Knowing the Symptoms and Risk Factors of a Potential Miscarriage By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on August 16, 2015

A woman with stomach crampsThe team at Houston Fertility Center has helped countless couples start the family of their dreams. We offer male and female infertility treatment options that are designed to address the root causes of a problem and increase the chances of successful conception and pregnancy.

We have received a number of questions regarding miscarriage lately. We'd like to take a moment right now to consider this issue, focusing on risk factors and symptoms of which women should be aware.

What are the chances of a miscarriage occurring in general?

The chances of a miscarriage can vary based on a number of personal and environmental factors. In general, after a baby's heartbeat has been detected after 8 weeks of pregnancy, the risk of a miscarriage occurring in most women is around 3 percent. If a normal ultrasound is taken by the 16th week, the risk of miscarriage becomes lower than 1 percent.

With this in mind, we should note that between 10 percent to 15 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage.

A Previous Miscarriage Makes Risk Much Higher

While having one miscarriage is not necessarily going to increase the risk of another miscarriage, a woman who experiences two consecutive miscarriages is at a significantly high risk of experiencing another miscarriage. In these cases, it's of the utmost importance to consult with your general practitioner to find out about other options for having a child.

Advanced Age and Miscarriage Risk

As women get older, their fertility is adversely affected. This is particularly true once a woman reaches her mid-30s. Not only can successful conception be more difficult, a woman may also experience increased risk of miscarriage.

At age 35, risk of miscarriage tends to be around 20 percent. At age 40, the risk of miscarriage increases to around 40. By age 45, risk of miscarriage reaches 80 percent.

Miscarriage and Underweight/Overweight Mothers

Being significantly overweight or underweight leads to a number of different health problems that can affect general wellness. As a result, both of these issues can increase risks of miscarriage.

Risk from Uterine and Cervical Problems

Conditions that affect a woman's cervical health or uterine health can both lead to major issues with fertility, including increased risk of miscarriage. Typically these matters can be diagnosed during physicals or OB-GYN exams.

Symptoms of Which to Be Aware

In addition to the risk factors noted above, there are a few symptoms that are commonly associated with miscarriage:

  • Spotting or bleeding
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Lower back pain
  • Fluid or tissue discharge from your vagina

What to Do After a Miscarriage Occurs

There are many options open to women who have experienced multiple miscarriages. It's important to meet with a general practitioner and fertility specialist first to determine the best option for starting a family of your own. In a number of cases, a surrogate carrier may be ideal. This is a woman hired to carry the egg and sperm of a couple to term. Other options can be discussed if a surrogate carrier is not an ideal option.

Schedule a Consultation at Houston Fertility Center

For more information about various women's health issues and matters related to pregnancy and childbirth, be sure to contact our advanced fertility treatment center today. The entire team at Houston Fertility Center looks forward to your visit and helping you receive all the information your need to make smart wellness decisions.

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Dr. Sonja Kristiansen

Houston Fertility Center

Dr. Sonja Kristiansen is the founder and Medical Director of Houston Fertility Center. She is a board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist Infertility (REI) specialist who is proud to help hopeful parents fulfill their dreams of having children. Our center is affiliated with the:

  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine
  • Texas Medical Association

We provide convenient care for patients from greater Houston and visitors from out of town. For more information about our services, contact our office online or call (713) 225-5375 today.

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