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5 signs that a premature end of pregnancy is imminent

A possible miscarriage scares many women. You can read here what the causes are, what follows medically after the abortion and how quickly you can get pregnant again afterwards.

Duchess Meghan found touching words in the New York Times for the experience that many women can hardly describe: “Losing a child means almost unbearable grief.” She had suffered a miscarriage in the summer of 2020 and made it public months later.

Losing the unborn life is one of the greatest fears of every pregnant woman, especially in the first few months of pregnancy. Here we explain what can lead to this and what happens after a so-called abortion.

What happens in the event of a miscarriage?

The nightmare of every expectant mother: She loses her embryo, as the fertilized egg cell is called, up to the 8th week of pregnancy, or the fetus before it is viable. A fetus is generally considered viable from the 23rd week of pregnancy or from a birth weight of 400 grams, and if the woman loses the baby afterwards, it is called premature birth.

Up to which week of pregnancy is the risk of miscarriage greatest?

In the first 4 to 5 weeks, women most often lose a fertilized egg, mostly unnoticed and without symptoms, during the (possibly somewhat delayed) menstrual period. Only a woman who has taken an early pregnancy test or a laboratory test usually even knows that she was pregnant. Experts assume that around 60 percent of the egg cells that have just been fertilized are lost again immediately.

In medically proven pregnancies, around 15 percent end with an abortion. One speaks of an early abortion up to the 13th week and a late abortion between the 14th and 24th week of pregnancy. From the 17th week of pregnancy, the risk of a miscarriage drops to less than 3 percent.

How do you recognize a miscarriage?

Don’t panic, not every brief bleeding or pulling in the lower abdomen indicates a miscarriage.However, if these signs occur, every pregnant woman should see her gynecologist as soon as possible:

  • More bleeding with lumps that last longer
  • Abdominal cramps and very severe pain in the lower abdomen
  • Menstrual drawing in the lower abdomen
  • Very severe pain in the lower back
  • Fever and headache

What are the causes of a miscarriage?

First of all, we can reassure you that in all likelihood you didn’t do anything wrong. Because in up to 70 percent of all miscarriages there is a genetic chromosome mutation, which means that your child would not have been born viable.

Other reasons can be malformations of the uterus, e.g. if the placenta has not formed properly or the fetus has to share space with a fibroid. But also an unfortunate fall, an age over 35 years, infections, hormonal imbalances, medication, alcohol and drugs can be the cause of the loss of the fetus.

At the latest after the second miscarriage, you will try to find out with the gynecologist what the reason was, in order to initiate therapy so that you do not have to suffer any more miscarriages in the next early pregnancy.

When does a scraping have to be done?

Such an operation is usually necessary from the 9th week of pregnancy. From this point on, the placenta adheres more firmly to the inner wall of the uterus, remnants of the placenta or the fetus remain there, with the result that the uterus cannot regress well.

Infections, scarring, polyps and even infertility are then possible, so it must be done after a miscarriage.

What happens during a scraping?

The word sounds scary, but don’t be afraid. A so-called “curettage” is a small, usually outpatient procedure under general anesthesia that takes about 5 to 10 minutes. The doctor carefully removes the uterine lining and other cell debris with a spoon-like instrument. You won’t notice anything under general anesthesia.

You may experience pain later, for which you can take a pain pill. And you should take it easy for the next few days to recover from the physical, but also the psychological strains. However, if you have a fever or heavy bleeding, you should inform your gynecologist immediately.

How quickly can you get pregnant again after a miscarriage?

As soon as the last normal bleeding stops after the scraping, a completely normal, new cycle begins with possibly ovulation again . From a medical point of view, there is usually nothing against trying again, unless you have already had several exits in a row, in which case you should first investigate the cause.

The chances of getting pregnant again within a year after a miscarriage are good, by the way, the risk of another miscarriage is less than 5 percent. After 2 miscarriages, however, the probability of carrying a pregnancy to term is significantly lower, which is why more detailed examinations should first be carried out in these cases.

What speaks against trying again soon after a miscarriage?

Even if your body is ready for it, you should also listen deeply to see if you really want to get pregnant again immediately.

Do not underestimate the psychological consequences of a miscarriage! Give yourself and your partner time to grieve. Take your time and take precautions first. The WHO recommends allowing at least 3 months to pass. These are the best hormone-free birth control methods.

Miscarriage is a traumatic event, but it doesn’t mean you have to remain childless. Take your time to process this difficult experience and then go as optimistically as possible into a new pregnancy, this time successful – the statistics are on your side.

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