When a woman has a miscarriage, it can be a devastating and overwhelming experience. If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant it is important to know the signs of a miscarriage. Talk to your Jacksonville OBGYN immediately if you experience any of the symptoms described in this article or for more information about pregnancy and miscarriages.
What is a Miscarriage?
A miscarriage is a loss of an early pregnancy, typically within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Most miscarriages happen in the first trimester (first 12 weeks). Miscarriages occur in 15-20% of pregnancies. This percentage varies depending on your age and current health condition. Women over 35 have a 20-35% chance of miscarriage, and women over 45 could have a 50% chance of miscarriage.
What are the Signs or Symptoms of a Miscarriage?
There are many signs of miscarriage. Since they can happen so early in a pregnancy, some women have had a miscarriage even before finding out they were pregnant. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms get checked out by your Jacksonville OBGYN to make sure you and baby are healthy.
Warning signs of a Miscarriage:
- Vaginal spotting
- Decreased breast tenderness
- Abdominal pain
If you experience those symptoms, it doesn’t mean that you will definitely have a miscarriage. However, you should still be cautious.
If you experience the following symptoms, you are most likely having a miscarriage and should seek medical attention immediately:
- Vaginal bleeding with bright red blood
- Intense cramps in the pelvis and/or lower back
- Nausea or breast tenderness may be completely gone
- White – pink mucus
- True contractions
- Tissue with clot like material passing through the vagina
What Are the Causes of a Miscarriage?
A majority of miscarriages happen because of chromosomal abnormalities that prevent the fetus from developing properly. The abnormalities most likely came from a damaged egg or sperm. Because the miscarriage was due to a chromosomal abnormality, that does not mean you will have another miscarriage in future pregnancies.
There are other causes of miscarriages other than chromosomal abnormalities. These include:
- Low progesterone
- Health problems
- Blood clots
- Bacterial or vaginal infections
- Implantation doesn’t happen properly
- Maternal age
- Drug or alcohol use
- Exposure to radiation or toxic chemicals
Things that do not cause a miscarriage are sex, working, or exercise. For more information on the causes of miscarriage talk to your Jacksonville OBGYN.
Are There Different Types of Miscarriages?
Yes, there are different types of miscarriages you should look out for.
- Threatened Miscarriage- light bleeding accompanied with lower back pain or cramping with closed cervix
- Incomplete Miscarriage- bleeding with lower back pain or cramping with an open cervix
- Complete Miscarriage- when the embryo has come out of the uterus. A complete miscarriage should be confirmed by ultrasound.
- Missed Miscarriage- experience a miscarriage without knowing about it, usually pregnancy symptoms go away
- Blighted ovum- fetal development never begins
- Ectopic pregnancy- when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. Medical attention is needed immediately before development begins.
Contact your Jacksonville OBGYN if you think you might have experienced any of these types of miscarriages.
How can I Prevent a Miscarriage?
Unfortunately, since most miscarriages occur from chromosomal abnormalities, there is not a way to completely prevent a miscarriage. However, there are steps you can take to make sure you can create a healthy environment to have a healthy pregnancy.
- Maintain a healthy weight before pregnancy
- Take prenatal vitamins
- Have a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly (light to moderate exercise)
- Do not drink alcohol
- Do not smoke or be around smoke
- Do not use drugs
- Limit caffeine intake
- Check with your doctor before taking any medications
Contact Your Jacksonville OBGYN for More Information
If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, contact Women’s Physicians of Jacksonville today. Utilizing advanced technology, our physicians and staff provide the highest level of women’s medical care for both mom and baby in a warm, welcoming and patient-centered environment. Call us today at (904) 296-2441 to schedule your appointment.