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The medical term for miscarriage is “spontaneous abortion,” with the term abortion merely signifying the loss of a pregnancy.

Miscarriage Statistics in Early Pregnancy

An early miscarriage is an event that occurs within the first twenty weeks of pregnancy, a loss of fetus after twenty weeks is referred to as a stillbirth.   Miscarriages can be categorized under two events:

  1. Isolated Miscarriage:  a single sporadic event which happens due to a chromosomal defect in the egg or sperm.
  2. Recurring miscarriage:  occurs after a female has experienced more than three miscarriages in a row.  Recurring miscarriage is a condition which requires medical testing in order to discover the reasons why a woman is unable to carry a pregnancy to term.

The miscarriage statistics in early pregnancy can be overwhelming and astounding; approximately 20% of all first-time pregnancies end tragically in miscarriage.  The statistics are debatable however, because many women will miscarry early and not even realize it, most dismiss a miscarriage as a heavier than normal period and never even know the true situation.  Experts believe the actual rate of miscarriage during early pregnancy can be as high as 40-50%, with 20% of women experiencing multiple or recurrent miscarriage.

Symptoms of Miscarriage in Early Pregnancy

There are typical symptoms of miscarriage in early pregnancy that every woman needs to be aware of, if any of the following symptoms are experienced it could be a signal of a threatened miscarriage which requires immediate medical attention:

Vaginal bleeding:  could either be light or heavy, constant or sporadic.  Though vaginal bleeding is often a sign of miscarriage, cases of bleeding in the first-trimester can also occur with a normal pregnancy.

Pain:  pelvic cramping, abdominal pain or a persistent, dull back ache could also accompany vaginal bleeding and be a sign of miscarriage.

Blood clots or grayish colored tissue:  any clots or tissue passing from the vagina could signal a possible miscarriage.

How is a Miscarriage Diagnosed?

A miscarriage is diagnosed by a licensed medical professional who will use certain medical tests to prove inconclusively a pregnancy is no longer viable.  Such tests can include a pelvic ultrasound to check for a fetal heartbeat and determine if the pregnancy is uterine or ectopic (outside the uterus).  The physician may also order blood testing to check human Chorionic gonadotropin (HGC) levels, if an ultrasound is inconclusive.

Treatment for Miscarriage

Most often a female will experience a miscarriage and pass the products of conception (fetal tissue and uterine lining) without any medical intervention.  However, in cases of incomplete miscarriage a doctor may require the woman to undergo a dilation and curettage (D & C), which involves manually opening the cervix and scraping out the contents of the uterus to prevent infection.

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