Types of Miscarriage

About 15% to 20% of all clinically confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage. This can be a scary number if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. However, the best way to be prepared for a miscarriage if it happens to you is to know exactly what to expect. Here are some of the most important terms about miscarriage you should be familiar with.

  1. Spontaneous abortion: This is another word for miscarriage, which is the sudden loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week. Most miscarriages occur before the 12th week of pregnancy.
  2. Blighted ovum: This is a type of abnormality that could contribute to a miscarriage. Blighted ovum occurs when no embryo forms.
  3. Intrauterine fetal demise: When this occurs, the embryo forms, but it stops developing as it should and dies before you ever experience any symptoms of pregnancy loss.
  4. Molar pregnancy: Another rare cause of miscarriage is called a molar pregnancy. This is when a benign (noncancerous) tumor develops in the uterus, and it usually occurs when there is an extra set of paternal chromosomes in the fertilized egg.
  5. Ultrasound: This is one of the tests that can confirm if you are having a miscarriage, because it allows the doctor to see if there is still a fetal heartbeat. Sometimes miscarriages that do not produce symptoms are not even detected until you have a routine ultrasound.
  6. Threatened miscarriage: There are different types of miscarriages that can occur. A threatened miscarriage is when you have vaginal bleeding but your cervix hasn’t begun to dilate yet. This sort of complication usually doesn’t affect the rest of your pregnancy.
  7. Inevitable or incomplete miscarriage: If you are experiencing vaginal bleeding, cramping, your uterus is contracting, and your cervix is dilated, then a miscarriage is inevitable. There is nothing that the doctors can do to stop it at this point. If some of the fetal or placental material passes vaginally but some still remains in your uterus, this is considered an incomplete miscarriage and the remaining tissue will need to be removed.
  8. Missed miscarriage: A missed miscarriage occurs when the embryo has died but you never experience any related symptoms. Missed miscarriages are usually not diagnosed until you go in for a routine ultrasound.
  9. Septic miscarriage: A septic miscarriage occurs when you develop an infection in your uterus that causes a miscarriage to occur. Infections can often be very severe and will need immediate medical attention to lower your risk of further complications.

Dilation and curettage (D&C):

This is a minor surgical procedure, also called a D&C, that will gently remove all of the tissue from inside your uterus. The advantage to this removal option is that it makes it easier for the tissue to be examined by the doctors that can help determine the cause of the miscarriage and may help prevent more miscarriages in the future.

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Posted on May 5, 2023