In medicine, spontaneous abortion, also known as miscarriage, refers to the loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week of gestation, typically due to natural causes. It is a relatively common occurrence, with up to 20% of known pregnancies ending in miscarriage.
The causes of spontaneous abortion can be varied and may include genetic abnormalities, hormonal imbalances, infections, uterine abnormalities, autoimmune disorders, lifestyle factors such as smoking or substance abuse, or a combination of these factors. In some cases, the cause of spontaneous abortion may not be identified.
Symptoms of spontaneous abortion may include vaginal bleeding, cramping, and the passing of tissue or clots from the vagina. Diagnosis typically involves a physical examination, ultrasound, and/or blood tests to confirm the pregnancy loss.
Treatment of spontaneous abortion depends on the stage of pregnancy and the cause of the pregnancy loss. In some cases, no intervention is necessary and the pregnancy will pass on its own. In other cases, medication or a procedure such as dilation and curettage (D&C) may be necessary to remove the remaining tissue from the uterus and prevent infection.
Emotional support is an important aspect of care for individuals who have experienced a spontaneous abortion, as it can be a distressing and emotionally challenging experience. Support may include counseling, support groups, and resources for coping with grief and loss.
Overall, while spontaneous abortion is a common occurrence, it is important for individuals who experience symptoms of a possible pregnancy loss to seek medical attention in order to receive appropriate diagnosis and treatment, as well as emotional support.