectants that are not capable of harming a pregnant woman and a child;
it is planned to visit a gynecologist, undergo examinations recommended by a doctor, take tests, take vitamins;
register at the first sign of pregnancy;
prepare for conception, cure infections, vaccinate.
It is also important for the child's father to follow most of the recommended rules. If only the mother undergoes treatment, a relapse is likely during sexual intercourse, neutralizing the beneficial effect of therapy.
A woman who has had a miscarriage in the past should be alert to any deviations from the norm in her state of health. It is important to pay attention to ailments, pain, weakness, dizziness. Accounting for an early consultation will create conditions for the bearing of the fetus and the birth of a child. There is no need to be afraid that a miscarriage will forever deprive the joy of motherhood.
Having completed a course of examinations, passing tests and following the measures prescribed by the doctor to treat imbalances in the body, you will create all the conditions for a favorable pregnancy outcome. Tune in to the positive, protect yourself from worries, worries, stress. Feel the support of loved ones, hope for the best! Get advice from good specialists to rule out any unfavorable prognosis before conception or take steps to neutralize them. Health and prosperity to you, your families and loved ones!
Spontaneous abortion (miscarriage)
If the pregnancy is terminated naturally before the fetus reaches gestational age, this is called a spontaneous abortion or miscarriage. More than half of miscarriages occur no later than 12 weeks of gestation due to fetal abnormalities. The rest falls on the period up to 20 weeks and is associated with pathologies of pregnancy. If the pregnancy is terminated in the second half, it is called preterm labor.
Spontaneous abortion, otherwise known as miscarriage, is one of the most common complications during pregnancy, accounting for 10-20% of diagnosed pregnancies, and is the rejection of a fetus weighing no more than 500 grams. and less than 22 weeks. Unfortunately, with such indicators, the fetus is not viable. Usually 80% of the total number of spontaneous abortions occurs before the 12th week of pregnancy.
Types of spontaneous abortion
1. Threat of miscarriage - characterized by mild uterine cramps, pulling pain in the lower abdomen and sometimes mild bloody discharge from the vagina.
2. A miscarriage that has begun - is characterized by more severe pain and profuse bleeding. At the same time, the tone of the uterus is slightly increased, and the internal os is closed.
3. Inevitable miscarriage - accompanied by dilatation of the cervix - a fetal egg can be distinguished - with profuse bleeding and severe cramps in the lower abdomen.
4. Incomplete miscarriage - part of the fetus comes out. The bleeding is so profuse that it can lead to the death of a woman.
5. Completed miscarriage - the fetal egg and the fetus itself are completely out. After that, the bleeding and spasms stop.
The etiology of miscarriage is due to many factors. Among them:
- genetic disorders;
- previous induced abortions;
- too little time has passed since the previous pregnancy;
- inflammatory infections in the mother, endocrine disorders;
- blood conflict between mother and fetus;
- taking hormonal contraceptives and certain medications;
- smoking during pregnancy and drinking alcohol;
- unknown causes.
To prevent miscarriage, it is necessary to give up bad habits, not to have abortions and to be regularly examined by a doctor.
Spontaneous abortion begins with the appearance of cramping, drawing pains, similar to pain during menstruation. Then bleeding from the uterus begins. At first, the discharge is slight or moderate, and then, after detachment of the fetal egg, abundant discharge with bloody clots begins. The appearance of these symptoms requires urgent hospitalization.
After examining a woman in a hospital, having determined the degree of detachment of the embryo, one of the following diagnoses will be made:
- the threat of pregnancy - detachment is only outlined or is completely insignificant. In this case, the pregnancy can be saved;
- a miscarriage that has begun - detachment is already quite decent with a pronounced pain syndrome. And in this case, the fetus can be saved;
- abortion in progress - detachment with displacement progresses, labor-like contractions begin. Pregnancy cannot be saved, cleaning is required;
- incomplete miscarriage - independent exit of a part of the fetus and membranes, curettage is necessary for the final curettage of the uterus;
- late abortion - premature delivery of an unviable baby.
After a spontaneous abortion, it is recommended to take a short break in planning and take preventive measures to avoid recurrence.
In case of repeated miscarriage, a thorough comprehensive examination is necessary to determine the causes of miscarriage and eliminate them.
A miscarriage is a severe psychological trauma, especially during the first pregnancy. But do not give up, with a competent approach to planning and bearing, the next pregnancy will certainly end with the appearance of a long-awaited baby.
Causes of spontaneous abortion
1. Doctors call various chromosomal pathologies one of the main reasons: monosomy, autosomal trisomies, polyploidy. They account for 82-88% of spontaneous miscarriages.