Any spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week is termed a miscarriage. In recent studies, it has been found that almost 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. But researchers believe that the number is much higher because many a time pregnant women face miscarriage even before getting to know about such pregnancy. In a literal sense, the word miscarriage suggests some issue in carrying off the pregnancy but it’s rare. Mostly miscarriage happens because the fetus is not developing normally as expected.
Though miscarriage seems very common and normal in occurrence, it takes a toll mostly on the mental health of a mother along with some curable physical effects. Losing a pregnancy at any given point in the pregnancy is not easy for a pregnant woman. Every woman facing miscarriage has their own struggles and emotional baggage to deal with. Good support and care from partners and families definitely help a woman to recover faster. During unforeseen circumstances, it is helpful for one to look for the best gynecology hospital in Ernakulam, which is one of the best locations in India for treatment as it provides the needful care to recover from a miscarriage, as well as prevent future occurances of the same.
Causes: The causes of miscarriage can be broadly classified into two parts. Firstly, miscarriage occurs due to genetic issues or chromosomes, and secondly is due to maternal health conditions.
- Genetic or chromosome issues: As already stated that most miscarriage occurs because the fetus is not developing as expected. Almost 50 percent of inadequate development of a fetus is due to extra or missing chromosomes. In most cases, the issues with chromosomes are not inherited from parents but are due to faulty division of the embryo during the process of growth.
These chromosomal problems lead to-
*Blighted Ovums- It is a condition in which a gestational sac develops without an embryo because the embryo either does not develop at all or ceases to develop.
*Molar pregnancy- This is also known as hydatidiform mole. Molar pregnancy is a rare condition in which there is an abnormal growth of the trophoblasts. The cells that develop into the placenta are called trophoblasts. A molar pregnancy can be broadly classified into two types namely- complete molar pregnancy and partial molar pregnancy. In the case of complete molar pregnancy, the placental tissue has abnormal growth and appears to have fluid-filled cysts. Fetal tissue is not formed due to abnormal placental tissue. In the case of partial molar pregnancy, there may be normal placental tissue growing with abnormal tissue. Growth of fetal tissue is also observed in partial moral pregnancy but still, the pregnancy ends in a miscarriage in most cases. A molar pregnancy occurs when an egg fertilized abnormally. As we all know normally a human cell contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, in which one chromosome from each pair comes from the father and another one comes from the mother. But in the case of complete molar pregnancy, an empty egg is fertilized by one or two sperms resulting in all the genetic material from the father. This further leads to duplication of the father’s chromosomes as the chromosomes in the egg are either lost or inactive.
On the contrary in the case of partial molar pregnancy, the chromosomes in the eggs are active but the sperms carry two sets of chromosomes resulting in abnormal fertilization of the egg with 69 chromosomes in lieu of 49 chromosomes.
- Maternal health conditions: In some cases, maternal health is responsible for miscarriage. Examples of such health conditions are as follows-
*Uterus or cervix problems
All the above-mentioned conditions can be regulated with proper medications and lifestyle if tested early.
Symptoms: Vaginal bleeding is the most common symptom of miscarriage. Bleeding can vary from light spotting or brownish discharge to heavy bleeding accompanied by red clots. Some of the other symptoms of miscarriage are cramping in the lower abdomen, and discharge of fluid and tissue from the vagina. The pregnancy symptoms like breast tenderness, nausea, etc are no longer experienced.
Risks: The factors increasing the risk of miscarriage are as follows-
*Age- Women conceiving after the age of 35 years are at a greater risk to face miscarriage compared to younger women. Greater the age the risk of miscarriage increases.
*Earlier Miscarriages- Women with a history of miscarriage twice or more continuous miscarriages are at a higher risk.
*Chronic Conditions-Medical conditions like uncontrolled diabetes in a woman increase her risk of having a miscarriage.
*Unhealthy Lifestyle- Woman who smoke, consume alcohol, or uses illicit drug are at a greater risk of miscarriage than a woman who refrains from any such addiction.
*Weight- Women who are either underweight or overweight are at a greater risk of having a miscarriage.
*Uterine or Cervical Issues- Certain conditions like weak uterine or weak cervical tissues might increase the chances of miscarriage.
Miscarriage can be prevented by taking good care, regular doctor checkups, and leading a healthy lifestyle. Follow the guidance of your care provider to avoid miscarriage.