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What are the Most Common Causes of Second Trimester Miscarriage?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 04 December 2016
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One of the most common causes of second trimester miscarriage is chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus. Other causes can include problems with the pregnancy, medical problems with the mother, and congenital birth defects like heart defects. The risks of a miscarriage during the second trimester are very low, and in most cases, miscarriages at this point are not preventable. Women who experience multiple miscarriages may want to consider medical screening to identify the causes.

Chromosomal abnormalities are a leading cause of miscarriage at this point in a pregnancy. In some cases, the fetus actually dies during the first trimester but the diagnosis is missed, a situation known as a missed miscarriage. Birth defects, like severe heart anomalies, are another common cause. Problems with the pregnancy, such as placental disorders, weakened cervix, and preterm labor can all be causes.

An abdominal trauma, like a blow or heavy impact, can cause a miscarriage, as can an infection, even if it occurs elsewhere in the body. Clotting disorders can increase the risk of miscarriage. Second trimester miscarriage has also been linked with anatomical anomalies of the uterus, along with conditions like fibroids. Certain prenatal testing like chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis can also increase the risk. Before consenting to such testing, patients will be provided with information about the risks to help them decide if the testing is appropriate for them.

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Pregnancy loss occurring between 12 and 20 weeks is considered a miscarriage. After that point, it is classified as a neonatal death or stillbirth. Symptoms of a miscarriage or stillbirth can include cramping, bleeding, nausea, and the passage of abortus, material associated with the fetus and placenta. It is important to receive medical treatment for a miscarriage, as it is possible for material to be left behind in the uterus, where it will cause a potentially life-threatening infection. After a miscarriage, women are usually advised to rest to allow their bodies to recover, and some women choose to seek genetic counseling to learn more about the miscarriage or psychological counseling to help them process the emotions associated with pregnancy loss.

Second trimester miscarriages can be very traumatic for parents. People typically start sharing the news about the pregnancy in the second trimester, and it can be difficult to tell family and friends about the loss. Support for people recovering from a miscarriage can be very beneficial; sending condolence cards, offering to help with errands and other tasks, providing childcare for parents with existing children, and other gestures are often appreciated.

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anon325252
Post 2

I am 16 weeks pregnant and I used to bleed once in a day. Last night a clot of a blood came but the baby movement is still active. Is there any problem with this?

anon295029
Post 1

I want to know the percentage of second trimester spontaneous abortions in cases where the fetus has severe spina bifida {cervical}, 8.5mm cystic hygroma, bilateral club foot and a large diaphragmatic hernia with heart pushed to right hemothorax.

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