Miscarriage (Early Pregnancy Loss)

Miscarriage (Early Pregnancy Loss)

Miscarriage (Early Pregnancy Loss)

By Dr Astha Dayal , Gynaecology

Miscarriage, also called ‘spontaneous abortion’ is the unprompted termination of pregnancy within the twelfth week. It has been known to occur up till the twentieth week of pregnancy. Usually, if there is a pregnancy loss after the twentieth week, it is known as still birth. Certain conditions like advanced maternal age, history of miscarriages, hypertension and diabetes during gestation may enhance the risk of miscarriage.

Causes of Miscarriage-

About 50% of miscarriages have chromosomal defects as the major causative factor. A few other common causes are as follows:

  • Maternal Health Disorders:Hormonal disturbances, sexually transmitted diseases and various kinds of infection have been seen to be responsible for loss of pregnancy.
  • Defective Implantation:Sometimes, the fertilized egg is not properly implanted in the uterus and the fetus is malformed. In these cases, the body stops gestation.
  • Use of Alcohol, Tobacco and Illegal Drugs:Drinking and smoking can affect the fetus adversely not just during gestation but also if the mother indulged in these habits excessively before pregnancy. Paternal smoking habits can lead to unhealthy sperm which may also result in abnormal development of the fetus, leading to miscarriages.

Warning Signs and Symptoms-

1. Severe pain in the abdominal area or the back

2. Sudden loss of weight

3. Vaginal bleeding and discharge of blood clots

4. Painful contractions

5. A sudden decrease in the movement of the fetus or the absence of the common signs of pregnancy


If the miscarriage occurs early in pregnancy, the body usually removes the residual fetal tissue. In certain cases, the process requires medical intervention by a procedure known as dilation and curettage. Medicines may be prescribed to control bleeding and prevent hemorrhage and infection. Psychological counseling is also recommended to manage the emotional damage caused by the event.