Miscarriages are nature’s way of creating healthy human beings. But unfortunately, without knowing this new mother- to- be most often end up thinking they had something to do with the incident when it happens. Some awareness about miscarriages and the biological mechanisms behind it can go a long way in wiping out myths or misinformation. Miscarriages can be of several types like threatened, inevitable, complete, incomplete or missed.
A threatened miscarriage is something that happens when the body starts to show signs of an imminent miscarriage. These signs can be in the form of vaginal bleeding or lower abdominal pain during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. This could last days or weeks while the cervix remains closed. The bleeding can range from mild spotting to heavy bleeding, sometimes with clots. The color of the blood can also range from soft brown to bright red. The lower abdominal or back pain may resemble period pain or feel different.
A threatened miscarriage is in fact a common phenomenon especially in the first trimester though it can raise the risk of miscarriage by 2.6 times. The pain and bleeding could just stop and the pregnancy can be completed successfully. About 20% of all expecting women will have some type of vaginal bleeding and about half of these will still carry to term successfully.
In some cases, things could get worse and lead to a miscarriage. In such situations there may not be much that the doctor or bed rest can do to protect the pregnancy but it is still crucial to carefully investigate, monitor and treat any expecting woman who happens to have vaginal bleeding. When dealing with a threatened miscarriage the doctor will order a few medical tests to better understand the source of the problem and make the best decision for you and your pregnancy.
As for the causes of threatened miscarriages there can be a number of reasons for this. When a cause is unable to be identified it is termed as unexplained or idiopathic. When there is bleeding or pain and if the pregnancy cannot be located on a transvaginal ultrasound, then ectopic pregnancy or a chemical miscarriage is the possible cause.
Threatened miscarriages are often due to a problem with the pregnancy itself. Like for instance a chromosomal abnormality in the embryo, an embryo that has stopped developing, a blighted ovum or a missing embryo altogether or very rarely even a molar pregnancy when the development of the placenta is abnormal.
Progesterone deficiency because of a more general Luteal Phase Defect syndrome or from an isolated inability to produce sufficient amounts of progesterone for that particular pregnancy is another reason for threatened miscarriages.
Certain types of viral and parasitic infections like Toxoplasmosis, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus, HIV, Syphilis, or even Influenza and any bacterial infection in the proximity of the uterus or one that has spread to the blood from another part of the body, can often induce a miscarriage. Other possible causes like uterine abnormalities or uterine growths like fibroids, polyps and adhesions may create an unfavorable environment for the pregnancy and set off various complications, including a threatened miscarriage.
Untreated chronic diseases such as thyroid conditions, diabetes or chronic high blood, systemic autoimmune disorders and clotting abnormalities or Rh incompatibility between the mother and fetus if not properly managed will lead to miscarriages. Other obvious reasons are exposure to certain medications, alcohol, drug use, smoking and even high caffeine intake, traumatism of any kind to the abdomen, advanced maternal age, emotional stress, excessive physical exercise or sexual intercourse.
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