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Miscarriage: All Your Questions Answered

Updated on January 29, 2012

What Is A Miscarriage?

A miscarriage is the loss of a fetus in pregnancy before 24 weeks. After 24 weeks a miscarriage is referred to as a still birth. The majority of miscarriages, some more than 80% happen in the first twelve weeks with 90% of women with only one miscarriage going on to have a full term, healthy pregnancy.

Some women have had repeated miscarriages with three or more in a row. 70 to 85% of these women who have suffered that many miscarriages can achieve a pregnancy to term.

Miscarriage Signs

Having a miscarriage is every pregnant woman's nightmare and something she fears constantly. The miscarriage signs to be on the look for include the following:

♦ Vaginal bleeding - Up to 25% of pregnant women bleed at some point during their pregnancy so vaginal bleeding alone isn't a clear, concrete sign of a miscarriage happening.

♦ Pain - Pelvic pain, pain in the belly and/or a dull ache in the lower back. This pain can happen a few hours to a few days after bleeding has started.

When a woman is experiencing both vaginal bleeding and pain than a miscarriage is more than likely going to happen and she needs to seek medical attention at once.

Causes Of A Miscarriage

So what actually causes a miscarriage? Is it something you have done or is it completely out of your control? A miscarriage is not caused by anything that you have done. Take heart in that, you are not responsible for the loss of your baby. Nothing you did brought this on. At least half of all miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities. Does this mean that your baby inherited something from you causing the miscarriage? No, most of the time these abnormalities are not inherited from the parents.

The mother's health may have played a role in a miscarriage. If she has some sort of infection such as a chronic disease like diabetes, high blood pressure, immune system problems, or an abnormal uterus or cervix. These type of miscarriages due to the mother's health happen later on usually in the last trimester.

A small percentage of miscarriages can occur because of a deficiency of progesterone in the mother's body. Progesterone is crucial for growth during pregnancy. In the early weeks of pregnancy the body produces it. Though if a woman does not produce enough than she runs the chance of having repeated miscarriages.

Some myths to dispel about the causes of a miscarriage:
♦ Having Sex
♦ Exercising
♦ Working
♦ Lifting heavy objects
♦ Nausea or vomiting
♦ Falling down or a blow to the abdomen

Risks Of Miscarriage

There are some known risks associated with a miscarriage.

♦ Being older especially over the age of 35
♦ Exposure to certain medications and chemicals
♦ History of repeated miscarriages 3 or more
♦ Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
♦ Bacterial or viral infection during pregnancy
♦ Blood clotting disorder
♦ Uterus problems
♦ Father over age 35
♦ Alcohol
♦ Smoking
♦ Consuming large amounts of caffeine

Treatment For Miscarriage

Is there any treatment available for miscarriage? As far as a threatened miscarriage when it hasn't happened yet, the only thing that a woman can really do is rest and take some prescribed medication to ease the pain and wait for the bleeding to stop. Other than that there is really no treatment or anything a woman can do to prevent a miscarriage.

There are a very small percent of miscarriages that can be prevented if the cause was from a progesterone deficiency. Taking a supplement of progesterone can help with producing a sufficient amount of progesterone for a sound pregnancy.

Pregnancy After Miscarriage

Is it possible to conceive and become pregnant again after having a miscarriage? Yes it is. The majority of women who have had a miscarriage will go on to have a full 9 month term pregnancy and deliver healthy babies. When can you start trying to conceive a baby? Most doctors will tell their patients to wait awhile before having sex and trying for a baby. The general consensus is to wait at least a few months before conceiving. You should wait until you have had two or three regular menstrual cycles after your miscarriage before trying to get pregnant again.

Hunter Aiden at 4 months
Hunter Aiden at 4 months

My Miscarriage Story

A miscarriage is something that I have personally experienced in May of 2010 and is a topic that has took me some time before I felt ready to open up and write about.

When I became pregnant in 2010 I was shocked at first than ecstatic to be having another baby at the near age of 40. I never would have thought in a million years I would have lost my baby. It just wasn't something I fathomed until that fateful day. The moment I felt a sharp pain than the following day to see the blood flowing it was a day I will never forget. Any woman who has to endure the loss of a pregnancy can surely relate to the stigma and the confusion that sets in, not knowing what went wrong, and wondering if you had done something responsible for your baby not surviving.

What I can say is that I knew in my heart that something was wrong with my baby before the miscarriage happened. I guess you could say it was a woman's intuition, a feeling I got. I remember laying in bed and I kept telling my husband I felt like something was wrong. I just couldn't feel the baby inside. Of course, the pregnancy was very early on, I miscarried at 10 weeks with the doctor informing us the baby had stopped growing at six weeks.

