Thursday, October 4, 2007

Miscarriage: An overview

What is miscarriage?

Miscarriage refers to the loss of a baby during pregnancy at any stage from the date of a missed period until the 24th week of pregnancy. After 24 weeks of pregnancy, the delivery of a baby which has died in the womb is referred to as stillbirth.

Types of Miscarrriage

  • Inevitable Miscarriage is when bleeding and pain are accompanied by the breaking of membranes (the amniotic sac surrounding the fetus) and the widening of the cervix, the pregnancy is viewed as lost (inevitable miscarriage). Uterine contractions to expel the fetus usually begin soon after these symptoms develop.

  • Incomplete and Missed Miscarriages. In some miscarriages, the body does not expel all the elements of pregnancy. This is called an incomplete miscarriage. At other times—in about 1 percent of pregnancies—the body does not discharge the fetus, the placenta, or any other elements of the pregnancy for several weeks, even though the fetus has died. This is known as a missed miscarriage. It is a possibility when a woman has neither menstrual periods nor any signs of pregnancy. Breasts may return to their prepregnancy state, for example, or the woman may lose a few pounds. Not all missed miscarriages are preceded by warning signs.

An incomplete or missed miscarriage that takes place early in pregnancy is usually removed with either suction or dilation and curettage (D&C), “opening” the uterus and scraping out its contents, through the vagina, with an instrument called a curette. These procedures not only clear the uterus but also prevent infection. When incomplete miscarriage occurs later in pregnancy, the doctor may have to induce labor to remove the fetus

What causes it?

  • Chromosomal abnormalities. Problems in the chromosomes of the embryo, by far the most common reason for loss of pregnancy, are found in more than half of miscarriages occurring in the first 13 weeks. Miscarriages apparently eliminate about 95 percent of fertilized eggs or embryos with genetic problems—perhaps nature's way of ending a pregnancy in which the child would be unable to survive.

  • Hormone Imbalance. Some women do not make enough progesterone, the hormone that prepares the lining of the uterus to nourish a fertilized egg; and if the uterine lining cannot sustain an egg, miscarriage will occur. This is also termed as THIN ENDOMETRIUM LINING.

  • Immune System Problems. A developing baby is half made up of foreign genetic material from the father. Some women have repeated miscarriages because their bodies see each baby as an invading organism and attack it with antibodies. Ordinarily, many elements of the immune system work together to ensure that the mother's body does not reject the baby.

* Blood Clotting . Some blood clotting disorders, like Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) or Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) are known to cause recurrent miscarriage. APS and SLE are rare disorders of the immune system and interfere with the body's normal blood clotting. They affect the flow of blood to the placenta and may cause clots which affect the functioning of the placenta, causing the baby to be deprived of essential oxygen and nutrients, which in turn may lead to miscarriage. These disorders might be effectively treated with aspirin and/or heparin therapy under medical supervision.

  • Infection. A number of infections can impact pregnancy. Even if the baby is not miscarried, some infections can cause damage to the baby in the womb.The role of vaginal infection as a cause of miscarriage is being investigated. It is thought that some vaginal infections may play a role in causing some late miscarriages.

  • Thyroid Problems. Thyroid problems can interfere with hormone levels and may increase the risk of miscarriage if thyroid levels are markedly abnormal.

  • There are more known reasons for miscarriage but the above mentioned are most common reasons of recurrent pregnancy loss.

Miscarriage is a painful and traumatic experience. It is important that women who suffered miscarriage be understood of the emotional pain they are going through. Support group may be helpful for coping up. Talking to someone who have experienced miscarriage is encouraged.

When I had mine, I didn't want to go out of my room because I didn't want to hear people saying "oh that's okay, you are still young and you can still try", or something to the effect of consoling. They will never understand unless they have gone through the same thing. I am lucky that my husband is a funny person and he always made me laugh during those times.

But after all, we could always HOPE and PRAY.


Milky_Way said...

hi sis, yup let's hope and pray na sana magka baby na tayo :)

williamaanne said...

hi ivy, just passed by your blog... it's quite informative and inspiring... i like it... if you have time pls. check my blog and is it ok if you link me to your blog so i'll be updated? good luck to baby dust diaries!!!

Ivy said...

Hi Marianne, thanks for dropping by. check for more,ill be writing about my pregnancy work up...

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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