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INTRODUCTION

Abortion is the medical term for any interruption of a pregnancy before a fetus is viable (able to survive outside the uterus if born at that time). A viable fetus is usually defined as a fetus of more than 20-24 weeks of gestation or one that weighs atleast 500 grams. Abortion Symptoms The first abortion symptom is vaginal bleeding, which can range from spotting to being heavier than a period. A little spotting may be an early sign of abortion although fortunately this may amount to no more than a threatened abortion and the pregnancy continues. The second abortion symptom is pelvic pain. The third abortion symptom is cessation of pregnancy symptoms including breast tenderness, morning sickness and having to pass urine more frequently than usual. Sometimes there may be no sign or symptom to suggest abortion and pregnancy symptoms continue, and the abortion is only discovered in a routine scan. This is a missed abortion. A threatened abortion occurs when there is vaginal bleeding but ultrasound confirms a viable pregnancy. Cause of Abortion Often the cause of a miscarriage remains unknown. The most common cause for abortion is a blighted ovum - the afterbirth type tissues develop but there is no baby. Another common cause is a genetic defect and nature decides not to allow the pregnancy to continue. Smoking and obesity may contribute to abortion but do not cause abortion by themselves. Similarly, stress may play a role in pregnancy loss, but it hasn't been shown to cause abortion on its own. Prevalence Of abortion It is thought that between 10 and 20% of pregnancies miscarry. Most abortions occur in the early weeks of pregnancy. Ultrasound screening for fetal anomaly has shown the incidence of non-viable pregnancy at 10-13 weeks to be 2.8%

Treatment of abortion If abortion is threatened, you will usually be advised to rest for a few days and a repeat scan will confirm whether the pregnancy is continuing. There have been several important developments in the management of abortion in recent years. The combination of highly sensitive pregnancy tests and ultrasound will usually assist in providing an accurate diagnosis. Many hospitals now have an early pregnancy assessment unit that specialize in these problems. This should allow you to see an expert in a dedicated area where you can receive sympathetic assistance away from busy, and often fraught, accident and emergency departments. Pregnancy after Abortion If you are pregnant after a previous abortion, the chances are that the pregnancy will be successful. Even after three abortions, your chance of a successful pregnancy is 55%. Usually nature has detected some problem such as a chromosome abnormality and decides that it is in your interests to discontinue this pregnancy and give you an early chance to start a successful one. A blighted ovum or an embryo with an abnormality would be reasons for spontaneous abortion. Occasionally there may be a different and perhaps remedial cause which would need consideration if you have three abortions. What are the chances of having a Miscarriage? For women in their childbearing years, the chances of having a miscarriage can range from 1025%, and in most healthy women the average is about a 15-20% chance.

An increase in maternal age affects the chances of miscarriage Women under the age of 35 yrs old have about a 15% chance of miscarriage Women who are 35-45 yrs old have a 20-35% chance of miscarriage Women over the age of 45 can have up to a 50% chance of miscarriage A woman who has had a previous miscarriage has a 25% chance of having another (only a slightly elevated risk than for someone who has not had a previous miscarriage) source: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/miscarriage.html

INCOMPLETE ABORTION

An Incomplete abortion is an inevitable abortion and some of the products of the pregnancy are still present in the uterus. Most incomplete abortions occur in women whose pregnancies have reached eight weeks or more from the time of conception, or 10 weeks LMP (last menstrual period).

The cramps associated with incomplete abortion can be very painful, and severe. In order to get the tissue to pass through the cervix your body may go into a mini labor to open the os (opening of the cervix, entrance into the uterus) to allow the tissue to pass. When this happens it can be a very frightening and painful experience, particularly if bleeding is also profuse. When pieces of tissue are too large for the uterus to expel, it creates a situation where the uterus is not able to "clamp down" (contract) to its normal size. It is important for the uterus to return to its normal size following child birth or miscarriage, this prevents the uterus from bleeding uncontrollably. Massaging the uterine area can help the uterus contract to normal size. If it does not return to its normal size hemorrhage can result, bleeding can be dangerously profuse. And it is possible to bleed to death. Incomplete abortion can also manifest in ways other than hemorrhage. Remaining tissue can result in a uterine infection. The first symptom is fever. Uterine infection is very serious. Left untreated it can result in sterility and even death. So if you come down with a fever following the termination of pregnancy, herbally, natural miscarriage, or by clinical abortion, even if it is a couple of weeks after the termination of pregnancy. The second symptom of uterine infection is usually reveiled during a pelvic exam at the clinic, the uterus will be quite painful as the infection progresses. Again, early treatment is very important, this is not something that can be resolved at home. Incomplete abortion can also be prolonged bleeding lasting two or more weeks. Bleeding may be moderate to light. It can present serious health problems and could require blood transfusions if bleeding is serious. Uterine infection could still result. Anemia may also become a problem (iron deficiency).