Causes, Signs, and Treatment of Miscarriage at 15 Weeks

Majority of miscarriages occur during the initial thirteen weeks of pregnancy. However, women could still experience miscarriage even as late as twenty weeks. As such miscarriage at 15 weeks is rare, but not an uncommon occurrence. A miscarriage or a spontaneous abortion can be described as the loss of an unborn baby by or before the 20th week of pregnancy. This is a traumatic experience not just for the woman who is expecting, but also perhaps for the rest of the family. Data shows that between 15% and 20% of all pregnant women have miscarriages before the 20th week of pregnancy.

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In reality, the figures could be a lot higher, as several women do not even realize that they are pregnant and are undergoing the symptoms of miscarriage. The risks of having a miscarriage are the highest during the first trimester.

Miscarriage at 15 Weeks Pregnant

As you cross the 13th week and enter the second trimester of pregnancy, the chances of suffering a miscarriage reduce significantly. Therefore, the risk of miscarriage at 15 weeks is considerably lower, as compared to the first and third trimester. However, though the chances of miscarriage after 15 weeks are low, there are instances of women who have has a spontaneous abortion in the 15th week of pregnancy. This usually happens when the fetus does not grow the way it should, because of various factors.

Causes of Miscarriage at 15 Weeks

Though miscarriage at 15 weeks is not very common, there are many factors that could lead to it. Some of the common causes of miscarriage at 15 weeks include:

  • Chromosomal abnormalities: This problem is common in pregnant women who are over the age of 35. Women, who consume alcohol, smoke, or use harmful drugs during pregnancy are at a very high risk of miscarriage because of chromosomal abnormalities in the baby.
  • Infections: Maternal infections caused by different organisms could increase the risks of miscarriage significantly. Fetal and placental infections are usually a major cause for concern.
  • Hormonal problems: Women who suffer from hormonal imbalances are at a high risk of medical problems just as thyroid disease and polycystic ovary syndrome. It is also suggested that the inadequate function of the corpus luteum in the ovaries can result in a miscarriage.
  • Abnormal anatomy: Any abnormalities in the structure of the uterus can result in a miscarriage. This also includes benign growths called fibroids in the uterus.
  • Prenatal tests: Pregnant women could increase their risks of a miscarriage by undergoing two types of prenatal tests, namely, the chorionic villus sampling and the amniocentesis tests.
  • Other causes: A miscarriage at 15 weeks could occur because of a poor diet, exposure to toxic radiation, immune disorders, placental abruption or uncontrolled diabetes.

Signs of Miscarriage at 15 Weeks

Since the 15th week is the second trimester of pregnancy, all women are aware of the fact that they are pregnant. Most will also experience pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness, food cravings/ aversions, tenderness in the breasts, and so on. In case of a miscarriage, there is usually a sudden absence of these pregnancy symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of miscarriage at 15 weeks include vaginal bleeding, spotting and dark discharge. Some of the other signs and symptoms that may be seen include:

  • Severe pain in the abdomen and the lower back
  • Vaginal fluid leakage
  • Passage of blot clots or tissue from the vagina
  • Cramps in the pelvic region
  • Diarrhea

There have been several instances where women have seen the signs of miscarriage at 15 weeks, but have gone on to have normal and healthy babies. Therefore, it is not necessary that you will have a miscarriage if these symptoms are present. Nevertheless, they could be an indication of another complication that can be checked and treated by a doctor. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that you keep your doctor informed about these symptoms as soon as you notice them.

First of all, your doctor will carry out a few tests to determine if there is a threat of miscarriage or not. Doctors also check if the miscarriage can be avoided in any way and if there is a slightest chance that it can, you will be asked to take complete bed rest and follow a specific diet, until the symptoms disappear.

There are some women who go through an incomplete miscarriage at 15 weeks of pregnancy. When this happens, they experience bleeding, spotting, cramping or the other signs of a miscarriage, but still have tissue left in the uterus. In such cases, a doctor will need to perform a Dilation and Curettage (D&C) to remove the remnant tissue.

In case you are thinking about delivering a baby at 15 weeks, because of pregnancy complications, do bear in mind that your baby will weigh less than a pound and will not be fit to survive in the world. Therefore, it is best for you to consult your doctor and look for other alternatives.

You can easily get a lot of information on miscarriage at 15 weeks and what to expect after that. However, it is always best to consult a doctor in this regard.

Spontaneous Miscarriage

Spontaneous miscarriage can take place if the fetus has not been able to develop properly due to improper attachment of the placenta to the walls of the uterus. In most cases, the exact cause of the miscarriage is not known. A miscarriage also does not necessarily negatively affect subsequent pregnancies. There are many factors that can increase the risk of miscarriages such as smoking, hormonal imbalances, infections, improper nutrition and drug use. Exposure to high quantities of toxic radiation can also increase the chances of a miscarriage. Another cause of miscarriage is malformations of the uterus or presence of fibroids in the uterus. Once these factors have been identified, they can be controlled or eliminated so that the pregnancy continues successfully or that future pregnancies may not be affected.

Miscarriage After 15 Weeks

Miscarriage after 15 weeks constitutes a second trimester miscarriage, which can arise from various factors such as incompetence of the cervix, placenta abruption and certain prenatal tests. An incompetent cervix is much weaker than a normal one. It is also softer and as such tends to dilate when the developing baby exerts pressure on it. This results in rupture of the fetal membranes, second trimester miscarriage or premature delivery. Women who have experienced second trimester miscarriages or pre-term labor with very little or no uterine contractions are more likely to be at risk for an incompetent cervix. Symptoms of this condition may include spotting, vaginal discharge, cramping and pelvic pain.

Miscarriage 15 Weeks Treatment

Treatment for this involves placing a stitch at the cervix in order to strengthen it. Placenta abruption occurs when the placenta detaches from the uterine walls prematurely. This is likely to occur in women who smoke, take drugs or alcohol, older women and those with hypertension. The main symptoms of this condition are bleeding, tenderness in the uterus and cramping. In some cases when the separation takes place late into the second trimester, delivering the baby may prevent pregnancy loss. Two prenatal tests, amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling are known to raise the risk of a miscarriage. Amniocentesis is usually done between 15 to 18 weeks, while chorionic villus sampling is done between 10 to 12 weeks. These tests are performed when the Alpha Fetal Protein test produces abnormal results.

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