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Pregnancy loss, miscarriage, or spontaneous abortion whatever you want to call it, it's something many women experience and many more are afraid of.

If you are trying to get pregnant or recently had a positive pregnancy test, you will almost certainly want to know what pregnancy loss symptoms to watch out for. 

Miscarriage statistics and causes

Miscarriage any spontaneous pregnancy loss before 20 weeks gestation is actually a very, very common occurrence. Around 20 percent of all recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage, most of them before the end of the first trimester. As many as half of all pregnancies may end in miscarriage if you include those losses that were so early that they never progressed beyond the date of the woman's expected period. These very early pregnancy losses are known as chemical pregnancies, and they many women have them without even realizing they were pregnant. Once a miscarriage starts, it is almost always impossible to stop it. Most miscarriage happen because of chromosomal or other structural problems with the embryo, and experiencing one pregnancy loss most definitely does not mean you necessarily have a higher risk of it happening again. In some cases, however, pregnancy loss is due to some health problem that can be remedied. Most doctors would recommend diagnostic testing once a woman has experienced three miscarriages. This is not something a woman needs to worry about as she starts trying to conceive for the first time, unless she already knows that she suffers from conditions such as uterine abnormalities or uterine fibroids. The most productive steps women who are hoping to get pregnant can take to prevent a miscarriage are 1. taking folic acid supplements daily, starting three months before they ditch their contraceptives, and 2. living a healthy lifestyle that doesn't include smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol.

Miscarriage signs and symptoms

Miscarriages that happen before you missed your period don't have any special symptoms. You will notice cramps and bleeding, but those things would be part of your normal period as well. This is the reason that so many women miss the fact that they are actually having a miscarriage coincidentally saving them a lot of heartache. Once a woman knows that she is pregnant, the most obvious symptoms of an active miscarriage are vaginal bleeding, and cramps. I have had several miscarriages, all at 10-12 weeks so at about the end of the first trimester. Yet, it was interesting to note that the cramps that every woman probably expects during a miscarriage really came in a rhythmical fashion, like labor contractions. They were, in other words, mini-labors. The pain was far worse than the pain you would expect during a typical menstrual period, yet much less than the pain you experience during a term labor.

The blood that is released while a miscarriage is ongoing is, on the other hand, of a much higher volume than the bleeding you would typically see during a labor (none at all), or right after (usually minimal, unless there were complications). After a miscarriage, you will probably continue to bleed for longer than you would with a normal period but not as long as you would if you had given birth to a term baby. You can expect to bleed for a week or two, in other words. Another possible pregnancy loss symptom is the sudden loss of pregnancy symptoms you did previously experience. Pregnancy signs such as morning sickness do usually go away after the first trimester ends. But if you suddenly don't feel pregnant anymore, this just may be a sign that your baby passed away. It is good to keep in mind that not every pregnancy loss comes with any symptoms.

A great number of women learn about their miscarriage when they visit their OBGYN for a routine prenatal care appointment, and find out that their baby's heart stopped beating during the ultrasound. This type of miscarriage is called a missed miscarriage. It is possible that the miscarriage will complete on its own after a while, but doctors will often recommend a D&C to remove fetal tissues. This ensures that the mother will not end up with a potentially deadly infection in her uterus. Do you have any other questions about miscarriage symptoms? Please feel free to ask away, and we'll get back to you soon!