Miscarriage – Signs and Symptoms of Miscarriage
A miscarriage (also termed spontaneous abortion) is any pregnancy that spontaneously ends before the fetus can survive. Any vaginal bleeding, other than spotting, during early pregnancy is considered a threatened miscarriage. Vaginal bleeding is very common in early pregnancy. About one out of every four pregnant women has some bleeding during the first few months. About half of these women stop bleeding and complete a normal pregnancy.
Miscarriage is the most common type of pregnancy loss, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Studies reveal that anywhere from 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Chemical pregnancies may account for 50-75% of all miscarriages. This occurs when a pregnancy is lost shortly after implantation, resulting in bleeding that occurs around the time of her expected period. The woman may not realize that she conceived when she experiences a chemical pregnancy.
Miscarriage or spontaneous abortion is the natural or spontaneous end of a pregnancy at a stage where the embryo or the fetus is incapable of surviving, generally defined in humans at a gestation of prior to 20 weeks. Miscarriage is the most common complication of early pregnancy. The medical term "spontaneous abortion" is used in reference to miscarriages because the medical term "abortion" refers to any terminated pregnancy, deliberately induced or spontaneous, although in common parlance it refers specifically to active termination of pregnancy.
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 5%.
Signs and Symptoms of Miscarriage
The signs of a miscarriage are the onset of bleeding, usually with abdominal cramps (like a period) in a woman who's pregnant - although in early miscarriage she may not yet be aware she's pregnant.
Bleeding may be only slight spotting, or it can be quite severe. Your health care provider will ask about how much you have bled-usually the number of pads you've soaked through. You will also be asked about blood clots or whether you saw any tissue.
Inevitable Miscarriage: This is the occurrence of severe vaginal bleeding and/or cramps in a pregnant woman, indicating that no medical treatment can avert a miscarriage. At this point, the amniotic membranes have ruptured, the cervix is dilated, and the membranes, fetus and placenta are on their way to being expelled. The woman's clinician should be contacted immediately, and hospitalization may be necessary.
Pain: You may have pelvic cramps, abdominal pain, or a persistent, dull ache in your lower back. Pain may start a few hours to several days after bleeding has begun.
Abdominal cramping, genitals, thighs, buttocks and lower back pain are the signs of miscarriage that usually occur soon after the vaginal bleeding commences. Unusual pain in the pelvic region is another miscarriage symptom.
Some women experience cramping, spotting, abdominal pain, fever, weakness, vomiting, or back pain. Spotting is not always a sign of a miscarriage; many women normally experience it early on in pregnancy. But just to be safe, if you have spotting or any of these other symptoms anytime during your pregnancy, it's a good idea to talk with your doctor.
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