Missed Miscarriage

Definition - What does Missed Miscarriage mean?

A missed miscarriage occurs when a fetal death takes place, but the body does not immediately recognize it. The fetal tissue does not leave the body, and typical signs and symptoms of pregnancy may occur for some time. As a result, many women may not recognize they are experiencing a missed miscarriage. A missed miscarriage is diagnosed via an ultrasound examination. While it is physically easy to recover from a missed miscarriage, emotional consequences may occur and should be treated appropriately.

A missed miscarriage is also commonly known as a silent miscarriage or a missed abortion within the medical community.

FertilitySmarts explains Missed Miscarriage

A spontaneous miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy prior to 20 weeks of gestation. A missed miscarriage is one type of spontaneous abortion.

A missed miscarriage is recognized by its deviation from typical miscarriage symptoms. Someone experiencing a missed abortion may not become aware of the loss until pregnancy related symptoms, such as sore breasts or morning sickness, subside, or a routine pregnancy appointment detects it.

However, the causes of missed miscarriage are typical of any spontaneous abortion. While the cause is typically genetic complications or chromosomal disorders, other issues such as drug or alcohol exposure, maternal disease or infections, hormonal issues or physical conditions may be involved.

In the case of a missed miscarriage, the symptoms are not avoided but delayed, and expulsion of the fetal tissue will eventually occur. Therefore, once a missed miscarriage has been identified, the individual is monitored for at risk concerns, such as heavy bleeding or infection. If a medical procedure is required, a dilation and curettage (D&C) is performed to remove the remains of the pregnancy.

A spontaneous miscarriage of any kind is statistically fairly common and easy to physically recover from. However, the emotional ramifications of a spontaneous abortion can be impactful. Those who experienced a missed miscarriage are at risk for depression, anxiety and other emotional concerns, which should be addressed appropriately through supportive networks and counseling.

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