A pregnancy that ends before a baby is born is known as an abortion. Abortions that occur spontaneously or naturally are termed miscarriage. Abortion can also be voluntarily induced in a variety of scenarios, and have the minimum amount of risk to the patient if carried out as early in the pregnancy duration as possible.
Spontaneous Abortions can be due to a large number of reasons. In the first trimester, the most common cause of a miscarriage is an abnormality within the baby’s chromosomes. Other causes include, but are not limited to:
- Trauma to the mother or the fetus
- Maternal hormonal imbalances
- Advanced maternal age
- Various pre-existent diseases
- Unhealthy lifestyle
- Drug abuse
A number of these risks can be managed or avoided by compliance with the doctor’s instructions at regular pre-natal checkups.
A typical presentation of a spontaneous abortion includes:
- History of vaginal discharge or bleeding
- Abdominal pain or cramps
- Discharge of fetal tissue from the vagina
The patient can also experience other symptoms such as: fever and chills in case of an infectious or septic abortion, weight loss, back pain, and sudden disappearance of signs of pregnancies , such as fetal movements.
A diagnosis is usually made on the basis of patient history and physical examination. Tests that can be carried out to confirm loss of pregnancy include an ultrasound and /or a blood test like beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (B-HCG) hormone levels.
Abortions can be carried out or assisted in case of incomplete spontaneous cases either medically or surgically. Following are some drugs that can be used:
- Prostaglandins (misoprostol),
- Antimetabolite agents (methotrexate)
Surgical options include dilation and curettage (D&C) and vacuum assisted aspiration.