Miscarriage Prevention and Information

What is a missed miscarriage? What can a woman and her OB do to ensure that this is prevented?

This is actually called a missed abortion. A missed abortion is a type of spontaneous abortion, which is the term used to describe the loss of any pregnancy prior to the 20th week or so. A missed abortion is when a fetus dies without any symptoms of spontaneous abortion and the fetal tissue remains in a woman's body until it is removed by a doctor. In most cases a woman will experience symptoms that might include bleeding or cramping and the delivery of fetal tissue. But with a missed abortion the body does not expel the fetus and there are no such symptoms. Unfortunately many women first find out that their pregnancy is over when they go to the doctor's office for a regular checkup. This is only one of the many reasons it is essential for women to receive regular pre-natal care. Any dead fetal tissue that is left in a woman's body can cause serious life-threatening complications. If the fetal tissue is not removed as soon as possible after fetal death there is a risk that a woman will develop an infection in her uterus and/or complications with blood clotting. The procedure to do this is called dilation and curettage (or "D and C", or "D&C", which people sometimes hear as "D.N.C."). The cervix is opened slightly to allow an instrument to enter to firmly trace the entire inside surface of the uterus. This removes the lining and any remain fetal tissue implanted in it.

For the most part there is no way to prevent a spontaneous abortion. These losses are usually due to the fact that the pregnancy itself was not normal, rather than being due to anything the mother did or didn't do. They are frequently the body's way of ending a development that is not progressing normally. If a woman has more than three spontaneous abortions she should be referred to a doctor who specializes in fertility if she still wishes to have child. Some women who have missed abortions ask their doctor to examine the tissue that is removed. This can give a woman a better sense of why the pregnancy was aborted and help her plan for the next pregnancy.

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Possible miscarriage?

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