What is Abortion?
Abortion can be described as terminating a pregnancy before the 20th week or when the fetal weight is less than 500 grams. When this event happens spontaneously, it is called “spontaneous abortion“. Spontaneous abortions occur in approximately 20-25% of clinically recognized pregnancies. In other words, one out of every 4 or 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage.
The first sign of miscarriage is usually vaginal bleeding. The amount of bleeding can vary from a few drops to excessive bleeding. It may start suddenly, or there may be a brown discharge before it. Another symptom is cramp-like or menstrual-like pain in the groin.
With bleeding, a clot or a piece may fall off. It may be beneficial to store these fallen parts, if possible, and to take them to the examination. Another possibility is that the baby has lost its vitality despite no bleeding. This is called missed abortion.
The diagnosis of miscarriage is made by seeing the pregnancy product in the cervix during the examination and/or detecting the disruption of the pregnancy in ultrasonography.
When the hormonal and immune system-related events necessary for fertilization and a healthy pregnancy are evaluated together, it is realized that pregnancy is extremely difficult. Although a miscarriage is an extremely sad event for a couple, it is important for the continuation of healthy generations. In this way, 95% of anomalies disappear before they are born.
Miscarriages are roughly grouped under two main headings as early and late abortions. Those that occur in the first 12 weeks are called “early abortions“, while those between the 12th and 20th weeks are examined under “late abortion“.
The most important reason for early miscarriage is the chromosomal disorders of that embryo and the disorders in the placement of the pregnancy in the uterus. Further investigation is unnecessary after three consecutive pregnancies do not result in miscarriage.
Miscarriages are examined under different names according to the complaints they cause and the findings.
- In the presence of vaginal bleeding in the first half of pregnancy, the threat of miscarriage is mentioned.
- It can take different forms, from a brown discharge to bright red.
- It may be accompanied by cramp-like pain.
- Bed rest is recommended for such bleeding.
- If there is a known underlying cause, treatment is applied for it.
- Sexual intercourse is restricted.
- There must be no opening in the cervix during the examination.
- If bleeding and cramps increase, the result may be bad.
There is an opening in the cervix with bleeding and pain. In this case, it is impossible to continue the pregnancy and must be terminated by curettage.
In cases where the embryo or fetus is not expelled from the uterus even though it dies, missed abortion is mentioned. Although the reason why a dead embryo is not expelled is unknown, some drugs given under the threat of miscarriage may cause this situation by masking the bleeding. Since some substances secreted from the dead fetus may disrupt the bleeding and coagulation system of the mother and threaten her life, the uterus must be emptied by curettage.
Recurrent Miscarriages (Habitual Abortion)
Recurrent miscarriages are mentioned in cases where three or more pregnancies in a row result in miscarriage.
Usually, these are in the form of late miscarriages. There may be causes such as deformities of the uterus, double-eyed uterus, and cervical insufficiency. In this case, an attempt is made to correct the anomaly with a surgical procedure.
In cases where the hormones necessary for the continuation of the pregnancy cannot be secreted, it may also end with recurrent miscarriages. Similarly, maternal and paternal chromosomal disorders, immune system anomalies, and some infections can create this picture. Treatment is directed toward the underlying cause.
A miscarriage usually does not pose a significant threat to one’s health. However, if the miscarriage is not complete, if there is a piece left inside, infection or bleeding may occur. In the presence of infection, if this infection spreads to the whole body and blood, there may be great dangers. Therefore, in the presence of any miscarriage, it is useful to have an abortion to ensure that there are no pieces left.
Treatment is necessary for blood incompatibility as this will adversely affect future pregnancies.
When Can You Get Pregnant Again?
After an abortion, it is generally recommended to wait up to one week for the first intercourse. Experiencing at least one normal menstrual period before getting pregnant again is important for determining the age of the next pregnancy. Therefore, at least one normal menstrual bleeding should be expected for unprotected intercourse. However, this is not a requirement.
Can a Person Have a Self-induced Abortion?
Please don’t blame yourself. It is extremely difficult for a miscarriage to result from a mistake made by the woman herself. Activities such as sexual intercourse or exercise do not cause abortion.
It should be kept in mind that this event is a law of nature, and one of every 4 or 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage. High morale can be helpful for pregnancies.