It is estimated that 1/5th of all pregnancies end in miscarriage or abortion. The majority of these miscarriages happen within the first three months and very few after that.
The abortion can take place any time and may have different symptoms. The different types of abortion are threatened abortion, inevitable abortion, incomplete abortion etc. This article will deal only with the phenomenon of missed abortions.
What is Missed Abortion?
Missed abortion refers to a situation where there is a sudden termination of pregnancy. The fetus just stops growing without any apparent reason. This is regarded as a serious form of miscarriage as missed abortions are often undetected due to lack of warning signs. Normally missed abortions are detected when the pregnant woman goes for her routine check.
The doctor will prescribe a number of tests if the fetus is suspected to be absent. This type of abortion is considered to be serious and damaging because the residue of the pregnancy remains inside the uterus. There is a high risk of infection and the woman can even lose her fetus. So the woman will be better placed if such abortions are detected at an early stage.
Spontaneous and complete abortions have symptoms like heavy bleeding and cramping. But the problem with missed abortion is that that it shows no symptoms which make its detection virtually impossible. Only an ultrasound can detect it but the age of the gestational fetus must be more than 3 months. The ultrasound will not detect very early missed abortions though.
The missed abortions are very hard to detect as the pregnancy symptoms are always there but the level of HCG can drop very fast. Blood and urine tests are the only way by which one can detect low HCG levels. But as there are no symptoms many women do not go for these tests as there is practically no need for it. The missed abortions can only be found out through routine examinations. It is strongly believed that regular prenatal care can eradicate any such problems.
Whenever a missed abortion is detected the first step that a doctor takes is to expel the residual tissues from the body. Medications are prescribed for the woman but if no improvements are noted then a surgical procedure called Dilation & Curettage is undertaken. It is a very rare case that a body will expel the tissue on its own; so a surgical procedure remains the only hope. The surgery is important so that there is no chance of infection.
The healing period after such a surgery is pretty long. There are chances that a woman can also go into depression post such a loss. It is not advisable to rush into conceiving; wait for the first period. You must wait for at least 3 menstrual period to pass so that you are fit enough to handle another pregnancy. A missed abortion does not mean that you cannot handle pregnancy. You must take good care of the body and in due course of time you will be ready for another attempt.