Miscarriage Warning Signs

By Darlene Zagata

A miscarriage can be a traumatic experience for any woman. Although there may not be any serious physical effects, a miscarriage can be emotionally difficult. When the body spontaneously ends a pregnancy, it is usually because there is something wrong with the embryo. Here are some of the warning signs of an impending miscarriage.

Significance

A miscarriage, otherwise known as spontaneous abortion, is a condition in which the pregnancy ends naturally, as opposed to induced abortion. Miscarriage usually occurs during the first 3 months of pregnancy. Often a miscarriage will occur before the woman even realizes that she is pregnant.

Features

The symptoms of miscarriage may vary depending on the individual, but the most common symptoms include bleeding, which may be mild to severe and may be pink, brown or red in color; back pain which may increase in intensity; cramping in the lower abdomen; vaginal discharge of blood tinged mucus; and contractions. Very early warning signs can include weight loss, fatigue, loss of appetite and lethargy. Although some light bleeding may be normal during pregnancy, a pregnant woman experiencing any bleeding, pain, cramps or other previously mentioned symptoms should contact her obstetrician immediately as a precautionary measure.

Considerations

One common cause of a miscarriage is chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus. Other possible causes include maternal age and health, abdominal trauma, infection, hormonal imbalances and problems with the placenta. Improper implantation of the egg can result in miscarriage. If the mother has a sexually transmitted disease, it may cause a miscarriage as well.

Warning

Women who are over the age of 35 are at an increased risk, as well as those who have had a previous miscarriage. There also more risk for women who have had other complications during pregnancy, such as ectopic pregnancy, placenta previa or abruptio, premature birth and pre-eclampsia. This does not mean, however, that if a woman has had one of these condition that she will have a miscarriage in subsequent pregnancies, but her obstetrician may monitor her pregnancy more closely because she is at a higher risk. Women with health conditions such as diabetes may also be at an increased risk of miscarriage.

Expert Insight

According to information at HealthSquare.com, more than 30 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriages. In some cases, miscarriage is inevitable, but many early risk pregnancies continue throughout the gestation period and end in the delivery of a healthy infant. If your obstetrician suspects that you may be at risk for miscarriage, an ultrasound can detect the condition of the fetus. Bed rest or limited activity and abstinence from sexual intercourse may be recommended. Your physician will monitor your pregnancy closely and may increase the frequency of prenatal visits.

Prevention/Solution

Although some miscarriages cannot be avoided, it is best to take every precaution especially is you are deemed to be a high risk pregnancy. Do not smoke, and try to avoid being around others who do. Avoid alcohol and limit caffeine intake. Eat healthy and take your prenatal vitamins. Consult your obstetrician regarding long-distance travel or before engaging in a new exercise routine. Avoid any highly strenuous activity. Try to keep stress levels at a minimum. A healthy lifestyle can help to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby. It is important to remember that even though a woman has a miscarriage, or even more than one, she can go on to have perfectly healthy full-term infants in subsequent pregnancies.