Lists smoking, alcohol, maternal infections, uterine defects, medical disorders, maternal age and genetic defects as causes of miscarriage.
A Consultant in Obstetric and Gynaecology, Dr David Ede-Edokpolor, has said that about 40 per cent of all conceptions ends in miscarriage after implantation as a result of maternal infections, medical disorders, maternal age, alcohol, smoking, and uterine abnormalities.
In an interview with our correspondent, Ede-Edokpolor, advised pregnant women to avoid alcohol and smoking during pregnancy as this could also cause miscarriage.
He said, “Up to 80 per cent of spontaneous miscarriages occur in the first trimester. The incidence is influenced by age, history of a previous full-term pregnancy, number of previous spontaneous miscarriages, a previous history of stillbirth, and a history of a previous infant born with malformation or known genetic defect.
“Maternal age could also be a cause of miscarriages, the older the woman, the worse the outcome of the miscarriage. Prevention of miscarriages is by prompt treatment of all infections listed above and early identification and prompt treatment of medical disorders.”
He advised women who have suffered miscarriages to go to the hospital and see an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist for proper evaluation, assessment and treatment.
“More than 70,000 women die from complications of induced abortions and over 99 per cent of these deaths are due to unsafe procedures carried out in developing countries,” the expert said.
He listed the different types of miscarriages as threatened miscarriage, incomplete miscarriage, inevitable miscarriage, complete miscarriage, missed miscarriage, recurrent miscarriage, septic miscarriage and complete miscarriage.
A miscarriage is defined as loss or expulsion of a pregnancy before 28 weeks gestation. In developed societies where the special care baby units are well equipped and can salvage babies below 28 weeks, viability would be defined as gestation of 20 weeks to 24 weeks.
In the mind of the public, the term abortion is usually confused with a deliberate termination of pregnancy and criminal abortion while miscarriage is an accidental or spontaneous end to a pregnancy. To the medical person, the terms miscarriage and abortion means the same thing. Other causes of miscarriage are hormonal imbalance, immunological abnormalities like systemic lupus erythromatosis (SLE) and ABO and Rhesus incompatibility.