Miscarriage In Pregnancy: Symptoms, Causes And How To Deal With It


By Neelam Jain Last Updated:

Miscarriage In Pregnancy: Symptoms, Causes And How To Deal With It

Miscarriage is one of the most common complications associated with early pregnancy. Sadly, around one-quarter of all pregnancies result in miscarriage and as per study, Indian women are more likely to miss-carry their first pregnancy.

The medical term for miscarriage is "spontaneous abortion." From food, to stress and poor lifestyle; there could be hundreds of reasons that can cause a foetal loss. Let’s have a look at few of the reasons so that the lack of awareness does not lead to losing someone much before they have arrived. Also, read on for the signs of miscarriage and tips to deal with it.

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Causes of miscarriage or reasons of miscarriage

There are more than hundreds of factors that could lead to a loss of pregnancy. However, we point out a few basic ones that result in miscarriage.

#1. Stress factor

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Anything like a stressful day, an accident, argument or bad news in a family can cause miscarriage. Excessive tension and anxiety mean rejection of proper nutrition and blood supply to the foetus. It is advisable to avoid situations that lead to routine arguments and mental strain as it can cause miscarriage because of the huge damage to the foetus in the womb. So, anything that could be a cause of worry and stress should be kept away from preggers.

#2. Lifting weights

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It goes without saying that lifting heavy weights while doing regular domestic chores can be disastrous to expectant mothers. In fact, it is a proven risk factor. While a few studies say that it is completely a myth, we would say that the truth lies somewhere in the middle and on one’s common sense as to how much weight is being lifted. It is said that weight lifting causes damage to the abdomen and becomes accidental in shaking the placenta and the rooted baby. Well, evaluate for yourself and better be safe than sorry.

#3. Heat-inducing food

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While there are foods that safeguard the pregnancy, there are a few, which can act as possible causes of losing a foetus. Food like papaya, pineapple, the chicken could act as killers if taken in surplus. Sure, they are rich sources of protein and are generally healthy but a pregnant woman should either avoid these or have in moderation. One can consult their doctor for the banned-food list.

#4. Structural defect

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This is about a woman’s uterine abnormity where the uterus is not shaped the way it is supposed to be. Due to an abnormal or twisted shape, it gets difficult for the embryo to be implanted and even if it does it doesn’t get the apt nourishment and health it should ideally get. So, the uterus should be in a correct and natural shape to hold the foetus. However, this is preventive as in many cases the issue is taken care of by the surgeons.

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#5. Smoking and drinking

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One of the most common causes of losing the baby long before it is viable is the exposure to nicotine and alcohol. Nicotine interferes with the health and blood supply provided for the foetal growth and leads to the risk of abortion. That is why smokers have twice the rate of miscarriages than non-smokers.

#6. Environment toxins and pollution

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It is difficult for the embryo to develop in women who are exposed to cracker fumes, toxic gases in factories, pollution and other harmful gases. That is why it is said that chemicals are the major health risk for an expecting woman. So, the ladies who are working in hospitals, labs, dental rooms have a higher rate of miscarriages. Even noise pollution is linked to miscarriages as per the medical professionals.

#7. Bacterial infections

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There is a major role of infection and bacteria in miscarriages. We cannot always blame lifestyle to interfere with foetal growth. There are micro-organisms that live in a female reproductive tract that causes problems as well. Presence of bacteria like mycoplasma hominis and ureaplasma urealyticum can increase the risk of miscarriage as they inflame the uterus lining. But on the other hand, these infections are treatable and can save the pregnancy if the doctor is consulted on time.

#8. Genetic causes

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You can blame a faulty gene to trigger a miscarriage. Yes, genetic causes account for around 50% of early miscarriages. If the foetus is genetically or chromosomally defective, it gets difficult for it to survive. Also, abnormal chromosomes in either partner can be causative of abortion.

#9. Immunological causes

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 In simple words, mother’s immune system protects the embryo. But in case a woman carries antibodies in her blood, which may attack her own cells, it will interfere with the natural and usual conceiving. Some of the antibodies may attack the placenta or promote the formation of clots in the blood supply to the foetus, leading to slower foetal growth and eventual demise.

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#10. High fever

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No matter how healthy you are normally, if you develop a high fever over 102, it is certainly a cause of concern for expecting ladies. A high core body temperature for long can be damaging to the embryo especially in the first trimester.

Apart from the mentioned ones, there are other causes like advanced maternal age, infections in the body, certain medication, excess drug use etc. that can create problems for a foetus to survive.

Warning signs and symptoms of miscarriage

These are a few possible first signs of miscarriage. If you detect or feel any of these, it’s time to call a doctor.

#1. Vaginal spotting and bleeding

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One of the main symptoms of miscarriage is to find out the loss of the foetus is spotting. Anything from yellowish to light brown discharge or excessively heavy red bleeding could mean a miscarriage. However, a little bleeding does not always signal or confirm a miscarriage. It is just a possible sign.

