Pregnancy is a wonderful time for both you and your partner. Planning for baby and watching his fetal development is an exciting and precious experience.
However, pregnancy can also be at time that is fraught with anxiety. In particular, many pregnant women worry about suffering a miscarriage. If you have noticed bleeding during the early stages of your pregnancy, you may be suffering from what is known as a threatened miscarriage.
A threatened miscarriage can put your baby at risk for miscarriage. If you are displaying any of the signs and symptoms of threatened miscarriage, visit with your health care provider as soon as possible.
What is a Threatened Miscarriage?
A threatened miscarriage describes a pregnancy that may be at increased risk for experiencing a miscarriage. Any woman who experiences vaginal bleeding during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy is described as having a threatened miscarriage.
Also known as a threatened spontaneous abortion, threatened miscarriages are actually quite common.
In fact, more than 30% of all pregnant women experience some type of vaginal bleeding in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, and most of these women go on to experience full-term pregnancies. Threatened miscarriages most commonly occur before the 12th week of pregnancy.
What are the Symptoms of a Threatened Miscarriage?
The most common sign of a threatened miscarriage is vaginal bleeding occurring before the 20th week of pregnancy. This vaginal bleeding may vary in appearance.
It might be:
- bright red
- light pink
Vaginal bleeding may also appear in the form of spotting or as a much heavier flow.
Other common threatened miscarriage symptoms are:
- back pain, particularly in the lower back
- stomach cramps
What Causes a Threatened Miscarriage?
In most women, threatened miscarriage causes are never determined. However, there are a variety of factors that may be contributing to your vaginal bleeding.
Vaginal bleeding is often the result of:
- uterine fibroids, polyps, or cysts
- infections, such as STDS
- cervical inflammation occurring during sex
- ectopic pregnancy
- placental complications
Diagnosing a Threatened Miscarriage
If you are experiencing any type of bleeding during your pregnancy, it is important that you visit with your health care provider. She can help to determine whether or not you are at risk for experiencing a miscarriage.
Your doctor will likely perform a pelvic exam to help check the size and shape of your uterus. She will also check to see if your cervix has dilated (widened) or effaced (thinned out). Cervical dilation and effacement are generally signs of a miscarriage.