Does Miscarriages Happen in First Trimester of Pregnancy?

(February 8, 2010)

A miscarriage refers to the sudden loss of a baby developing within the mother’s womb, during the natural course of the pregnancy and is also known as a spontaneous abortion. An expectant mother may experience the heartache of the loss of an unborn baby at any time during the 40 week pregnancy term. But, the word ‘miscarriage’ specifically relates to a loss that takes place before 20 weeks of the gestational age of the growing baby. At such a young age, the baby is too small to fend for itself as its organs are still developing. Hence, nothing can be done to save the baby delivered this early.

A majority of miscarriages occur in the first trimester of pregnancy. Many miscarriages occur even before the mother realizes that she is with child. The main cause of miscarriage in the first trimester is the presence of a genetic abnormality in the developing baby. This genetic deformity sets in at the time of fertilization itself, and is usually a result of an extra or missing chromosome passed on from either of the parents. A genetic deformity could also be caused by chromosomal rearrangements in either of the patterns or alteration in the structure of a single gene or a group of genes within a chromosome. A baby born with genetic deformities is bound to suffer mental retardation and birth defects. Hence, the human body, being as intriguing as it is, expels an abnormal embryo as soon as it detects it. It rare cases, the pregnancy carries to full term with unavoidable health concerns in the baby. The risk of genetic abnormalities increases with advancing maternal age. Another cause of early miscarriages is the inability of the embryo to embed itself in the uterine wall. Low progesterone levels and maternal ill health may also be the cause of miscarriages in the first trimester. An interval of less than six months between consecutive pregnancies and multiple gestations are other reasons for miscarriages. Women with uterine problems such as fibroids or scarring on the uterine walls are also at an increased risk of an unsuccessful pregnancy.

Bleeding, passing of clots, abdominal pain and lower back pain are the common symptoms of a miscarriage. Some women also experience the loss of pregnancy signs like nausea and tender breasts even before they realize that they have had a miscarriage. A healthy dietary pattern, sufficient rest and adequate non-strenuous physical activity play an important role in the progress of a pregnancy. However, it spite of utmost care, a miscarriage may be inevitable in some cases.

Submitted by P T on February 8, 2010 at 11:42

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