Miscarriage is one of the worst complications of pregnancy. Although nearly 20% of pregnancies end this way, it still remains taboo.
A miscarriage is the loss of a fetus before it is able to live outside the uterus (20 weeks). There is early (up to 12 weeks) and late (after 12 weeks) miscarriage.
The main cause of a miscarriage are chromosomal defects in the fetus. They usually occur after fertilization and are not inherited by the parents.
On the mother’s part, the cause may be related to old age, various diseases (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, thrombophilia, etc.), traumas, infections, smoking, alcohol use. There is also a risk of miscarriage when the father works with heavy metals and other dangerous substances.
Moderate exercise, sex and work (unless it involves harmful chemicals) will not lead to a miscarriage.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
The symptoms of a miscarriage depend on how advanced the pregnancy is. Sometimes it can occur so early that it could be misinterpreted for a delayed menstruation, a.k.a chemical pregnancy. Symptoms of miscarriage include:
- Spotting or heavy bleeding, which can range from bright red to brown;
- Low abdominal or back pain;
These symptoms are not specific to miscarriages. Many women report mild bleeding at the beginning of pregnancy, but manage to give birth to completely healthy babies. However, if this occurs, you should contact your obstetrician immediately. Better safe than sorry.
If diagnosed early enough (in the “threatened abortion” phase when the cervix is intact), treatment may be attempted. In other cases, termination of pregnancy is the standard approach. If the patient’s blood type is Rh-negative, anti-D gamma globulin is also administered. If desired, oral contraceptives can be started immediately after the procedure or during your next menstruation.
Unfortunately, miscarriage can happen to any expecting mother. Losing a much-desired baby is equivalent to losing a loved one. It is completely natural to mourn despite encouraging comments from loved ones that “you will have another baby”. It is just as normal to seek support from family and friends, or to need some solitude.
Don’t blame yourself for what happened. The reasons for most miscarriages are beyond our control and cannot be predicted. The probability that this will happen again with your next pregnancy is very low – about 1%.
Give yourself plenty of time to recover physically as well as mentally before attempting to get pregnant again. Even if it seems impossible, remember that this dark period will pass at some point.
If you have any other concerns or just need professional advice and support, our psychologist at New Life Medical Center is here to help you.