Miscarriage is an unexpected termination of a woman’s pregnancy. This usually happens in the first trimester of pregnancy or before the 20th week gestation. A lot of women who experience miscarriage are those who are aware that they are expecting. However, there are instances where a woman may undergo a miscarriage even before knowing that she is pregnant. To prevent this from happening, there are things you must do to prevent miscarriage in early pregnancy.
What Causes a Miscarriage?
Before we dive into how to prevent miscarriage early in pregnancy, you must first learn about the known causes of a miscarriage. Being knowledgeable about the causes of miscarriage will help you a lot in determining what preventive measures you must take to have a healthy and safe pregnancy.
The possible causes of a miscarriage are:
- Chromosomal abnormalities. Missing or excessive number of genetic materials might lead to chromosomal abnormalities. These abnormalities can cause birth defects, intellectual disabilities, and a possible miscarriage.
- Hormonal imbalance like an increase in prolactin can disrupt the proper development of the uterine lining
- Abnormalities in the uterus or cervix such as congenital uterine anomalies and cervical insufficiency
- Infections such as rubella, HIV, chlamydia, and malaria
- Unhealthy lifestyle such as smoking, as well as alcohol and substance abuse
- Underlying medical conditions like uncontrolled diabetes, congenital heart disease, kidney and thyroid diseases, and autoimmune disorders
- Exposure to radiation or pollution
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Age and/or excessive weight
What are the Signs of a Miscarriage?
The most familiar sign of a miscarriage is vaginal bleeding that might look like the usual menstrual blood. You can identify the difference between miscarriage bleeding and menstrual bleeding by the appearance of clots in the blood.
Also, a miscarriage bleeding is accompanied by abdominal cramps that are quite stronger than normal menstrual cramps. However, some women mentioned that they did not feel any cramping during their miscarriage.
Aside from vaginal bleeding, here are other miscarriage warning signs you need to watch out for:
- Persistent heavy vaginal bleeding
- Extreme pain in the lower abdomen
- Watery discharge that might vary in color indicating blood, clots, and pieces of tissue from the uterus, placenta, and amniotic sac.
- Intense pain in the back or extreme cramping
- The sudden absence of normal pregnancy symptoms like the tenderness of the breasts and nausea. Although these symptoms go away on their own as the pregnancy progresses, it is still best to get yourself checked, just in case.
If you encounter these signs, do not hesitate to ask for medical assistance or call your attending physician so you can still prevent miscarriage in early pregnancy.
Who is at Risk of a Miscarriage?
Here are factors that can increase your risk of a miscarriage:
- Maternal age. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), women ages, 20 to 30 have an 8.9% chance of miscarriage at less than 20 weeks gestation. On the other hand, the risk increases to 73.7% when a woman is 40 years of age or older.
- Prior miscarriages. The risk of a miscarriage is greater depending on the number of previous miscarriages a woman had. There is a 20% chance of future miscarriage after one miscarriage in the past, 28% after 2 successive miscarriages, and 43% for women who have had 3 or more consecutive miscarriages.
- Chronic diseases. Women who have long-term illnesses like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease are more likely to have a miscarriage.
- Poor lifestyle. Heavy smoking, as well as alcohol and substance abuse, makes women more vulnerable to early miscarriage.
- Weight. Being underweight, overweight, and obese increases the chances of a failed pregnancy.
- Contracting bacterial or viral infection during pregnancy.
- Abnormalities in the woman’s reproductive organs.
- Being emotionally and physically stressed during the early weeks of pregnancy.
How to Prevent Miscarriage?
In most cases, you cannot prevent miscarriage in early pregnancy, especially if symptoms have begun. In the past, women who have had bleeding in the early weeks of their pregnancy were only advised to take bed rest. But now, doctors acknowledge the fact that there isn’t enough evidence to prove that bed rest can help a woman stop a potential miscarriage.
Nonetheless, there are things you can do to prevent miscarriage in early pregnancy if you’re planning to get conceive in the future:
- Get yourself checked if you suspect that you are pregnant
- If you have an underlying health condition, it is best to ask your doctor for treatments that can help ensure the health and safety of both you and your baby.
- Have a healthy and proper diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, and other foods that are rich in different vitamins and minerals.
- Do moderate exercises regularly.
- Take all prenatal vitamins regularly to help the development of your baby inside the womb.
- Make sure to complete all necessary check-ups, lab tests, and screenings.
- Avoid consuming certain foods such as raw meats, unpasteurized milk, and caffeine.
- Get vaccinated to protect yourself and your baby from contracting infections and diseases.
Before conceiving, it is best to identify if you have any health conditions or if you are a candidate for a possible miscarriage. If you have undergone certain screenings and you have found that you are at risk of having a miscarriage in the future, it is best to proceed with treatments and medications so you can have a safer and healthier pregnancy.
Although most cases of miscarriage can’t be prevented, you can still work on some things so you can decrease your chances of having a miscarriage in the future. The best way to prevent miscarriage in early pregnancy is to determine your risks and learn how to manage them right away.
Learn more about Being Pregnant, here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.