What Women Should Know About Miscarriages

Many, many women experience miscarriage within their lifetime—some without ever even knowing it. Though more couples are being vocal about infertility struggles and miscarriages, the topic still remains somewhat shrouded in darkness. Miscarriage can be emotionally painful, especially if the expectant mother had wanted children for some time. However, most women can go on to have healthy pregnancies and babies after a miscarriage.

Though it may be a difficult topic, it’s important that we talk about miscarriage. It happens to many of us, and we should arm ourselves with knowledge about what miscarriage is, what it isn’t and what we should do if it happens to us. Here’s what every woman should know about miscarriage.

It’s Quite Common

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 10 percent of known pregnancies end in a miscarriage. That doesn’t even begin to take into account those that occur before the woman knows she is pregnant.

“I tell women they’re very common,” Sarah Prager, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, told Everyday Health, “and potentially up to a third of women will experience a miscarriage at some point in their lives.”

It’s Very Rarely the Mother’s Fault

Prager also adds that although many women feel guilt after a miscarriage, the incident is very rarely the result of a woman’s actions.

”Working, exercising, having sex or having used birth control pills before getting pregnant do not cause early pregnancy loss,” she says. “Most of the time, there’s nothing a woman could have done differently to change the outcome of her pregnancy if she has a miscarriage.”

It’s Often the Body’s Way of Protecting Itself

So why do miscarriages happen, exactly? In most cases, chromosomal abnormalities or deformities would’ve made it difficult for the developing fetus to survive, so the body terminates the pregnancy.

According to Kids Health, other causes for miscarriage can be diabetes, uterine or cervical abnormalities, and abnormal hormone levels. Some causes, however, are easily controlled, such as alcohol and drug use.

Symptoms of Miscarriage

According to the ACOG, the most common symptoms of miscarriage are bleeding and cramping. While some bleeding and cramping is perfectly normal in early pregnancy, sustained bleeding and extreme cramping is abnormal. If you notice anything other than light bleeding or spotting, get in touch with your doctor to address the issue.

What To Do After a Miscarriage

If you have a miscarriage, there are three ways you can have the situation addressed medically. There will probably be some excess tissue left in the uterus that your body will have to pass before returning to normal. This can take up to two weeks. You may want to ask your doctor about medication that can help the tissue pass more quickly.

If your cramps are severe or your doctor suspects an infection, you may need to have the tissue removed surgically. This procedures is called dilation and curettage (D&C).

The next question on your mind may be, “Will I still be able to get pregnant?” The answer is usually yes. Everyday Health reports that you don’t need to be tested for fertility issues until you’ve had three unsuccessful pregnancies. Your doctor may advise you to wait a while before trying again, but most women can go on to have healthy, uncomplicated pregnancies after a miscarriage.

70 comments

Jennifer S
Past Member 3 months ago

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Justin M
Justin M8 months ago

Thanks

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Karen M
Karen Martinez8 months ago

Finding out losing a first pregnancy wasn't unusual (many acquaintances shared their experiences), and that there probably wasn't a genetic problem (geneticist family friend explained that), made the situation more understandable. Having a midwife explain why it probably happened (I had bronchitis in 1st month of pregnancy) added closure. Thankfully experiencing two healthy intelligent children later continued the healing process. Having a support system that will allow you to grieve is what allows healing to occur. Thank you for the article.

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hELEN h
hELEN hEARFIELD8 months ago

Tyfs

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Paula A
Past Member 8 months ago

thank you

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Sue H
Sue H8 months ago

Helpful information, thanks.

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Lesa D
Past Member 8 months ago

thank you Maggie...

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Danuta W
Danuta W8 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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Nellie K Adaba
Nellie K Adaba2 years ago

Alright

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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