Deciding to become a mom, or even finding out by chance that you’re pregnant can be an exciting time in your life. However, sometimes you will spontaneously lose the embryo before 20 weeks and this is known as a miscarriage. You may be wondering what causes a miscarriage and how to notice the symptoms and signs of one.
What is a miscarriage and what causes them?
Miscarriages are defined as the spontaneous ending of a pregnancy before 20 weeks. Miscarriages can both be emotionally and physically painful to deal with, but it is thought (according to the NHS) that 1 in 8 pregnancies end in miscarriage, with many happening before a woman notices that she has missed her period (meaning she probably won’t even know that she’s been pregnant.
American Pregnancy Association (APA) states that the most common cause of miscarriage is an embryo that is genetically abnormal, which can be either genetic or spontaneous. However, miscarriages can be caused by underlying health conditions such as diabetes, or poor lifestyle choices, such as drug use and drinking. Maternal age is also a contributing risk factor, as women over 35 have higher chances of pregnancy loss.
How do I know if I ‘m having a miscarriage?
Symptoms of a miscarriage can be similar to that of your menstrual period. You may experience cramps and abdominal and back pain, as well as bleeding which can vary from light spotting to heavy discharge. It is normal to have pain and bleeding after a miscarriage, and these period-pain type signs should stop after two weeks.
If you experience heavy bleeding, fever or chills be sure to seek professional help as you could have an infection. Unfortunately, the miscarriage process can’t be reversed and if you think you are having a miscarriage you should speak to your doctor about how to manage it.
Can I have a normal pregnancy after having a miscarriage?
Many women may worry that having a miscarriage may affect their chances of getting pregnant again – however, many women have healthy pregnancies after miscarriage. Most doctors recommend waiting a period of time before trying again, so speak to your health care provider about the best way forward.