The Signs Of A Miscarriage And Where To Go From There
Found yourself thinking about the signs of a miscarriage?
Miscarriage… something that happens to so many women, all over the world, every single day. Yet, bringing ourselves to speak openly about it can feel uncomfortable or painful, so often it is bottled up deep down inside. It is difficult to understand why miscarriages happen, most of the time nobody really knows, and it is certainly never the fault of the mother. It saddens me to write about such a painful topic, but perhaps if we were all a little bit more educated about the signs of a miscarriage, we might be more open to discussing such a tragic loss.
What Is A Miscarriage?
A miscarriage occurs when a woman’s pregnancy spontaneously ends before the fetus is able to survive on its own outside the womb. It is most common during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy but can happen up to 20 weeks. Losing a baby after 20 weeks is known as a stillbirth, and typically has the same signs of an earlier miscarriage.
How Can You Tell You’re Having A Miscarriage?
Each person may have slightly different symptoms, but if you experience any of the following signs of a miscarriage, you should contact your healthcare provider. If you’re having back pain, experience weight loss, are feeling real contractions, brown or bright red bleeding, white-pink mucus coming from the vagina, tissue and clot like substance passing from the vagina, and a sudden decrease in pregnancy symptoms. Sadly, it is not uncommon for some women to not even realize that they were pregnant, as they can mistake the bleeding from a miscarriage as their heavy- more painful- period.
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What Are The Chances Of A Miscarriage?
Miscarriages can happen to anyone, at any time. For women 35 years old and younger, the chances are about 10-15%. For women who are 35-45, the likelihood is 20-35% and for women 45 and over, there is a 50% chance. If a woman has experienced a miscarriage before, her chances of miscarrying again are 25%. The further along you are in your pregnancy, the less chance that it will end in miscarriage, which is typically why parents wait at least 12 weeks before announcing they’re expecting.
Why Do Miscarriages Happen?
It is often difficult to say for sure why miscarriages happen. But before 14 weeks gestation, it is usually because of a chromosomal abnormality. These abnormalities tend to be due to a damaged egg or sperm cell, or as the zygote was separating. Other causes may be a health problem that the mother may or may not have she had, maternal age, trauma to the mother’s abdomen or even drug and alcohol use.
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How Are Miscarriages Treated?
The earlier you are in your pregnancy, the higher chance that the fetal tissue will pass all on its own, or be absorbed into the body, and not require medical intervention. The amount of bleeding that takes place will vary depending on the gestation of the fetus and the type of miscarriage that occurred. Usually, it begins with heavy bleeding and occasionally clots, and stops anywhere after a couple of days to a couple of weeks. If the fetus does not pass on its own; meaning the bleeding does not stop and tissue can still be seen via ultrasound, a Dilation & Curettage (D&C) will normally take place. A D&C is when the woman’s cervix is opened by the doctor and they proceed to remove the remainder of the fetal tissue.
Can You Prevent A Miscarriage?
While there is no guaranteed way to prevent a miscarriage, there are a few steps you can take to slightly decrease the likelihood. The goal is to create as healthy of an environment for the fetus as possible. Limit caffeine to 200mg per day, do not smoke or take any drugs that have not been approved by your doctor, be sure your blood sugar and blood pressure are under control, eat a healthy whole food plant-based diet and avoiding hot tubs (or other extreme temperatures). You can follow all suggestions to help prevent a miscarriage and yet it can still happen. I will mention it again; sadly it can happen to anyone at any time.
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It’s important to note that there are various types of miscarriages, and different treatments for each, your doctor will be able to give you details about your personal loss. If you suspect you may be having a miscarriage, do not hesitate to contact your doctor immediately. Generally, hospitals will also have information for miscarriage and stillbirth support groups, it can be helpful to connect with other parents who are going through the same pain. These are just some of the signs of a miscarriage and everyone’s experiences are different and your feelings are all valid.
If you are reading this and have gone through, or are currently going through a miscarriage, from the bottom of my heart I am truly sorry. My heart breaks for all of the mothers out there who lost their babies, you will always have a support system here with us.
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Tags: coping with miscarriage, miscarriage trauma, signs of a miscarriage, what are the chances of a miscarriage, what happens after a miscarriage