Bleeding is the first sign of a miscarriage, in most of the cases. However, there are also miscarriages, where there is no bleeding whatsoever, or when other symptoms appear before the bleeding. Pregnancy loss is something that will most likely occur during the first weeks of pregnancy. As you proceed with your pregnancy, the risk of suffering from pregnancy loss starts to decrease.
Throughout the pregnancy, the symptoms shift from time to time. Due to these changes, the symptom of a pregnancy loss will not always be clear. If you believe that you have lost a pregnancy, it is important to seek medical attention, whether you bleed or not.
Why does pregnancy loss occur without bleeding?
Although it is a common belief, that the first symptom of a miscarriage is bleeding, this is not always the case and a pregnancy loss is also likely to not involve any bleeding at all. Also, a woman might not experience any symptom at all and she might find out that she’s lost her pregnancy only because the doctor cannot detect a heartbeat during the next routine ultrasound.
If bleeding occurs, it occurs due to the uterus being emptied. There are some cases, in which the womb doesn’t empty, even if the fetus has died, which is why the woman won’t experience any bleeding.
Some medical professionals can this type of pregnancy loss a missed miscarriage because this type of pregnancy loss can go without being noticed for many weeks. Some women might not seek treatment due to being unaware of what has happened.
It is also normal for the symptoms in pregnancy to change throughout time, which especially occurs during the first and the second trimester. These changes make the woman unsure of whether what is happening is simply a change of symptoms.
There are however some warning signs of a pregnancy loss, that don’t include bleeding. These symptoms include a sudden decrease in the pregnancy signs you’ve had so far, a pregnancy test that shows a negative result, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or back pain. If you are in advanced pregnancy, then another sign would be if fetal movement might slow or stop all of a sudden.
How is a miscarriage diagnosed?
There are many women that seek treatment when they experience bleeding. However, when there is no bleeding, a miscarriage might be diagnosed only later when the woman goes to a routine scan. There might also be other indications such as when a best care obgyn suspects a loss of pregnancy. Some of these indicators are an unusual decrease in pregnancy signs or a drop in the levels of pregnancy hormones.
Blood tests are used to determine the levels of hormones. This is what can help medical professionals to evaluate how likely it is that there has been a pregnancy loss. However, for a final diagnose, the doctor will need to do an ultrasound and check whether the fetus still has a heartbeat.
A heartbeat begins to develop around the week 6.5 to 7 of gestation. Therefore, if there is an absence of heartbeat during the period of time, it isn’t an indicator of a loss of pregnancy. A doctor may choose to perform scans on more than one day, in order for them to diagnose and confirm a pregnancy loss. Some of these scans might include genetic testing, ultrasound scans or blood testing.
What is the treatment after a miscarriage?
The aim of treatment is to remove the fetus and any tissue that might have been left in the uterus. This is necessary to prevent further complications, such as a uterine infection. When the pregnancy loss has occurred without bleeding, in some cases it might be recommended that you wait for a few weeks, as the uterus might still empty on its own. This is something that usually lasts less than one week and it is normal for the woman to experience cramping during this period of time. If the uterus won’t empty on its own, then there are some treatment options. One includes a medication, which leads to the release of the fetus. You might also get a surgical procedure, which is called dilation and curettage. You might also need pain medication if you need relief from the cramping.
In very rare cases, a pregnancy loss can lead to a uterine infection. Uterine infection is a condition that requires treatment.
When being treated from pregnancy loss, it is important not to disregard the mental health of the woman. Many women will feel grief due to a pregnancy loss and need therapy and support groups to deal with this grief. Some women might also need anti anxiety medications and antidepressant medications.
What are the causes of pregnancy loss?
The most common cause that leads to a miscarriage is a chromosomal abnormality. This chromosomal abnormality makes it impossible for the baby to survive. Some other reasons include infections, illnesses, physical injuries, uterine polyps, adhesions, abnormalities in the uterus, abnormalities in the reproductive organs, untreated medical conditions like diabetes or kidney failure or endometriosis.
How much time does it take to recover from a pregnancy loss?
It will depend on different kinds of factors. One of the factors includes how far along pregnant you are. For most women, the time to recover physically is relatively short. If the fetus is removed surgically, there might not be any physical problems at all after the bleeding has stopped. If there are complications, like a uterine infection, then the recovery time will be prolonged.
The emotional effects of a miscarriage can take much longer to heal. Some women will end up grieving for an entire lifetime. Others feel better when they conceive another baby. There is no timeline or a standard way of grieving. Grief will be something that each individual goes through differently. However, if you notice that you’re not able to cope with it on your own, it is important to speak to loved ones and seek professional help.