What is a missed miscarriage?

(March 15, 2012)

A missed miscarriage is a type of miscarriage. Like all miscarriages, a missed miscarriage too can be considerably stressful for a woman. However the signs of a missed miscarriage are often quite vague and because of this, many women may not be aware that their pregnancy has come ended. Some women may also think that the symptoms are part of normal pregnancy symptoms.

In a missed miscarriage, the fetus, placenta and other components of a terminated pregnancy are not eliminated by the body immediately. Most miscarriages occur during the first trimester of pregnancy, although some may also occur after that. In those cases it is known as a late missed miscarriage. The exact causes of missed miscarriage are not known. Most early miscarriages are triggered by genetic problems present in the sperm or egg. The chances of a missed miscarriage may increase when the immune system is not able to function properly and serious infections develop. Age is also a factor that influences the possibility of miscarriage. Women experience deterioration in egg quality as they advance in age. The symptoms of missed miscarriage are, when you cannot hear the baby’s heart beat during an ultrasound and when normal pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness cease to exist. Some women may also experience brown vaginal discharge that may then take on a bright red color. The discharge often occurs much later and hence it becomes difficult to know if the pregnancy has ended.

Following the diagnosis, the doctor may recommend a surgical procedure which will help to remove the components of the terminated pregnancy. This must be done soon after the diagnosis so that the risk of infection is reduced. In cases where the miscarriage is not diagnosed, the woman may experience symptoms of infection which can hamper her ability to become pregnant again. Dilation and curettage (D&C) is the procedure for removal of the lining of the uterus or contents of the uterus. This procedure is done if your body hasn’t expelled the fetal tissue by itself after the miscarriage. There may be some pain and discomfort after this procedure, but the main purpose of doing it is to prevent any kind of infections or hemorrhaging. Sexual activity should be avoided for a period of six weeks after the miscarriage and the woman must wait for a minimum of three months before attempting to conceive again. A missed miscarriage does not majorly affect a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant in the future and most women go on to have successful pregnancies.

Submitted by N on March 15, 2012 at 02:15

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