Early Miscarriage: What to Know


When you hear about the hard parts of pregnancy you usually hear about morning sickness, back pain, cravings and a smaller bladder, very rarely do people talk about how common it is to not carry your pregnancy to term. A miscarriage is the loss of a baby before the 20th week of pregnancy and approximately 15-25% of all known pregnancies may end in miscarriage. Here is how you can recognise if you are experiencing a miscarriage.


More than 80% of miscarriages happen within the first three months (trimester) of pregnancy. It is quite possible to have a miscarriage before you even realise you are pregnant because the symptoms are oftentimes categorical of a difficult menstrual cycle. Symptoms of a miscarriage include heavy bleeding, severe cramps, worsening or severe back pain, tissue that looks like blood clots passing through your vagina, as well as possible fever and weight loss. A doctor can perform various tests to determine if this is a miscarriage such as a pelvic examination or an ultrasound.


Most miscarriages happen when the unborn baby has fatal genetic problems. Working too hard, exercising, having sex or using birth control pills before being pregnant are not typical causes of early pregnancy loss. Some factors that could contribute to your miscarriage are diabetes, thyroid disease, immune system problems, uterine abnormalities, an infection or the pregnant mother being over 35. The only way your actions could have contributed to a miscarriage is by smoking, drinking or using street drugs during your pregnancy, otherwise, your miscarriage is not your fault.


While experiencing a miscarriage can be an emotionally and physically taxing experience for you, and even your partner, do not be discouraged. As common as first trimester miscarriages are, it is as common as women can have a subsequent normal pregnancy and healthy baby afterwards. At least 85% of women who have miscarriages go on to have normal pregnancies the next time around, as a miscarriage is not necessarily an indication that you are infertile. However, if you do have more than 2 miscarriages in a row, it is best to begin taking birth control and contact your doctor to evaluate if there is a fertility issue at hand.


Oftentimes, women who I see are concerned about when it is safe to try and get pregnant again. Ideally, once you see your next normal period it means your body is ovulating and thus the eggs are beginning to form again. This results in the conditions necessary to get pregnant. Typically, though it may vary, your period may come back between 4-6 weeks after your miscarriage. Some women may have their cycles changed or it may return to the same as before. If your period has not returned in 6 weeks you need to check with your doctor.


It is important during this time to be surrounded by your loved ones to provide emotional and physical support for your loss. If you do find that the emotional pain is too much to bear, counselling is a great option for you and your partner if needed.


If you have miscarried, do not be too hard on yourself. Not only is it a normal occurrence, but it in no way indicates a failure on your part or makes you any less of a woman or mother. Being kind to yourself is crucial in your healing and moving forward.


 

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