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Treatment of Miscarriage and Ectopic Pregnancies

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The warning signs of miscarriage

Vaginal bleeding can occur in quite a few women while they are pregnant. However, if you find yourself filling more than one sanitary pad in an hour for 2 hours in a row, you need to contact your health care provider immediately. Heavier bleeding and intense cramping are often indications that a miscarriage is in progression. In many cases, your body expels all of the pregnancy-related tissue. The earlier in the pregnancy you are the more likely that your body will complete the miscarriage on its own.

A simple blood test can be administered to determine whether pregnancy hormones are being produced. A complete blood count test (CBC) may be done to determine the degree and amount of blood loss and other tests may be done to determine and hopefully rule out any infections. It may also be recommended that you undergo a pelvic exam to look for signs of miscarriage. These signs could include ruptured membranes, evidence of heavy bleeding, and changes to the cervix. During these exams, your blood type will be checked. If your blood is Rh negative and you have miscarried before, you will be given a shot to help prevent from an Rh incompatability in future pregnancy.

What is the Rh level and why is it important?

Generally when it is completely determined that you are pregnant, you will be given a blood test to determine your type and Rh status. The Rh (Rhesus) factor is a protein located on the surface of your red blood cells, and most people have an Rh factor. When your Rhesus factor is determined, you will discover if your Rh status is positive or negative. If you do not have an Rh factor, then you are Rh-negative.

If you’re Rh-negative, there’s a very high chance that your blood is incompatible with your babies due to the high percentage of people being Rh-positive. It is difficult to determine your baby’s exact blood type until it is born, though it is safe to assume that it is positive so that you take necessary precautions. The danger of having a different Rh level than your baby is that if your blood leaks into your baby’s and vice-versa then your immune system may see the difference in Rh-level as a threat and being to produce antibodies against the Rh-positive blood. When this happens, a miscarriage could result in your current or next pregnancy when your blood leaks into your baby, releasing antibodies into your baby’s blood stream.

Fortunately, there is a way to avoid this from happening. Getting an injection of the drug Rh immune globulin will neutralize the Rh-factor in your blood, eliminating chances of your baby being exposed to deadly antibodies.

Treatments and recovery for miscarriages and after

After a miscarriage occurs, if all pregnancy-related tissue wasn’t expelled during the miscarriage, you will likely need treatment to stop the bleeding and to help prevent infection. The most commonly recommended procedure is called a Dilation-and-Curettage (D&C) which consists of widening the cervix and scraping the endometrium, or uterine lining. Occasionally, suction is used in addition to the scraping. This procedure is generally extremely uncomfortable and often times painful, so anesthesia and post-op pain medication is usually administered. In addition—or sometimes as a substitute option to the surgery—you may be given medication to help stop the bleeding and expel the tissue.

It is extremely common for sadness, depression, and grief to sink in after losing a pregnancy. It is recommended that you and your significant other allow yourselves time to grieve. Consider joining a support group where you can discuss your experiences and feelings with other people who have been through the same traumatic experience. It is important to let family and friends know that you can use their support and how they can support you because many close loved ones may want to help you in your time of need but feel distant due to not knowing how to give their support. It is also common for miscarriage to cause emotional stress on your relationship with your partner. It is not uncommon for couples to blame themselves and one another after a miscarriage. It is important to remember that after you have a miscarriage, your percentage to have a healthy baby in your next pregnancy is generally much higher—only 20% of women that have a miscarriage go on to have another one.

Ectopic Pregnancy symptoms

An ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilized egg implants itself outside of the womb, generally into one of the fallopian tubes. When this happens, the egg will not develop into a baby, which can be very saddening for the pregnant woman. In some cases an ectopic pregnancy causes no noticeable symptoms, however most women DO have symptoms that usually become apparent between week 5 and 14 of the pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy symptoms most commonly include abnormal vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain on one side which ranges from mild to severe. It some cases when a woman is left untreated for ectopic pregnancy, the egg can continue to grow which may cause the fallopian tube to rupture. Symptoms of a ruptured fallopian tube include feeling faint or dizzy, sudden severe and sharp pain, feeling sick, becoming sick, diarrhea, and pain in the shoulder tip. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is recommended you visit your physician immediately.

Call your doctor immediately about any miscarriage issues

If you are consistently experiencing fever, chills, heavy vaginal bleeding, or lightheaded, you will need to call your doctor immediately. These are signs of miscarriage and may also indicate infection. Any remaining pregnancy-related tissues must be removed and medication is likely to be administered to help prevent serious deadly illnesses. These suggestions and tips are for general use and you should consult your physician for specific information; every patient is evaluated on an individual basis and not every patient gets the same treatment plan. If you are in the Houston area and considering pregnancy after a miscarriage, schedule a treatment appointment with us to administer your Rh-factor blood test and discuss any irregularities you experienced in your previous pregnancy.

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