#2. Pain in abdomen

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Cramping or slight pain in the abdomen during early pregnancy could be a sign of miscarriage. There can be mild to severe cramps in the lower abdomen which shouldn’t go unnoticed during the pregnancy phase.

#3. No ‘pregnancy feel’

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When there is no morning sickness, breast soreness, nausea and vomiting which generally signals pregnancy, there are chances it is a miscarriage case. Also, if there is no movement or kicks by the baby (second-trimester case), it is a sign of miscarriage. A woman will naturally feel the change if something is wrong in the body. One should immediately see the doctor for an ultrasound if one feels that she is not pregnant.

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#4. Discharge of tissue or a clot-like material

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One of the main symptoms of miscarriage is when you are experiencing a tissue or thick gel-like discharge, it is the time to see the doctor. Call your gynaecologist or midwife in case of tissue like discharge.

#5. Fluid discharge from the vagina

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There is a discharge during a normal and healthy pregnancy but at times if the vaginal discharge is frequent; it could again be a sign of losing the pregnancy or a sign of miscarriage.

#6. Weight loss

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Yes, weight loss can be one of the signs of a miscarriage. Though not a strong sign but women do end up with a weight loss in case there is a miscarriage. So, if there is a reduction in weight after a steady gain, one should not ignore it.

#7. Dizziness

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Dizziness is a sign of first-trimester miscarriage. If you feel faint or lethargic and experience chills during your pregnancy, there is a sign that something is wrong.

How to deal with miscarriage

Coping with any kind of loss takes time and patience and is ghastly. So, we can well imagine how ghastly a pregnancy loss is for a woman. A sudden transition from an overjoyed mood to a terrible phase is surely difficult to cope with. But then, the situation has to be handled. Once, it has happened, you can no way prevent or stop it and once again you have to be happy and face your daily life. Let’s see how!

#1. Take your own time

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The trauma and the shock of losing someone can affect everyone differently. So, do not time bound yourself to get normal. Just go with the flow and try to be normal. After all, it’s incredibly hard to deal with mixed complicated feelings.

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#2. Take care

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Needless to say, but emotional health and well-being should be your first priority after the sudden loss. No wonder there will be disappointments and crying at each and every memory. Do cry, stay alone and take your time but don’t isolate yourself completely as it would lead to self-destruction. Do yourself some favour and take care of yourself. Keep yourself busy and eat for your own sake. Noting in the world is constant, so are sorrows. So, try to be physically and mentally fir and prepare yourself for tomorrow.-

#3. Group support

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Try to have relatives, cousins or friends around. Talk to them and vent out your frustration, disappointment and grief. Sit with genuine friends, who can listen to you, and those who can take your mind off the loss. Have different perspectives from different women. They will not only sympathise but surely be a part of your healing process.

#4. Acceptance

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This can be your best pal in coming to terms with the loss. This is important to get back to the life. The sooner you prepare yourself the better. No wonder, you feel the loss of the child deeply but acknowledging it will minimise the significance of the loss.

#5. Indulge, Indulge!

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Yes, it would look insane or abnormal to some that you are back to business so early. But your normal routine can act as a healthy distraction for you. If you are a working woman, you can join back office as soon as possible. At least for a few hours, you will be able to keep your grief aside and think in other direction.

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#6. Look for positivity around

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It will sound unfair, but when you will know that there are thousands around you are going through the same situation, you will be highly relieved. There are other women who were waiting for the baby’s arrival just like you. So, it will teach you to be calm, composed and positive. When you will relate to their feelings you will feel normal. Also, try to thank God for giving you all the luxuries in life and be mentally tough.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. What is the definition of miscarriage?

Miscarriage is a term used for a pregnancy that ends on its own. This is a time which usually happens within the first 20 weeks of gestation. Miscarriage is, basically, a medical term used for the loss of the unborn baby that a woman suffers.

#2. What are the types of miscarriage?

There are different types of miscarriage. Following are the names:

  • Threatened Miscarriage
  • Inevitable or Incomplete Miscarriage
  • Complete Miscarriage
  • Missed Miscarriage
  • Recurrent Miscarriage (RM)
  • Blighted Ovum
  • Ectopic Pregnancy
  • Molar Pregnancy

#3. How to prevent miscarriage?

Chromosomal abnormalities are the causes of most of the miscarriages. There is not much one can do to protect miscarriage, but it’s important to be healthy before you conceive for conception to occur perfectly healthy.

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Sadly, there is no way you can prevent a miscarriage once it has happened. But women who are trying to conceive or are pregnant, should be concerned about these symptoms of miscarriage and be preventive. God forbid if it happens, at least they can carry on without any infection in body and health complications. Also, losing a pregnancy varies from person to person. At times miscarriages also happen due to unexplained causes which are not mentioned here. Stay safe and try to get over it.

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