Signs of Early Miscarriage Every Pregnant Woman Needs to Know
You probably don’t like to think about miscarriage but it’s important to know what the signs and symptoms are and be aware of the possibility. Miscarriages are surprisingly common. In fact, almost one out of five pregnancies ends in a miscarriage.
Early miscarriage pregnancy loss during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Miscarriage at this early stage is most often due to genetic abnormalities. Yet, acute health problems, such as infection, or chronic health problems, like thyroid disease or diabetes increase the risk as well. Lifestyle factors such as excessive use of alcohol and smoking also place you at higher risk of miscarriage. That’s why it’s important to eat a clean diet and adopt a healthy lifestyle when you’re pregnant.
Signs of Early Miscarriage
What signs might you experience if you were having a miscarriage? Spotting is one of the most common signs, usually accompanied by abdominal cramping or back pain. But if you’re spotting, don’t automatically assume you’re miscarrying. It’s not uncommon to pass small amounts of blood early in a pregnancy. This sometimes happens at the time the egg implants into the wall of the uterus. However, it’s important to get symptoms like spotting, cramping, and back pain checked for reassurance. If you only have cramping, you could have another problem, like a urinary tract infection that needs to be treated.
Other symptoms you could experience with an early miscarriage are the passage of discolored mucous or tissue. If you were having pregnancy symptoms, like morning sickness or breast tenderness, these symptoms might suddenly disappear. Keep in mind that the “normal” bleeding you experience early in pregnancy is usually light, typically consisting of spotting in your underwear. Heavy bleeding, especially if it’s bright red or contains tissue, should raise the suspicion of an early miscarriage. It’s not uncommon for a pregnant woman to miscarry even before she knows she’s pregnant. As a result, the bleeding may be mistaken for a normal period.
Can You Prevent an Early Miscarriage?
While there’s no sure-fire way to prevent a miscarriage, leading a healthy lifestyle lowers your risk. If you’re smoking, kick the habit right away and avoid drinking alcohol. Make sure you’re eating a healthy diet and aren’t taking in excessive amounts of caffeine. A study published on the NIH website found a link between consumption of caffeinated beverages just prior to conception and a higher risk of miscarriage.
Specifically, this study found drinking two or more cups of coffee daily during the few weeks prior to conception and during the first seven weeks after conception was linked with a greater likelihood of miscarriage. In fact, the risk was almost double. Keep in mind, this doesn’t show that caffeine causes miscarriages, just that there’s a link. Still, it’s best to avoid consuming caffeine during pregnancy until further research comes out. Interestingly, this study also found a link between caffeine consumption and miscarriage among dads as well.
The Bottom Line
Don’t obsess over the possibility of miscarrying. The odds are in your favor that you’ll have a normal pregnancy – but be aware of what the signs are so you can see your doctor quickly should they develop.
Parents.com “Miscarriage: Causes, Signs, and What to Expect”
National Institutes of Health. “Couples’ pre-pregnancy caffeine consumption linked to miscarriage risk”
Medscape.com. “Early Pregnancy Loss”