Understanding IUFD: Fetal Death in the womb

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Understanding IUFD: Fetal Death in the womb
Understanding IUFD: Fetal Death in the womb

Intrauterine fetal death or IUFD is a condition in which a fetus dies in the womb after 20 weeks of gestation. Some cases of IUFD cannot be prevented, but the risk can be reduced by paying attention to the causative factors and taking appropriate preventive steps

Each doctor may have different criteria for fetal age in determining the classification of IUFD. However, usually the fetus is said to have IUFD between 20-37 weeks of age. In addition, another criterion for declaring IUFD is that the weight of the fetus that died in the womb was more than 350 grams.

Understanding IUFD: Fetal Death in the Womb - Alodokter

Although both cause the fetus to die in the womb, IUFD is different from miscarriage. The difference lies in the age of fetal death. A woman is said to have miscarried if the death of the fetus occurred at less than 20 weeks of gestation.

The Cause of IUFD

Most of the causes of IUFD or what is also known as stillbirth are unknown, but this condition can be a sign of problems in pregnancy. Various possible causes of IUFD include:

1. Placenta not functioning properly

Disorders with the placenta can reduce the supply of nutrients needed by the fetus in the womb, such as blood flow and oxygen, to decrease. This condition can inhibit fetal development (intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and trigger IUFD.

2. Genetic disorders

The next suspected cause of IUFD is genetic defects or chromosomal abnormalities. This condition causes the vital organs of the fetus, such as the brain and heart, to not develop properly, leading to IUFD.

3. Bleeding

Heavy bleeding that occurs in the final trimester can also be the cause of the death of the fetus in the womb. This can happen when the placenta has begun to separate (split) from the uterus before entering labor. This condition is called placental abruption (placental abruption).

4. Certain medical conditions suffered by the mother

Diabetes, hypertension, immune disorders, malnutrition, and infection with group B Streptococcus bacteria, listeriosis, toxoplasmosis, or rubella are at risk of causing the fetus to die in the womb.

The same goes for other infections, such as malaria, syphilis, and HIV. Preeclampsia can also reduce blood flow to the fetus through the placenta, triggering IUFD.

5. Poor age and lifestyle

Another factor that increases the risk of IUFD is related to age. Pregnant women who are more than 35 years old or less than 15 years old are more susceptible to IUFD.

In addition to age, obesity and an unhe althy lifestyle, such as consuming alcoholic beverages or smoking during pregnancy can also trigger IUFD.

Some experts also suggest that stillbirths or stillbirths in the womb are often caused by a combination of the above factors, such as placental disorders, maternal he alth, and poor lifestyles.

IUFD Handling

In the case of miscarriage, the doctor will usually recommend a curettage procedure to remove the dead fetus. Meanwhile, in the case of IUFD, the fetus that has died will usually be expelled through childbirth.

If the baby has died before the due date, the doctor may perform an induction procedure to speed up the delivery process. In some cases, the doctor may also recommend a cesarean section to help expel a baby who has IUFD.

In multiple pregnancies and one fetus has IUFD, induction of labor is generally not recommended. The doctor will examine the condition of the other fetuses and recommend appropriate actions according to the condition of the mother and fetus.

Generally, it is recommended by doctors to keep both fetuses in the womb until the time of delivery arrives.

To find out the cause of fetal death in the womb, it is necessary to carry out a physical examination, blood, ultrasound, placenta, fetal genetics, as well as a post mortem examination or an autopsy of the baby to check for maceration of the fetus to estimate the time of death.

Death of the fetus in the womb can leave its own trauma for the mother. Usually the patient needs time to bounce back from the sadness after losing the fetus.

After IUFD occurs, the patient will physically experience vaginal bleeding and express milk which may be uncomfortable. To stop the production of breast milk, the doctor will give certain drugs.

IUFD Precautions

Although not all cases of IUFD can be prevented, pregnant women can do several things to reduce their risk, namely:

  • Quit smoking.
  • Stop consuming alcoholic beverages and dangerous drugs.
  • Avoid sleeping in the supine position when the gestational age is 28 weeks or more.
  • Conduct a pregnancy check up to the obstetrician or midwife regularly to monitor the he alth of her and the fetus

For pregnant women who are at risk of experiencing IUFD, it is recommended to consult a gynecologist. Likewise, if you find unusual signs, such as decreased fetal movement intensity, see a doctor immediately for proper examination and treatment.

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