The death of the developing fetus or embryo spontaneously on its own before 20 weeks of pregnancy is known as a miscarriage. After 20 weeks, death is termed as ‘stillbirth’.
This early loss of pregnancy that occurs naturally without any stimulation or surgery could be due to various reasons such as:
- Poor nutrition
- Increasing age of the mother: Getting pregnant after age 30 increases the risk for miscarriage and the risk multiplies as the age advances further.
- Smoking, alcohol or drug abuse
- Stress or anxiety
- Abnormal bodyweight
- Diabetes, hypertension or other systemic illness
- History of previous miscarriages
- Sex during the first trimester of pregnancy
- Physical trauma
- Structural abnormality of female reproductive organs
- Vaginal bleeding
- Severe abdominal or back pain
- Discharge of clots or tissue from the vagina (know more)
The confirmed diagnosis is made by a Trans-vaginal ultrasound and a series of HCG or blood tests may be performed to determine the extent of the damage.
If a miscarriage has been confirmed, the doctor will perform a minor surgery known as D and C (dilatation and Curettage) to remove any residual product of conception inside the uterus and the expelled tissue is sent for examination.
Following precautions are advisable in order to facilitate healthy pregnancy:
- Proper care and diet
- Abstinence from tobacco, caffeine, alcohol, drugs, and sex.
- No self-medication
- Avoid strenuous exercises
- Maintain proper hygiene to ward off infections
While the body may take some weeks or months to return to its normal state depending upon the physical health of the mother and the stage of pregnancy, usually menstruation resumes within 4-6 weeks and the symptoms gradually disappear.
To conceive again, your doctor may first recommend a few tests to detect any underlying cause or abnormality related to abortion. It is advisable to wait for a few months after your miscarriage to let the body heal completely.
The grief of losing a loved one (born or unborn) is immense and thus, mental healing is equally essential for a healthy pregnancy. Don’t feel guilty about what was beyond your control.
Fight back, start afresh and enjoy the fruits of motherhood.
Author: DrSafeHands editorial team
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