Miscarriage is a spontaneous termination of a foetus before it is able to survive outside of the uterus. The loss happens before the foetus reaches 20 weeks of age, with most miscarriages happening in the first trimester of pregnancy. The causes of miscarriage are not fully understood but some known causes are genetic abnormalities in the foetus, hormonal problems, infections, uterine abnormalities, and maternal health problems. Symptoms of a miscarriage include vaginal bleeding, menstrual-like cramps or more severe abdominal pain, backache, and fever. Treatment is often not necessary but some treatment options include a D&C (dilation and curettage), treating the underlying cause if known, herbal remedies, homoeopathy, and acupuncture. Prevention strategies include controlling known health problems, taking folic acid, a healthy diet and exercise, quitting smoking and alcohol, and checking medications you are on with your doctor.
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