What Is A Miscarriage?

The medical community refers to a miscarriage as a spontaneous abortion which occurs before the 20th week of pregnancy. Miscarriages occur for a myriad of reasons, but one of the main reasons is the lack of embryo development. The embryo may stop developing due to extra or missing chromosomes, chronic disease like diabetes, infections, hormonal issues, uterine abnormalities, or thyroid issues. Research shows that approximately 20% of pregnancies end due to a miscarriage.


The basics of an ectopic pregnancy

When an egg gets fertilized with sperm, the fertilized egg implants itself in the uterine cavity to grow into a fetus. Sometimes, the fertilized egg implants onto a fallopian tube, ovary, or cervix. The pregnancy cannot continue if the egg implants outside of the uterus and a miscarriage occurs. Symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy include pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding, abdominal bleeding, shoulder pain, and lightheadedness.

Is an ectopic pregnancy the same as a chemical pregnancy?

No, ectopic and chemical pregnancies are different. A chemical pregnancy refers to the chemicals present in the body when the pregnancy occurs. When a person is pregnant, the body produces higher levels of the human chorionic gonadotrophic hormone (hCG). The presence of these hormones will trigger a positive result on a pregnancy test. In a chemical pregnancy, the egg stops developing within the first few weeks of pregnancy and a miscarriage follows.

How miscarriages develop into recurrent pregnancy loss

Patients that have experienced 2 or more miscarriages may be dealing with recurrent pregnancy loss. Doctors diagnose patients with this condition after conducting thorough medical examination and analysis. The evaluation process includes physical examinations, diagnostic tests, ultrasound and genetic testing. These tests help medical professionals identify the source of the miscarriages and create a treatment plan.

Treatment options for miscarriages

The root cause of the miscarriage must be identified before doctors can create a treatment plan. If the problem is a uterine abnormality like a fibroid or polyp, the doctor will work with the patient to remove the abnormal growth. If genetic abnormalities are identified, then doctors may suggest assisted reproductive technology (ART) like in-vitro fertilization. Therefore, the treatment options are dependent on the cause of the miscarriages.

The benefits of genetic testing

A genetic test is a great way for doctors to identify and issues with the patient or the partner’s DNA. Genetic tests check for chromosome abnormalities. DNA is genetic material that lives within a chromosome. Most humans are born with 46 chromosomes but there are instances where people have extra or missing chromosomes. In addition to testing, patients also undergo genetic counseling to learn more about genetic disorders and the testing system. Actual genetic counselors will work with patients to evaluate family medical history and advocate for patient care.

Talking to a specialist

Recurrent pregnancy loss is a rare occurrence that affects a small percentage of people. Patients dealing with a miscarriage should reach out to a medical professional to learn more about this condition. A specialist can help patients connect with the right medical professionals, like genetic counselors and fertility specialists, who will assist the patient along the pregnancy journey.

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