The last few months of pregnancy are very important for the baby’s development as well as the mother’s health. Any signs of miscarriage – the spontaneous termination of a pregnancy – in this sensitive period of time should be taken seriously, and urgent care should be sought immediately. Miscarriages occur in about 18% of reported pregnancies within the twentieth to twenty-second week after conception and while the baby weighs under 400 grams. Hormones are monitored throughout the pregnancy. If these hormone levels drop sporadically within a couple days, then it could be a strong indicator of an impending miscarriage. Any bleeding, light or heavy, that occurs within the second or third trimester, especially after the twenty-eighth week of pregnancy should be treated as an emergency. Bleeding that occurs earlier on in the pregnancy might be evidence of any number of problems. When the embryo implants itself in the uterine wall, a small amount of bleeding may occur, but this is completely normal. In the case of a blighted ovum or embryonic failure, the fetus does not develop in the right location, which causes complications. If an ectopic or tubal pregnancy has occurred, the fertilized egg has travelled to the Fallopian tube, and if it remains there long enough, then it could possibly rupture the tube and cause bleeding. If a baby is inside the uterus but bleeding is occurring, it would be described as a threatened miscarriage. This situation can be brought on due to a urinary tract infection, dehydration, physical trauma, or abnormal fetal development. If bleeding has occurred and the uterus is empty, then a complete miscarriage has occurred. The pregnancy could even just be a tumor or water-filled cysts, called a molar pregnancy, caused by pregnancy hormones. Cramping can also indicate complications such as preterm labor if it occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy, or even placental abruption, where the placenta divides from the uterus. Additional symptoms of preterm labor include persistent contractions 10 minutes apart, unusual pressure in the pelvis, and aching of the back. If cramping occurs along with swelling of the face, feet, and ankles, a condition called preeclampsia may be occurring. All of these conditions require immediate urgent care.Over the course of the pregnancy be sure to monitor all your symptoms and their degrees of intensity such as soreness, the baby’s movement, and morning indigestion. A steep decrease in any of your symptoms could be an indicator of change in the baby’s development. Occurrences such as these should be noted and brought up at the next visit to the doctor, but do not require urgent care. Additional symptoms of miscarriages which can occur throughout the pregnancy include intense dizziness, relentless headaches and backaches, and sharp pain in the uterus or cervix.
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