Death of the fetus in utero

Death of the fetus in utero

Sometimes the fetus dies in the womb. He’s not expelled right away. In general, retention lasts 48 hours but it can be much longer.

Causes and risk factors

The causes of fetal death in utero are often maternal, either accidental (trauma, infections, voluntary or not) or predictable, exposing to repeat offset during a later pregnancy (vasculo-kidney syndrome, diabetes, decompensed heart disease, syphilis, incompatibility rhesus etc…).

Sometimes it’s about ovular malformations, cord abnormalities, egg implantation vice; finally, prolonged pregnancy expose after the end of fetal death.

Signs of the disease

Women notice a decrease in active movements, a milky rise during pregnancy or even an improvement in pregnancy-related pathology (e.g. preeclampsia).

At clinical exam, stagnation of uterine height, and the disappearance of heart noises are worrying. The vaginal touch leaves a nut bag feeling due to the perception of overlap of skull sutures.

Ultrasound confirm these signs, check for absence of heart activity.

As soon as diagnosis is suspected, the woman is hospitalized. An assessment is carried out and birth often occurs spontaneously.

Three complications are possible: infection, clotting problems, and if the mother is negative, a possible fetal-maternal immunization (so it is necessary to practice a systematic injection of anti-D gammaglobulins).

Psychological support is needed because this late accident in pregnancy is extremely difficult for the woman.