What You Should Know About Miscarriage
There is no question that miscarriage is a delicate topic. Miscarriage occurs when the fetus or baby dies in the womb within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Pregnancy loss most often happens within the first trimester, or prior to the 12th week. No woman is completely exempt from the risk of miscarriage. In fact, as much as 15% of pregnancies end in miscarriage.
Regardless of how or when it occurs, miscarriage can be very difficult to deal with, especially if there are “repeat miscarriages” involved, or when a woman loses a baby two or three times in a row. Beyond the physical strain and emotional grief of losing a baby, women may also face the fear of never having a healthy, successful pregnancy.
Causes of Miscarriage
Determining the cause of your miscarriage is important, and this will be your physician’s first step. There are actually many reasons why a woman is unable to carry a baby to term. Miscarriages and repeat miscarriages can be caused by chromosomal abnormalities, uterine and cervical issues (septate uterus, Asherman syndrome, fibroids and cervical incompetence), as well as infections. Tests can be performed after your miscarriage to determine the exact cause. These include chromosome tests, blood tests, hormone tests, physical examination of the uterus, x-rays and ultrasound. It is also important to know that there are certain risk factors for miscarriage, including being 35 or older, smoking, autoimmune disorders, obesity, uterine trauma and more.
Recovery from Miscarriage
Recovery from a miscarriage includes both physical and emotional healing. The timeframe can vary from woman to woman. In most cases, physical recovery is complete within a month, and periods typically return at the 4-6 weeks mark. Keep in mind that pregnancy hormones also remain in the blood for up to 2 months. Never discount the emotional impact that a miscarriage can produce. It is important to expect the various stages of grief to occur and emotional support is recommended during this time. While it is common for woman to want to immediately know when they can start trying to conceive again, this is best left up to the discretion of the physician for each patient.
Signs of Miscarriage? Call Your Provider!
If you are pregnant and experiencing spotting, cramping, pain or bleeding, seek medical evaluation as soon as possible. While these symptoms don’t always indicate a miscarriage, we always want to know when you or your baby are in danger. At North Pointe OB/GYN, we offer top ranked prenatal services, including care for women with repeat miscarriages or high-risk pregnancies.