Can I prevent a miscarriage? This is a question that bothers most pregnant ladies, especially those having a history of miscarriages. A miscarriage is the loss of a foetus before the 20th week of pregnancy. Spontaneous abortion is another term used for miscarriage.
A miscarriage usually brings along emotional havoc. Unfortunately - the occurrence of miscarriages is alarmingly high. According to an estimate - as high as 20% pregnancies result in a miscarriage. While genetic abnormalities are one of the major factors behind miscarriages, there are various other factors impacting the continuation of pregnancy. We cannot modify our chromosomes, but there are ways and means by which miscarriages can be reduced.
How can miscarriages be prevented?
Screening for STD
Getting yourself screened for STD (sexually transmitted diseases) like gonorrhoea, syphilis, HIV and herpes is one way to have a safe pregnancy. These diseases, if left undiagnosed or untreated, could affect the foetus.
Moderate exercises can ensure a smoother and safer delivery. However, do not exert yourself by engaging in excessive workout as this can harm the baby. Excessive exercise should also be avoided because it can result in abdominal injuries which can create difficulties for you and your baby.
Verify vaccination records
Review your immunization history for any crucial vaccinations you might have missed. Falling ill during pregnancy would increase your chances of a miscarriage. Hence, assuring your immunity status is strongly recommended.
Altering your food habits
Dairy products which are not pasteurised can bring in listeria and toxoplasmosis, two rare infections which could add up miscarriage risks. Similarly, uncooked meat is also better to be avoided.
The following are general recommendations
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet with at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day
- Avoiding any foods which could make you ill or harm your baby
- Some fruits like papaya contain certain chemicals which may adversely affect the pregnancy
- Vitamins, as recommended by your doctor
Consult your doctor
Consulting a doctor for eliminating risks connected with thyroid disease, epilepsy, and lupus are highly recommended as these can affect the baby. Your doctor would be the best person to assess your risks of pregnancy termination, clotting disorders, recurrent miscarriages or other illness.
Avoid intoxicating substances
Any use of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs during pregnancy would invariably affect the foetus. Even caffeine can add up the miscarriage risk. Passive smoking too, must be avoided.
Being agitated and negatively oriented is harmful to you and your foetus. You need to be positive, cheerful, which in turn would be beneficial to the foetus. Indulging in Prenatal exercise classes like – Yoga, Zumba, and Pilates can help keep your mind and body feeling fresh and positive.
Obesity increases the risk of miscarriage significantly. Your body mass index (BMI) should be normal during conceiving as well as throughout pregnancy. This is true for ladies on the wrong side of thirty. Shedding a couple of kilograms is recommended to keep better foot balance.
Treating an unidentified cause
There could still be some unidentified causes increasing chances of a miscarriage like:
- Antiphospholipid syndrome (Hughes syndrome) - causes blood clots.
- Weakened cervix (cervical incompetence) - can be treated with a small procedure
- Chemotherapy and radiation treatments also increase the chances of miscarriage
- Medication like Retinoids, Ibuprofen, Misoprostol, Methotrexate, etc. increase the risk of miscarriage
Symptoms of a miscarriage
- Bleeding which progresses from light to heavy
- Severe cramps
- Abdominal pain
- Back pain
You are advised to consult your doctor at the earliest if any of these occur.