- Women's Health
Symptoms of Miscarriage
Signs of Possible Miscarriage:
- Bleeding or spotting
- Lower abdominal pain
- Loss of pregnancy symptoms
While these things may or may not indicate a miscarriage, it is also possible to lose a baby and suffer no symptoms at all. Many women only find out they have miscarried when they visit the doctor. If the doctor doesn't hear a heartbeat, she may perform an ultrasound to confirm the status of the baby.
Miscarriage is generally defined as the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks, but it usually happens in the first trimester (first 12 weeks). Having a miscarriage is a relatively normal occurrence, believed to be the result of up to 1 in 5 pregnancies. Some people believe the figure is much higher because so many pregnancies end in miscarriage before a woman knows she is pregnant.
Having a miscarriage doesn't mean you don't have a good chance for carrying a healthy baby to term in the future.
If you suffer any of the above symptoms it's important to speak to the doctor right away. The doctor may recommend the following:
- Abstinence from intercourse
- Blood tests
The doctor may also ask you to watch for signs of infection such as fever.
What Causes Miscarriage?
Nothing that a woman does or does not do causes miscarriage. It's not because she drank alcohol or went jogging. Miscarriage is simply what was meant to be. If you miscarry multiple times, your doctor may look into underlying causes.
One of the most common causes of miscarriage, especially among those within the first 12 weeks, is a chromosome problem.
Also common are ectopic pregnancies, where a fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. Ectopic pregnancies must be treated right away.
The shape of the uterus may make it difficult for a pregnancy to grow properly. Surgery may help to solve this.
A blighted ovum is another common cause of early miscarriage. This is when the embryo attaches to the uterus but does not develop. This cause is usually referred to as early pregnancy failure.
Treatment After Miscarriage
If your doctor determines there is still a part of the placenta in the uterus, you may need to have a D&C (dilation and curettage) procedure to clear the uterus of the tissue. Or there may be no physical treatment needed.
The most important part of your healing after a miscarriage may be allowing yourself to grieve for the lost baby. It may be difficult to acknowledge your feelings about miscarriage. It may affect one person more than another and it is not always the mother who feels the loss most acutely. Trying to deny feelings of sadness, anger, or guilt is unproductive. It's normal to feel these things. If you suffer a miscarriage, grieve the loss and then try to remain positive about trying to get pregnant again when you are ready.
When Can I Try Again?
Depending on the reason for the miscarriage, your doctor may recommend you wait until after you get your next period or may suggest you wait another menstrual cycle or two. Although you may be physically able, it's important not to conceive again until you're emotionally ready for a new pregnancy.