Retained abortion happens when the embryo dies and is not expelled outside, and can stay in the womb for weeks or even months. Usually, it occurs between the 8th and 12th weeks of pregnancy, with bleeding and disappearance of symptoms associated with pregnancy.
In most cases, treatment consists of emptying the uterine cavity, and the woman must be followed up by a psychologist.
What are the signs and symptoms
The most common signs and symptoms that can be caused by a missed abortion are bleeding and disappearance of pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, high urinary frequency, breast engorgement and absence of increased uterine volume. Find out what symptoms may occur during pregnancy .
The most common causes that can lead to a missed abortion are:
- Fetal malformations;
- Chromosomal changes;
- Advanced age of women;
- Poor nutrition during pregnancy;
- Use of alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and some medications;
- Untreated thyroid disease;
- Uncontrolled diabetes;
- Trauma, such as a car accident or falls;
- Cervical problems;
- Severe hypertension;
- Exposure to radiation.
Generally, women who suffer from a missed abortion are normally not at risk for a future pregnancy, unless one of the factors mentioned above occurs. Learn how to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
How the treatment is done
Treatment is carried out after diagnosis by performing an ultrasound scan, in order to confirm the death of the fetus and generally consists of emptying the uterine cavity by means of uterine curettage or by manual intrauterine aspiration. If left untreated, the remains of the fetus can cause bleeding or even an infection, which can lead to death.
Curettage is a procedure performed by the gynecologist, in which the uterus is cleaned by scraping the wall of the uterus and manual intrauterine aspiration consists of aspiration from the inside of the uterus with a kind of syringe, to eliminate the dead embryo and remains of an incomplete abortion. Both techniques can also be used in the same procedure. See how this process is carried out .
When the gestational age is above 12 weeks, fetal ossification is already present, and the cervix should mature with a medicine called misoprostol, wait for the contractions and clean the cavity after expelling the fetus.