A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy within the first 20 weeks of conceiving. It’s also called pregnancy loss or spontaneous abortion. Every miscarriage is different, and the experience varies from person to person. Early-stage miscarriage may happen without the woman realizing it and before she knows that she was pregnant. Symptoms may seem like a regular monthly cycle and end quickly. However, for most women, miscarrying takes a more noticeable course. A miscarriage can last anywhere from hours to weeks. While a woman may have only light bleeding and cramping, another may bleed for several days. Usually, the physical process of a miscarriage happens gradually and resolves within 2 weeks. After a miscarriage, it can take up to a month or more for the body to physically recover. Periods may return in 4 to 6 weeks. Pregnancy hormones may linger in the body for a couple of months. The psychological effects of a miscarriage may have a long-term effect on the body and mind.
What are the different types of miscarriage?
Different types of miscarriages include:
- Threatened miscarriage: The symptoms of threatened miscarriage include light bleeding and cramping. With medical care, the patient may be able to prevent miscarriage. For threatened miscarriages, doctors may recommend bed rest or hormone injections or address other medical conditions in an effort to save the pregnancy.
- Inevitable miscarriage: Bleeding, spotting, and cramping indicate that a miscarriage is inevitable.
- Missed miscarriage: This is when an embryo dies but no tissue leaves the body. The patient may not even realize that they had a miscarriage until medical tests are done.
- Incomplete miscarriage: In this condition, an embryo dies, and some fetal tissue is passed but some remain in the womb. This may cause a lot of bleeding and cramping. Incomplete miscarriages usually require medical intervention to remove the remaining pregnancy tissues. Medication or a surgical procedure can remove the lingering material if it doesn’t leave the body naturally.
- Complete miscarriage: This is when the body has released all tissues related to the pregnancy. There may still be bleeding and cramping as the uterus empties.
- Septic miscarriage: It is a rare condition, but an untreated miscarriage could develop into a serious infection of the uterus.
- Recurrent miscarriage: Some women experience multiple miscarriages (this is also rare). It’s best to discuss repeated pregnancy loss with the doctor to identify possible causes and determine a treatment plan.
Can miscarriage be prevented?
Below are a few common ways to prevent miscarriages:
- Avoid drugs, alcohol, and too much caffeine.
- Get regular checkups throughout the pregnancy.
- Address any health issues that may impact your pregnancy.
- Take prenatal vitamins.
- Make healthy lifestyle choices: Eat nutritious foods, get plenty of sleep, move your body regularly, try to manage your stress levels, and follow doctor’s recommendations on maintaining a healthy pregnancy weight.
- Make sure to take only the medications recommended by doctors. Any over-the-counter medicines and supplements should be prescribed by the doctor.
- Protect the belly and be extra careful to avoid physical accidents.
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