Why early miscarriage happens and how to deal with it

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Light bleeding doesn't always mean you've miscarried. Find out what signs to look out for and how to cope with early miscarriage, here.

Early miscarriage or loss of pregnancy happens during the first trimester. Though most miscarriages happen between 10 to 20 weeks of gestation, some women can experience miscarriage even before they find out they're pregnant.

Miscarriage happens in 15 to 20% of pregnant women. Over 80% of miscarriage occur before the 12th week of pregnancy. Only 1 to 5% happen in the second trimester.

How to know if an early miscarriage is happening

Watch out for lightheadedness, bleeding, and strong cramps, resembling dysmenorrhea. Note the color of the blood and discharge. In early miscarriage, it can be bright red or brown, with blood clots.

This bleeding can persist beyond a few days, varying in intensity. It may be scary to see such bleeding if you know you're pregnant. But it's important to know that spotting or light bleeding doesn't always signal miscarriage. In fact, it's a common occurrence in early pregnancy.

photo: shutterstock

What causes early miscarriage?

The most common causes of miscarriage are chromosomal abnormalities, uterine disorders, incompetent cervixes, immunologic disorders, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), bacterial infections, and unhealthy lifestyle choices--cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs.

Can it be prevented?

The risks of having a miscarriage increase by 25% by the time a woman reaches the age of 35. Knowing the causes can help you prevent it, by consulting your doctor and making the necessary lifestyle changes to lessen the risk of miscarriage.

If you suspect you're having a miscarriage, go to the hospital immediately. Sadly, there is no way to stop the bleeding once it has begun. Though the bleeding varies in intensity, it could just mean the blood is clotting inside the vagina, only to be discharged later on.

How can I move on from miscarriage?

If your bleeding isn't severe, your doctor may just advise you to recover at home.

The bleeding can last for about a week to two weeks.

If your bleeding becomes so heavy that you soak through maternity pads too quickly while experiencing dizziness, tell your doctor immediately. Watch out for pain or tenderness in your belly, as well as elevated heart rate and pain upon urination, as these may be signs of an ectopic pregnancy.

If you experience fever or flu-like symptoms or if you have foul vaginal discharge or your stomach cramps worsen, then you might be suffering from an infection.

Above all, be patient with yourself and allow your body as well as your heart time to heal. Get a lot of rest and seek the support of your partner or a loving community, be it friends or family.

sources: Baby Centre, Parents.com, Livestrong.com

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