A miscarriage is the spontaneous ending of a pregnancy before the fetus is mature enough to survive outside the uterus. Approximately one-third of all pregnancies end in miscarriage—most often before a woman misses a menstrual period or even knows she is pregnant. A miscarriage most often occurs within the first three months of pregnancy.
Symptoms of a miscarriage include:
• Back pain
• Abdominal pain
• Bleeding that progresses from light to heavy
Roughly half of all miscarriages that occur in the first trimester are caused by chromosomal abnormalities in the father’s sperm or the mother’s egg. These are the tiny structures inside the cells of the body that carry many genes, the basic units of heredity.
Miscarriages are also caused by a variety of unknown and known factors, such as:
• Thyroid disease
• Group B beta strep
• Incompetent cervix
• Severe malnutrition
• Uterine abnormalities
• Severe kidney disease
• Hormonal irregularities
• Congenital heart disease
• Diabetes that is not controlled
• Exposure to environmental and workplace hazards
• Certain medicines, such as the acne drug Accutane
• Lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, or using illegal drugs
• Disorders of the immune system including lupus—an autoimmune disease
If you believe you’ve experienced a miscarriage, see Dr. Simhaee immediately to ensure that there are no further complications.