Understanding and Coping With Miscarriages

A miscarriage is a pregnancy which gets terminated in the first six months. It can be very frustrating, full of guilt, and a sad experience for most women. Normally miscarriages happen in the first trimester, the first three months of pregnancy. A miscarriage can make “a mother to be” to go through severe emotions. You may keep on wondering as to what went wrong and where you made a mistake. You must understand that it does not happen due to anyone’s fault.

Miscarriages do not occur due to some minor problems like exercising or a minor fall. This is because the fetus is very securely kept in the amniotic fluid sac and is also protected by the mother’s bones and muscles around the sac. Around 3 in every 10 pregnancies end up in miscarriages and out of these 50 percent of women miscarry even before they realize that they are pregnant. One to three miscarriages do not spoil your chance of carrying your pregnancy to full term, but a large history of miscarriages may need to be referred to for future checkups.

After a miscarriage, you just need to coordinate with your doctor to learn the specific cause of miscarriage so that things can be closely monitored for future pregnancies. There could be a number of reasons for miscarriages like stress, physical violence, hormonal problems, infections, and maternal health problem. A mother’s lifestyle also may increase her risk of a first-trimester miscarriage. Second-trimester miscarriage often is caused by various problems related to uterus and cervix that may often lead to the birth of premature babies, if miscarriage does not take place. Some pregnancies which end in the first three months may happen due to some defect in the fetus.  Some of the known causes of repeat miscarriages are chromosomal problems, uterine abnormalities, hormonal causes, and immune system problems.

Miscarriage is a spontaneous abortion, which give many warning signals such as abnormal bleeding or spotting from vagina. Such symptoms need to be handled carefully. A vaginal bleeding suggests a risk to the pregnancy. It may or may not lead to a miscarriage but you must take all possible care and contact your doctor and act as per your doctor’s instructions. The more developed the pregnancy is, the more painful a miscarriage becomes. In an early miscarriage, there is little bleeding and some aching pain, which is very similar to a period where as a later miscarriage is very painful.  Such pain can be compared to a labor pain along with bleeding. In case you start bleeding, you need to contact your gynecologist immediately and get proper antenatal care. There are times when after lying down for some time the bleeding may stop and then the pregnancy will carry on as usual. But if the bleeding and the pain persist, then nothing can be done to stop the miscarriage. After the baby has been miscarried, you need to get dilatation and curettage (D & C) done to clean the womb. Under anesthesia, the cervix is widened and the lining of the womb is scraped or sucked away. Then the cervix is narrowed down again.

In a miscarriage the bleeding is usually brown or bright red in color and occurs over many days. This is accompanied by mild pain and aches. An ultrasound scan will tell you if the fetus is still alive and accordingly your doctor may ask you to take bed rest and avoid any kind of activity especially sexual activity. If at any point of time in your early pregnancy you feel that the fluid has been released from the vagina then you must contact your doctor and stay in bed till any leakage, bleeding or cramps do not totally stop. Then you can continue with your normal daily activities.

Miscarriage brings with it a sense of loss and you grieve over the baby which could have been yours. If the miscarriage is a late one, you can take a photograph of the baby or even get to hold the baby in your arms. One thing is sure that to get over it you must talk about your loss and feeling to someone very close to you and even to your partner. It maybe very normal for you to put blames on certain situations or acts but one thing must be kept in mind that miscarriages are normally due to factors beyond you or your partner’s control. A woman may take a few weeks to a month’s time to recover from a miscarriage depending upon how long she has carried the baby. A menstrual cycle also sometimes occurs four to six weeks after a miscarriage making you perfectly normal to start afresh.

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