causes and cure of Habitual Abortion

Women Health

causes and cure of Habitual Abortion

The term abortion refers to the expulsion of the foetus from the uterus before the complete

formation of the placenta. It is also commonly known as miscarriage. This may occur any time

before 28 weeks of gestation but is most common during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Once

in five to ten pregnancies terminates in this way.

When miscarriage occurs repeatedly at a certain period of pregnancy, it is termed " habitual

abortion ". It is one of the most perplexing problems of gyanaecology and a major cause of

maternal mortality. A woman who has suffered two or more terminations of this sort

consecutively is said to be a case of habitual abortion.


Pains of the same character as labour pains and bleedings are the two main symptoms of

possible abortion. Bleeding may lead to the detachment of the ovum from the uterus. It now acts

as a foreign body in the uterus which stimulates uterine contraction. This generates a lot of pain

and the foetus is thrown out of the body. In later weeks when the foetus is well developed, if it

dies in the uterus, it leads to maceration of the body. The abdomen is filled with blood and the

skin colour appears red. Sometime after a few more days, the foetus gets dehydrated and the

fluid surrounding the foetus gets dried away.


One of the most important cause of habitual abortion is a congenital malformation of the uterus.

A hysterogram, before the woman becomes pregnant, will be useful in detecting any abormality,

so that she is made aware of her case. Deficient functioning of the thyroid is another important

cause of habitual abortion.

Most cases of habitual abortion, however, result from an inadequate secretion of the female

hormone progesterone. This hormone is responsible for the development of the placenta. In the

early stage of pregnancy, the gonadotrophin secreted by the cytotrophoblast of the chorion, one

of the foetal membranes, stimulates the corpus lotemum to produce more oestrogen and

progesterone, both essential female hormones. At a later stage, by about the 12th week of

pregnancy, the placenta takes over the production and secretion of the hormones. Any

deficiency of these hormones at this stage is detrimental to the growth of the foetus. It is,

therefore, during this critical period,when habitual abortion mostly occurs. Lack of progesterone

is especially instrumental in expelling the fertilised ovum and it results in an abortion.

Another important cause of habitual abortion may be chronic constipation which leads to

putrefaction of morbid matter and wastes in the large intestines. This in turn causes

auto-intoxication and inflammation of the reproductive organs, which can lead to a miscarriage.

Abortion may result from the excessive use of certain drugs. Drugs enter the foetus through the

placenta. They may act quite differently on the foetus from the mother. Drugs which have

adverse effects on the foetus are called " tera-togenestic drugs " and may include painkillers,

antibiotics, tranquillisers and hormones. A high dosage of such drugs may produce contraction

in the uterus and induce abortion.

Other cause of habitual abortion are excessive physical exercise, mental excitement, sexual

intercourse, syphilis infections fibroid tumours, blood incompatibly of husband and wife, systemic

disorders in the mother like hypertension, chronic nephritis, diabetes and even her mental


Thorough examination of the pregnant woman’s blood, urine, blood pressure and their related

parameters help in detecting maternal disorders. Serological tests, for example, prove the

presence or absence of syphilis infection. Pelvic examinations help to diagnose uterine

displacements , fibroids or ovarian tumours. A hysterogram also helps to detect uterine

malfunctions. The exact cause must be ascertained for prescribing correct treatment.


Conditions such as hormonal imbalance, infections of the uterus and chronic constipation can be

remedied by natural methods of treatment . For congenital uterine malformation, however,

recourse may have to be taken to surgery.

On appearance of the first symptoms of possible abortion, the patient should be put to bed

immediately and the bottom end of the bed raised. Cold compresses at 60 o F temperature

should be applied continuously to the inner portion of the thighs, the perinium, the vagina and

the lumbar region. Compresses should be changed every 15 to 20 minutes. When the compress

is removed for renewing, the surface should be rubbed with a warm dry flannel for half a minute

or until reddened, before applying the compress again. Simultaneously, a hot application should

be made to the feet.

A neutral or warm water enema is an effective remedy for a constipated colon which is a major

cause for the toxaemic condition of the uterus. This will relieve the bowels and thus reduce any

excessive pressure on the uterus and other pelvic organs. A regular cold hip bath for a duration

of 10 minutes twice every day is very helpful in relieving congestion and inflammation of the

uterus. Wet girdle packs, twice every day, on an empty stomach, also relieve congestion’s and

infections in the uterus and other pelvic organs. It is advisable that women with a history of

repeated abortions should adopt these techniques before conception and continue them during

the first two months of pregnancy.

Hormonal imbalances can be set right by practicing yogic exercise. Yogic asanas such as

sarvangasana, vajrasana, bhujan-gasana, shalabhsana, dhanurasana, paschimottashana, and

trikonasana are especially useful in improving thyroid, pituitary, adrenal and gonaidal endocrine

functions and should be practised regularly by women who suffer from imbalances of this sort,

upto the first two months of pregnancy.

Dietary control is of utmost importance in the prevention of habitual abortion. Pregnant women

should avoid refined carbo- hydrates, sugars, non-vegetarian food, coffee and tea. They should

also avoid oily and fried foods as such foods lead to constipation, which is very detrimental to

pregnancy. Smoking or chewing tobacco and drinking alcohol must be strictly avoided.

The pregnant woman’s diet chart should be on the following lines :

Breakfast : Fresh fruits and a glass of milk mixed with a teaspoonful of honey.

Lunch : Steamed vegetables, boiled rice or whole wheat chappatis and soup or buttermilk.

Midafternoon : A glass of fruit juice or a whole fruit.

Dinner : Cooked diet similar to the afternoon meal may be taken till the seventh month. After

that, fruits, nuts, germinated seeds and sprouts, milk, buttermilk and soups must form her diet

because they reduce the workload on the digestive system and thus help avoid indigestion,

constipation and related disorders.

Indian gooseberry, known as amla in the vernancular, is considered useful in preventing

abortion. A teaspoonful of fresh amla juice and honey mixed together should be taken every

morning during the period of pregnancy. It will also prevent infections and help in the absorption

of iron. A brew made from safflower foliage is also said to prevent abortion.

Pregnant women with a history of repeated abortions should take all other precautions

necessary to prevent miscarriage. They should avoid sexual intercourse, during early

pregnancy. They should go to bed early and rise early and take regular exercise, but avoid

fatigue. They should sleep on a hard mattress with their heads low, and remain calm and cool.

All these measures will greatly help in correcting the phenomenon of habitual abortion.

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