Spontaneous abortion occurs when there is loss of fetus during fetus. Spontaneous abortion or miscarriage happens due to natural events and must not be confused with an elective abortion. Typically, most spontaneous abortions take place during the first trimester. Usually a miscarriage occurs anywhere between 7 - 12 weeks of pregnancy. It can even occur before a woman realizes that she is pregnant. Spontaneous abortion can occur due to infection, trauma, immune response by the body or other conditions such as diabetes. The risk of such miscarriage is higher in women who are above 35 years or suffering from systemic conditions such as thyroid or diabetes. Endocrine factors such as Hypothyroidism, hypoprolactinemia or Polycystic ovarian syndrome can bring on a spontaneous abortion. Chromosomal abnormalities, sexually transmitted diseases or immunological reactions can trigger a miscarriage.
A woman may experience vaginal bleeding that may contain tissue or clots. There is low back pain or abdominal cramps. Other symptoms of impending miscarriage are fever, headache and high blood pressure. Blood tests to check levels of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) are done. An ultrasound helps in confirming whether there has been a spontaneous abortion or not. It can detect the presence of a live fetus and fetal heart beat. It is essential to consult the health worker when such symptoms are noticed. Not all bleeding in the first trimester leads to spontaneous abortion.
In cases of threatened abortion, the expectant mother will be advised complete bed rest. In some women, an incompetent cervix can lead to a threatened abortion. In such cases, a suture is placed around the cervix to close the cervical canal. But this has to be closely monitored. Environmental factors such as smoking or contracting rubella can threaten a pregnancy. Women who have had repeated miscarriages need to be tested to identify the cause. This may involve genetic testing of the partners and inspection of the uterus and cervix.
Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: December 10, 2017