Having a miscarriage can be traumatic for anyone. When you combine the profound sense of loss with the irrational guilt that many women feel after a miscarriage, you have a recipe for disaster. For these reasons, some women who miscarry may decide not to seek medical help. This is a grave mistake, which can lead to any number of problems including a severe infection and even death. An especailly dangerous situation is when you hav an ectopic pregnancy, which often has the same type of symptoms as an early miscarriage.
To understand how a miscarriage can cause death or other problems, it is important to understand a little bit about the different types of miscarriages. Sometimes, the fetus will be entirely expelled from the uterus during a miscarriage. This is known as a "complete" miscarriage. In some cases, only a portion of the fetus and placenta are expelled, and some remains inside of your uterus. This is called an "incomplete" miscarriage. Finally, a "missed" miscarriage is when you have a miscarriage, but the tissue remains entirely inside of your uterus.
The most dangerous type of miscarriage, if left untreated, is the missed miscarriage. In the case of a missed miscarriage, you can experience a severe infection in your uterus, or even sepsis. Sepsis is when you have a severe infection in your body somewhere that can even get into your bloodstream, and can cause any number of severe medical problems.
If you had an ectopic pregnancy, it is especially important that you be treated immediately. If left untreated, an ectopic pregnancy can cause the fallopian tube to rupture. It is estimated that somewhere around 9% of pregnancy-related maternal deaths are caused by ectopic pregnancy. If you are able to get medical help before the tube ruptures, you are much more likely to avoid any unfortunate health effects. In some cases, if the tube does rupture but is caught in time, surgery may be necessary to help preserve the woman’s life.
If you believe you are having a miscarriage, it is important that you seek out medical help right away. It can be nearly impossible to tell what type of miscarriage it was, and it can also be very difficult to tell if it was due to an ectopic pregnancy.