Getting pregnant is a big deal. Carrying another life inside of you for the long period of 9 months is in no measure a small feat at all. It takes a whole lot to carry a pregnancy, and it is not unusual to have fears because this is a risk in itself and like all risks, they always come with a bout of anxiety attached to them.
It is not uncommon for pregnant women to feel edgy and have pangs of anxiety eating away at their guys. In fact, according to the American Journal of Obstetrics and gynaecology, a recent study shows that about 41% of women have miscarriages and always carry the guilt of them doing something wrong.
They often have blamed themselves that they lost their babies due to the fact that they have been stressing or because they were lifting heavy objects. While these could contribute to the increase in chances of having a miscarriage, however, these aren’t the only reasons why you may have had a miscarriage.
In reality, miscarriages often occur in pregnancies which are below 20 weeks old and about 10% of women miscarry. Majorly, some miscarriages are caused not because of the fact that you were stressed although this could contribute to it, they are caused due to chromosomal misappropriations which couldn’t have been your fault, and it shouldn’t be a cause for concern Miscarriages, however, can now become a cause of concern if it tends to happen repeatedly.
If as a woman, you experience repeated or recurrent loss of pregnancies, then it is time for you to visit your doctor as there might be an underlying cause for the loss of pregnancies. If you have had two or more repeated miscarriages, then you should have yourself checked out for causes such as genetic aberrations and so on.
However, if you have had a miscarriage only once, then it is likely possible that you won’t experience it again. According to research, studies show that most miscarriages are isolated events which means they only occur once after which doesn’t affect your fertility. This means that in as much as you are fertile, then having a miscarriage just once won’t stop you from giving birth.
If you feel this isn’t reassuring enough for you, there are some telltale signs of miscarriages which you would have long before the miscarriage happens. If you are able to catch it on time, you just may not lose your baby.
The following are potential red flags and symptoms you must take note of. Once you do, there is no need for you to be alarmed. However, this doesn’t mean any of these signs in itself mean anything bad, but if you begin to notice these signs regularly, it is time for you to head out to meet with your doctor.
1. Severe and heavy bleeding
It’s every pregnant woman’s scare when she begins to see blood. However, sometimes the bleeding might be completely normal while at other times, there is a need for a doctor; however, these all depend on how heavy the blood flow is.
It is common and completely normal to see spots while you are pregnant. According to Dr Kecia Gaither who is an OB/GYN and maternal-fetal medicine specialist, she says that spotting mostly occurs due to the process of implantation. When the fertilised egg makes way to the uterus and tries to get a comfortable place to stay and grow; this process known as implantation can cause a little bit of bleeding.
Also, once the placenta starts to develop, the woman can also experience traces of blood. However, it is time for you to be alarmed when you see bright red blood, or you are experiencing heavy bleeding.
According to Dr Gaiter, if the pregnancy continues uninterrupted after the bleeding, you should visit the doctor as you have just experienced what is known as “threatened miscarriage”.
2. You regularly see very large blood clots and sometimes body cells and tissues
Although we have successfully established that seeing blood spots during pregnancy could be as a result of some internal developments going on and hence there is no cause for alarm or fear. However, seeing blood clots is a different story altogether.
Once you begin to see thickened blood clots as well as blood tissues, it is time for you to visit the hospital and see your doctor. Sometimes, the blood clot may be as little as a tiny while at other times; it could be as big as the size of a lemon. No matter the size, you must immediately visit your doctor because seeing blood clots are bad news for your baby and likewise for you.
Sometimes, you may not even be experiencing blood clots. However, you may be seeing thick vaginal discharges which may contain blood tissues or have the physical appearance of a pinkish red colouration or a light pink vaginal fluid.
Whatever be the case, once you are pregnant and you begin to see vaginal discharges that contain blood or has a pinkish colouration, then it is time for you to visit your doctor for a check-up.
3. You are having painful cramps
When you are not pregnant, and you are about to experience your monthly flow, cramping is perfectly normal, and this is because the pain indicates the expansion of your uterine walls. However, according to Gaither, whenever you are pregnant, and you begin to experience pains and cramps as though you are menstruating, then this could be an indication of a miscarriage about to happen.
According to Gaither, this cramps is experienced as a result of the uterine walls trying to expel or push out the baby. In the case of ectopic pregnancies, painful and severe cramping is usually experienced. Healthy pregnancies are always implanted in the uterus.
However, when an ectopic pregnancy occurs, instead of the fertilised egg to get embedded in the womb, it goes to implant itself somewhere outside the uterus, mostly to a part of the fallopian tube.
Once you find out that you are pregnant and you are still experiencing pain an cramps, then you need to go to the doctor for an examination. An early examination may just be what is required in order to save the life of your baby.
4. Intense Back pains
Just like cramps, back pains are bad news for any pregnancy. Though at the early stage, it can start as normal. However, if it gradually turns out to be consistent and the pain ranges from mild to severe, then it is time to get worried.
Once you begin to note that no matter the exercises you do, the pain just won’t go away, I advise that you go ahead and speak to your physician. You will get checked out and discover if anything is wrong with the baby or it is a different case entirely.
5. During routine clinical examinations, your doctor doesn’t find a heartbeat
A heartbeat is an indication that there is life and to be fair; this may not accurately classify as a symptom. According to Planned Parenthood, when you begin to feel as if you are not a parent anymore, that should be something to be checked out.
According to Gaither, once this situation occurs, it is often classified as a nonviable pregnancy which means the pregnancy no longer has life in it. Mostly, these miscarriages occur during the first trimester of the pregnancy, and it is often characterised with the evidence that the pregnancy isn’t progressing.
This means that the pregnancy isn’t developing and this is a real cause of concern. Whenever this occurs, you will notice that the usual pregnancy symptoms that you usually experience such as nausea, vomiting, tiredness and so on is just no longer in existence.
Sometimes, you may still be having nausea and all the other symptoms, but that doesn’t mean your baby is still there. This often occurs because of the surge of hormones which came along the pregnancy when it was still viable.
6. Your period shows up late
Most ladies often have their periods at a particular time during the month, and hence when they don’t see their periods at that time especially when they know they have had unprotected sex, they often begin to think they are pregnant.
According to Gaither, it is entirely possible to think that you are pregnant. You may even experience some pregnancy symptoms; however, you aren’t exactly pregnant. You are having what is known as a chemical pregnancy. Sometimes, this usually happens even when you are not aware.
You may take a pregnancy test by peeing on a stick, and it might even come back positive whereas it is only a false positive. Here is how a chemical pregnancy occurs.
When a healthy sperm meets an egg, they fuse, and the egg becomes fertilised. The fertilised egg even goes further and implants in the uterus. However, once this occurs, things refuse to develop further.
Keep in mind that once the egg implants itself, the HCG hormone(the pregnancy hormone) is released; hence when you carry out a pregnancy checkup, it comes out positive. However, once the egg implants, further growth and maturation don’t occur; thus a miscarriage happens.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, a chemical pregnancy can account for about 50%-70% of miscarriages that occurs. The exact cause if chemical pregnancies are still yet unknown.