Some might not believe me, but all i know is what I experienced. I knew I was pregnant before even taking a pregnancy test and I felt the baby moving. Naturally since it was in the early stages it was a very faint movement, like butterflies floating around in my stomach, but without a doubt in my mind I knew the feeling. So later on when I no longer felt those light flutters floating in my stomach the fear started setting in deeper.

I kept trying to tell myself I was just losing my mind, but than I started spotting blood. Several days passed of spotting and I just figured this was a normal part of pregnancy. This is what everyone told me, that it will soon pass and all will be fine.

On a Wednesday that evening I had a very, sharp pain in my lower abdomen. It was so sharp that it took my breath away and I stopped in my tracks. I was sent to the hospital and was there for a few hours. I was advised I had a threatened miscarriage and that a miscarriage was more than likely going to happen. They gave me some medication and sent me home.

The bleeding had subsided somewhat, but after the hospital visit when i awoke the following morning the bleeding returned except this time even more profusely. I called my husband and he come home quickly to take me back to the emergency room. Only the miscarriage had already happened. I had passed the fetal tissue before my husband come home. I remember laying there on the bathroom floor, blood spattered everywhere as i sat crying, my husband held me.

To this day my husband and I have no real answers as to what happened to our baby. All we was told was it was due to chromosomal abnormalities and it is a higher risk for a woman my age, being over 35, to miscarry.

After the miscarriage it took some time for both of us to heal. Many months passed and sadly we started drifting apart and nearly ended up divorced. Our baby was supposed to be born on Christmas day. Somehow we became pregnant in January of 2011 and my husband and I found each other again thanks to our little miracle. His name is Hunter Aiden and he was born on September 20, 2011 two weeks early.

If you or someone you know has suffered a miscarriage share your story below in the comments.


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    • profile image

      krissy72 6 years ago from Ohio

      Subabha i'm sorry to hear about your daughter's miscarriage. I hope that she will be alright and that she tries again for a baby when she feels ready.

    • Sulabha profile image

      Sulabha Dhavalikar 6 years ago from Indore, India

      Congratulations to you for giving birth to a healthy baby. My daughter recently underwent a miscarriage. This was within a few days of confirmation. There are times when she sounds depressed and I feel truly worried. But your hub is very informative and I am certainly going to ask her to read it.

      Congratulations once again.

    • profile image

      krissy72 6 years ago from Ohio

      I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I can imagine the pain you endured, it is such a great loss. I hope that you are able to get pregnant soon. I see so many people desperately trying like my brother and his wife. What saddens me most is to see women become pregnant who don't even want a baby than they turn around and are abusive to that child. Such a sad world.

      I also want to thank you for sharing your story. I understand it takes a lot of courage to start talking about something so traumatic. Hopefully one day soon you will be able to write a full article and share your experience and be able to announce to the world your new baby's arrival.

    • mooboomoo profile image

      mooboomoo 6 years ago from London

      Thank you for sharing your story.

      I had a miscarriage in 2009. Like you I knew I was pregnant before I'd even taken a test or missed my period. I had been getting abdominal pains as well so I took a pregnancy test to be sure and then immediately called the doctors. Because of the level of pain I was in I was sent to Hospital immediately with a suspected ectopic pregnancy. The pregnancy was in the right place but for some reason I was experiencing intense pain (breaking-hubbys-fingers-doubled-over-shoot-me-now-pain). For 5 weeks we were in and out of hospital and the pain continued, everything was growing and my HTC levels were fine, there was even a flutter on the monitor during one of my scans and so all they could do was monitor me (no one could really tell me what was going on).

      Then one day the feeling just stopped, not just the pain but everything else - I knew the baby had gone. A few days later we went for a scan and it was confirmed. As the miscarriage wasn't spontaneous I had to have a medically managed miscarriage whereby I spent the night in hospital and was given drugs to make me bleed and miscarry fully. Two days later the fetal tissue passed at home and I carried on bleeding for weeks.

      It was the most horrific few weeks of my life and I wouldn't wish a miscarriage on my worst enemy, especially in the way that mine happened. This is the first time I've written about it, I've been thinking about it for a while but I cant bring myself to write a full article even though it was a long time ago now. We still don't have a baby but hopefully this will be our year.

      Congratulations of the birth of Hunter and I'm very glad your marriage survived, you should be stronger now than ever.

      Best wishes for a wonderful future.