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What is Miscarriage?

It is the medical term, in which natural death of an embryo or fetus occurs before 20 weeks, when it is unable to survive independently. It is also called as spontaneous abortion. Almost 10 to 20 percent pregnancies end in miscarriage, out of which about 80 percent miscarriages happen before 12 weeks. Risk of miscarriage becomes higher with age. Being pregnant is such an exciting time, especially for couples planning it for a long time. But with such a high ratio of miscarriages, one should be well informed about this unfortunate event. Here we give some important information about this emotionally difficult event.


There may be countless causes of it. Chromosomal abnormalities are considered as the most common cause of miscarriage, which makes it impossible for the baby to survive. Usually, the chromosomal problems are not associated with the genes of either parent. There may be some other causes of miscarriage like obesity in the mother, smoking, drug or alcohol abuse, hormonal problems, and stress etc. Sometimes cervical insufficiency; in which cervix may be incompetent to hold the pregnancy, may be responsible for the loss.


The most common symptom of a vaginal bleeding or spotting, associated with or without abdominal pain. Pain may be dull to sharp cramps like a bad period. Other symptoms may be sadness, anxiety. Tissue or clots of blood may also pass out of the vagina.


Miscarriages may be:

  • Threatened: in which a woman experiences vaginal bleeding or spotting or other signs but the miscarriage has still not occurred
  • Incomplete: loss of pregnancy occurred but fetal tissues are not completely expelled out from uterus
  • Complete: all fetal tissues are expelled out from the uterus
  • Missed: placental and/or fetal tissue present within the uterus but there is no viable pregnancy because the fetus has not developed

Other than these types miscarriages may be grouped into:

Early: which occur in the first trimester and they account for almost 80% of total miscarriages

Late: less common than early ones, occur after 12 weeks to 20 weeks

Can a miscarriage be prevented?

Unfortunately, the answer is usually no, because it often occurs due to chromosomal abnormalities, or if the pregnancy is not normal. But the treatment options can be adopted if there is any problem with the health of the mother.

What are the chances to conceive after a miscarriage?

Most of the women go on for a healthy pregnancy after a miscarriage. The chances are almost 85 % for a subsequent pregnancy to go on without complications. However, the chances of another miscarriage are very few and the chances of more than two miscarriages are 1-2 percent.

When to try again after a miscarriage

Usually, the answer to this question depends on your physical as well as mental health. If your mind and body are ready for it then you should go for it. But some gynecologists recommend waiting for one regular cycle while others recommend three to six months wait before trying for another pregnancy. Some doctors are of the view that chances of getting pregnant and reaching to full term are higher right after a miscarriage. To conclude, you should try if you are ready for it and your body will decide what is best for you on its own.

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