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Miscarriage or spontaneous abortion is the spontaneous end of a pregnancy at a stage where the embryo or fetus is incapable of surviving, generally defined in humans at prior to 20 weeks of gestation.
Unfortunately, miscarriages are fairly common. On average, 1 in 5 pregnancies will end in a miscarriage - most of which occur in the first trimester.
Some miscarriages occur before women recognize that they are pregnant. About 15% of fertilized eggs are lost before the egg even has a chance to implant (embed itself) in the wall of the uterus. A woman would not generally identify this type of miscarriage. Another 15% of conceptions are lost before eight weeks' gestation. Once fetal heart function is detected in a given pregnancy, the chance of miscarriage is less than 5%.

The reason for miscarriage is varied, and most often the cause cannot be identified. During the first trimester, the most common cause of miscarriage is chromosomal abnormality - meaning that something is not correct with the baby's chromosomes. Most chromosomal abnormalities are the cause of a faulty egg or sperm cell, or are due to a problem at the time that the zygote went through the division process. Other causes for miscarriage include (but are not limited to):
  • Hormonal problems, infections or maternal health problems
  • Lifestyle (i.e. smoking, drug use, malnutrition, excessive caffeine and exposure to radiation or toxic substances)
  • Implantation of the egg into the uterine lining does not occur properly
  • Maternal age
  • Maternal trauma
Factors that are not proven to cause miscarriage are sex, working outside the home (unless in a harmful environment) or moderate exercise.
Risk Factors-
1. An increase in maternal age. Women under the age of 35 have about a 15% chance of miscarriage, but if you are over 35 yrs old, your chance of having a miscarriage goes up (your eggs get older too).
2. Pregnancies involving more than one fetus.
3. Uncontrolled diabetes. Women with controlled diabetes are not at higher risk of miscarriage.
4. Polycystic ovary syndrome is a risk factor for miscarriage, with 30-50% of pregnancies in women with PCOS being miscarried in the first trimester.
5. High blood pressure during pregnancy, known as pre eclampsia, is sometimes caused by an inappropriate immune reaction to the developing fetus, and is associated with the risk of miscarriage. Women with a history of recurrent miscarriages are at risk of developing pre eclampsia.
6. Severe cases of hypothyroidism The effect of milder cases of hypothyroidism on miscarriage rates has not been established.
7. The presence of certain immune conditions such as autoimmune diseases is associated with a greatly increased risk of miscarriage.
8. Certain illnesses (such as rubella, chlamydia and others) increase the risk of miscarriage.
9. Tobacco (cigarette) smokers have an increased risk of miscarriage. An increase in miscarriage is also associated with the father being a cigarette smoker.
10. Cocaine use increases miscarriage rates. Physical traumas, exposure to environmental toxins, and use of an IUD during the time of conception have also been linked to increased risk of miscarriage.
Types of miscarriage or abortion-
  • If a pregnant woman has bleeding, little or no pain, a closed cervix, and is found to still have a fetus with a heartbeat in her uterus, she may have had a threatened abortion. Most pregnancies with early bleeding but with a detectable heartbeat turn out fine.
  • Blighted ovum, which is a miscarriage that has occurred so early that no clearly defined fetal tissues have formed.
  • An inevitable miscarriage is when bleeding and cramping occur during pregnancy, with an opening cervix.
  • An incomplete miscarriage is when a miscarriage has occurred, but the body does not expel all the elements of the pregnancy.
  • A missed miscarriage is when the body does not discharge the fetus, the placenta, or other elements for several weeks - this might occur when the woman has neither menstrual periods nor any signs of pregnancy.
  • A recurrent miscarriage is when a woman miscarriages three or more consecutive pregnancies.
Cramping and vaginal bleeding are the most common symptoms noticed with spontaneous abortion. The cramping and bleeding may be very mild, moderate, or severe. There is no particular pattern as to how long the symptoms will last.
Vaginal bleeding during early pregnancy is often referred to as a "threatened abortion." The term "threatened" abortion is used since miscarriage does not always follow vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy, even after repeated episodes or large amounts of bleeding. Studies have shown that 90-96% of pregnancies with fetal cardiac activity that result in vaginal bleeding at 7 to 11 weeks of gestation will result in an ongoing pregnancy.
The main goal of treatment during or after a miscarriage is to prevent hemorrhaging and/or infection. The earlier you are in the pregnancy, the more likely that your body will expel all the fetal tissue by itself and will not require further medical procedures. If the body does not expel all the tissue, the most common procedure performed to stop bleeding and prevent infection is a dilation and curettage, known as a D&C. Drugs may be prescribed to help control bleeding after the D&C is performed. Bleeding should be monitored closely once you are at home; if you notice an increase in bleeding or the onset of chills or fever, it is best to call your physician immediately.
Although miscarriage usually can't be prevented, some precautions has to be taken to increase chances of having a healthy pregnancy:
  • Maintain a proper diet loaded with folic acid and calcium.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid mental stress.
  • Maintain a healthy weight (women who are overweight or too thin are more likely to have miscarriages).
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol.
  • Limit caffeine drinks to no more than 1 to 2 cups a day.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Many prescription and over-the-counter medicines should be avoided during pregnancy.
  • Avoid abdominal trauma.
  • Avoid environmental hazards such as radiation, infectious disease and x-rays.
  • Get immunized against communicable diseases and know family medical and genetic history.
  • Go to all of scheduled prenatal appointments and discuss any concerns with doctor.
  • Call doctor right away if you have fever, feel ill, notice decreased fetal movements, or are having bleeding, spotting, or cramping.

Role of homoeopathy
Homeopathy has a definite outcome to increase prospects of advancing pregnancy in most patients. Homeopathic treatment for miscarriages focus both on physical and emotional imbalances in a person. Homeopathy plays a constructive role in treating  miscarriages by reinforcing the reproductive organs in both men and women, by improving uterine hostility and by regulating hormonal balance. The homeopathic constitutional approach also aides by mounting the thickness of the uterine lining and preventing the uterus from contracting hence abating chances of a miscarriage; it corrects placental insufficiency and can increase the quality and quantity of sperm count in men. The remedies furthermore help improve the patient's immunity hence acting as prophylactic against infectious and systemic diseases. It can also be advantageous in reducing anxiety and grief caused by recurrent loss of pregnancy. Furthermore, reducing these overwhelmed emotions can help the embryo implantation take place in a favourable environment. Homoeopathy is a system of medicine directed at assisting the body's own healing process and healing diseases.

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