Concerned about having a miscarriage? Getting the facts can help alleviate your fears.
What is a Miscarriage?
A miscarriage is when a woman loses her baby before 20 weeks of pregnancy. If the baby is lost after 20 weeks of pregnancy, this is considered a stillbirth.
Miscarriage usually signals that something wasn’t right with the pregnancy. While it can be a very difficult time, it is important not to blame oneself or our partner. It isn’t anyone’s fault as miscarriage is not preventable.
How Frequent is it?
Data from the National Institute of Child Health and Development indicate that miscarriage is common. For women who already know they’re pregnant, the miscarriage rate is 1 in 6. Miscarriage is also common in women before pregnancy is established.
What Causes a Miscarriage?
The most typical cause of miscarriage is because the fertilized egg in the uterus does not develop normally. Contrary to popular belief, a miscarriage is not caused by having sex, exercising, or being overly stressed. Most of the time physicians won’t be able to determine what caused your miscarriage.
Symptoms of Miscarriage
Miscarriage usually occurs when there is bleeding from the vagina. The bleeding may be light or heavy, constant or off and on. Other signs of miscarriage may include:
Should You See a Physician?
If you suspect you are having a miscarriage, you should see a doctor. While there isn’t treatment that can prevent a miscarriage, there may be some associated complications that a doctor should monitor. When there is not heavy blood loss, fever, weakness or other signs of possible infection, your physician may let the miscarriage take its course. But sometimes, a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure is performed in order to clear the uterus and make sure all tissues related to the pregnancy have been discharged. Additionally, the doctor may want to make sure your blood type is not Rh-negative because if it is you will need a shot of low-does Rhogam to prevent future pregnancy issues.
Getting Pregnant After a Miscarriage
Most physicians recommend that at least one menstrual cycle pass before trying to get pregnant again. This is to make sure that the uterus is ready for a viable pregnancy. Even if you had a miscarriage, you have a good chance of having a successful pregnancy.
If you would like to learn how to cope with a miscarriage and/or what to do next to improve your chances of getting pregnant-- schedule a free 15-minute consultation here to discuss your concerns and obtain expedited, trusted, and personalized answers to your questions by top US fertility experts.
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