Miscarriage is the spontaneous ending of pregnancy before the 24th week of pregnancy.
Estimates of the incidence vary, because women have miscarriages without even knowing that they are pregnant. However, some health authorities estimate that one pregnancy in four fails, mostly in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The rate appears to be higher for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Some studies suggest that the abortion rate could be 45% or more.
The first symptoms may be vaginal bleeding or discharge, sometimes accompanied by abdominal pain or backache. Vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy is called "threatened miscarriage", but doesn't necessarily develop into an actual end of the pregnancy. Many women will go on to have a normal pregnancy.
Additional early signs are that you may notice that pregnancy symptoms such as nausea or sore breasts disappear, whether or not there is bleeding. Or, you may not have any bleeding or any other sign that something is wrong, but discover that your pregnancy has ended only during a routine antenatal scan. This is called a "missed" or "delayed" miscarriage.
Another but less common symptom is severe and sharp or one-sided abdominal pain. In this case, you may have an ectopic pregnancy, which develops outside of your womb. Anytime you have severe abdominal pain, contact your physician immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
Estimates of the incidence of an unsuccessful pregnancy vary, because women have one without even knowing that they are pregnant. However, some health authorities estimate that one pregnancy in four ends in an aborted pregnancy, mostly in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The pregnancy failure rate appears to be higher for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Some studies suggest that the rate could be 45% or more.
There are many possible causes. Go here to learn about 12 possible causes of miscarriage.
An ultrasound scan is the most reliable way of diagnosing an aborted pregnancy, but a pregnancy test (blood or urine) and clinical examination are also ways to establish what has happened.
There is no effective treatment to stop an early miscarriage that is already happening. However, once it is inevitable, there may be choices about managing it.
Unless you have miscarried completely, you may be offered a minor operation (a D&C). You can usually able to go home within a few hours. You may be asked if you would prefer to let nature take its course and wait for the pregnancy to spontaneously end.
The key to avoiding a failed pregnancy is to prevent it in the first place.
We've identified 9 ways to help prevent miscarriage. If you follow through on these nine steps, your chances of a successful pregnancy should significantly improve.
Consult with a qualified health professional for a good prevention plan. Please note that superficial, assembly-line medicine is not the best type of healthcare for PCOS women who are trying to get and stay pregnant.
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