Miscarriage is the most common problem related to childbearing. It is the termination of pregnancy before the twentieth week when the fetus is not capable of surviving on its own. The most common symptom of miscarriage is vaginal bleeding. However, you may miscarry without even knowing that you were pregnant. So, it is necessary to know the signs and symptoms of this condition. Once you recognize a miscarriage, you can undertake various tests to determine its causes and start initial treatment.

The term spontaneous abortion or miscarriage is used to describe the end of a pregnancy at any point before the twentieth week has been completed. It is reported that one in every five pregnancies end in miscarriage. According to a survey, the rate of miscarriage is around 15% to 20% of all the pregnancies. This event is most common within the first seven weeks of conception.

Signs and symptoms of a miscarriage?

If you are trying to get pregnant and your efforts are not meeting with success, it is necessary to know the signs and symptoms of miscarriage. This will help you to identify this problem if it happens. It must be mentioned at the outset that the risk of miscarriages is greater for women who have experienced previous miscarriages or those who are older than thirty years of age. Risk of miscarriage becomes very high after forty years of age.

  • The most common and easily identifiable symptom of miscarriage is vaginal bleeding. However, appearance of a little blood is not an irrefutable proof of miscarriage. Such light bleeding or spotting is relatively common in women, occurring in one woman out of every ten expectant mothers. Spots of blood or light pinkish stains on the toilet paper definitely warrant a visit to your gynecologist, but do not automatically signal a miscarriage. However, if you experience significantly heavy or continuous bleeding, then you have probably miscarried.
  • Though bleeding is common, it is not inevitable. If you pass foul smelling vaginal discharge, then this should be examined at once as it can be a sign of miscarriage. Perhaps the fetus has died but the remnants have not been passed.
  • Pains and cramps in back and abdomen should be taken as a warning sign of miscarriage.
  • If there is an abrupt cessation of pregnancy related symptoms like morning sickness or tenderness of the breasts, then there is a chance that miscarriage has occurred.
  • Perhaps the most traumatic situation is that where there are no external symptoms of miscarriage. In such cases, a miscarriage is detected only by medical tests.

How to identify a miscarriage ?

If you experience any of the above signs and symptoms, it is necessary to make sure whether you have experienced a miscarriage. This can be done by the following process:

  • When you suspect miscarriage, you need to consult a doctor at once. If you have passed blood clots or other materials, preserve it. It can be examined to confirm whether you have miscarried or not.
  • The most common method used to identify a miscarriage is to have an ultrasound test. These are carried out as a part of routine examination as well as in case miscarriage is suspected.
  • Genetic tests are now also being conducted to identify miscarriage and investigate its causes in detail.

Initial management of miscarriage

Once you experience any of the symptoms of miscarriage mentioned above, it is necessary to obtain medical advice as soon as possible. The doctor will carry out several tests to confirm that a miscarriage has indeed taken place. In some cases, in spite of the heavy bleeding, you may be continuing the pregnancy. So, it is necessary to confirm that you have actually miscarried.

First, medical tests are necessary to confirm that a complete abortion has taken place and no material is retained in your body. If a partial eviction has occurred, surgical procedures may become necessary to remove the materials. This is very important because unless the uterus is cleaned properly, chance of next pregnancy is hampered and septic infections may set in. Sometimes, oral medication is enough, but in some cases, uterine eviction by surgery is necessary. Counseling is necessary once a miscarriage takes place in order to cope with the emotional trauma.