Abortion and Causes of early pregnancy loss
Pregnancy loss, also referred to as miscarriage or spontaneous abortion, is generally defined as a nonviable intrauterine pregnancy before 28 weeks of gestation.
What is it?
Pregnancy loss, also referred to as miscarriage or spontaneous abortion, is generally defined as a nonviable intrauterine pregnancy before 28 weeks of gestation. Early pregnancy loss, which occurs in the first trimester, is the most common type. The nonspecific symptoms of vaginal bleeding and uterine cramping associated with pregnancy loss can occur in normal, ectopic, and molar pregnancies, which can be a source of frustration for patients.
Most miscarriages occur before the 12th week of pregnancy.
Signs and symptoms of a miscarriage might include:
- Vaginal spotting or bleeding
- Lower abdominal pain or cramps or lower back pain
- Tissue passing from your vagina
- Problems with the genes or chromosomes
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Hormonal problems
- Uterus or cervix problems
- Thyroid disease
Various factors increase the risk of having an early pregnancy loss
- Age. Women older than age 35 have a higher risk of miscarriage than do younger women.
- Previous miscarriages. Women who have had two or more consecutive miscarriages are at higher risk of miscarriage.
- Chronic medical conditions. Women who have a chronic condition, such as uncontrolled diabetes, have a higher risk of miscarriage.
- Uterine or cervical problems. Certain uterine conditions or weak cervical tissues (incompetent cervix) might increase the risk of miscarriage.
- Smoking, alcohol and illicit drugs. Women who smoke during pregnancy have a greater risk of miscarriage than do nonsmokers. Heavy alcohol use and illicit drug use also increase the risk of miscarriage.
- Weight. Being underweight or being overweight has been linked with an increased risk of miscarriage.
Often, there’s nothing you can do to prevent a miscarriage. Simply focus on taking good care of yourself and your baby:
- Seek regular prenatal care.
- Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol and illicit drug use.
- Limit your caffeine intake.
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