Pregnancy is one of the most exciting stages of being a mother, however, delivering a baby is not as easy as it may seem. Soon-to-be moms should also learn everything about pregnancy, even the bad ones, to help her avoid unfortunate conditions, or worse, prepare her when these happen. One of these conditions is miscarriage or pregnancy loss.
Miscarriage is a condition where the fetus dies inside the womb before the 20th week of pregnancy.
According to the National Health Services, miscarriage is not uncommon. It is estimated that one in eight women who know they are pregnant ends up having a miscarriage. Meanwhile, many more miscarriages happen when women are unaware about their pregnancy.
On the other hand, multiple miscarriage or recurrent miscarriage—loss of two or more consecutive pregnancies—can affect up to five percent of couples who want to conceive. In addition, one percent of couples can experience more than three pregnancy losses.
What are the symptoms of a miscarriage?
Miscarriage sometimes does not have any sympton until you undergo an ultrasound. However, the following are common signs that you’re having a miscarriage:
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Severe cramping
But don’t get stressed out right away, keep in mind that these signs can also mean less serious conditions during pregnancy. However, if you experience any of these and feel that something is not right, inform your doctor immediately.
What are the causes of a miscarriage?
There are several factors that may cause a miscarriage. However, it’s almost never caused by something that the pregnant woman has done. It is also important to note that normal activities like exercising, working, and even taking medicines do not cause a miscarriage.
- Genetic. factors In some cases, if one of the parents carry an abnormal number chromosomes, a miscarriage can likely happen and cannot be prevented. Sometimes this also causes multiple miscarriage as the said parent may repeatedly pass on an abnormal chromosome.
- Age.The older a woman gets pregnant, the chances of her experiencing a miscarriage increases. After the age of 40, one-third of pregnancies end up in miscarriage.
- Cervical weakness. This condition happens when the muscle fiber of the cervical tissues are weak. Not only does it cause miscarriage, incompetent cervix can also lead to a preterm labor.
- Health conditions. Critical illness, like a severe diabetes, and blood clotting disorders such as antiphospholipid syndrome, can increase a pregnant woman’s chances of experiencing a miscarriage.
- Hormonal imbalance. Progesterone, a hormone produced during menstrual cycles and pregnancy, is essential during pregnancy. Low level of progesterone may contribute to the miscarriage.
Can miscarriages be prevented?
While majority of miscarriages cannot be prevented, there are ways that an expectant mom can do to reduce the risk of a miscarriage.
- Visit your doctor regularly.
- Change your lifestyle. Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and using prohibited drugs when pregnant.
- Take prenatal vitamins and other pregnancy supplements daily.
- Follow a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy.
- Exercise moderately.
What happens after having a miscarriage?
Aside from its physical effect, miscarriage can also affect an expectant mom emotionally after losing a pregnancy. It’s normal for a woman who experienced miscarriage to feel a mix of emotions like shock, disappointment, guilt, grief, and even relief.
In an interview with Dr. Mae Syki-Young, OB-GYN and consultant for the Makati Medical Center and St. Luke’s Medical Center-BGC in the Philippines, she mentioned that while physical recovery may be fast, it’s still necessary for a woman to take a leave and take it easy.
She said, “The emotional, psychological, and mental recovery will require more time than the physical recovery. That’s why I tell them to take maternity leave. They might look normal on the outside, but they are suffering inside.”
You can seek help from professionals or other women who also went through miscarriage to cope with grief.
Ask your doctors about support groups that you can join in hospitals. There are also counsellings nowadays that are readily available through hotlines and online.
Whatever approach you want to follow, always remember that you are not alone. You can also lean on your husband or partner, talk it out, and give yourself time to heal.
You can try to have another baby once you’ve emotionally moved on and you’re physically ready. Do not lose hope as there are a lot of women who are able to have a healthy pregnancy after a miscarriage.
Original Publisher: theAsianparent