Most people who have never gone through a miscarriage believe that all miscarriages are the same. This is not true. There are at least 7 different types of miscarriages. In this post I will explain each type.
This first is a threatened miscarriage, which means a woman is showing signs that she may possibly miscarry. These signs include bleeding or spotting and possible mild cramping or backache. Some women experience bleeding or spotting with every pregnancy, healthy or not, while other experience cramping throughout the first trimester without problems. What makes the miscarriage threatened is that the cervix remains closed. If the cervix begins to open her miscarriage has become inevitable.
Inevitable miscarriage can be a continuation of a threatened miscarriage or can begin spontaneously. Early in pregnancy, when the cervix begins to open, there is no stopping the miscarriage. You will pass both the baby and the placenta. If in the first 6 weeks it will seem like a heavy period, but if after 6 weeks the pain can range from mild cramping to moderate labor pains. If the body passes all of the fetal materials, your miscarriage is complete. If some materials stay in the uterus, you have had an incomplete miscarriage and will have to have a D&C to prevent infection and further complications.
A missed miscarriage is when there is no bleeding and the cervix is still closed but the baby has died. Some women are given the option to wait and see if their bodies expel the pregnancy naturally, but most have an operation such as a D&C to remove the pregnancy in order to prevent infection.
A chemical pregnancy is a miscarriage within a few days of your period being late. With a chemical pregnancy the embryo implants and then dies. Most women don't even know they were pregnant and just believe that they had a late period.
A Blighted ovum is when an embryo implants but does not grow as it should. Ultrasounds show that there is an empty sac and there is no hope of it becoming a baby. Sometimes the body will expel the embryo in a miscarriage but usually the woman had a D&C to remove the pregnancy because of emotional reasons as she will continue to feel pregnant for a length of time.
An Ectopic pregnancy is when the embryo implants in a fallopian tube rather than the uterus. Up to 50% of ectopic pregnancies miscarry an their own without the woman being aware that the pregnancy was ectopic. In rare cases the embryo is absorbed back into the woman's body and she is unaware she was ever pregnant. The other women will begin to have pain between weeks 4 and 12 and her doctor will recommend an ultrasound that will show that the embryo did not implant in the right place. At this point the woman will have to have surgery because an ectopic pregnancy can be life threatening if not removed as it can cause the fallopian tube to rupture.
A molar pregnancy is a very rare condition that occurs when the placenta implants and begins to grow cysts. Sometimes a baby will begin to develop but will be unable to survive while other times the cysts will just begin to multiply without a baby. The woman must have a D&C as soon as the condition has been diagnosed as it is rather dangerous and can even cause cancer.