Miscarriage is a spontaneous abortion of the embryo or fetus before 24 weeks of pregnancy. Miscarriage can occur as often as 1 in 4 pregnancies and is most common during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It can be distressing for both the mother and father.

The onset of pain similar to period cramps, accompanied by bleeding, may be the signs of a miscarriage. Miscarriage can be a result of an unsustainable pregnancy that did not successfully complete its development, or other complications.

A spontaneous and complete miscarriage is where the fetus and the products of conception have been expelled naturally. This is confirmed by ultrasound and no medical procedure is required. An incomplete miscarriage is where products of conception remain in the uterus and medical intervention is required. Medical intervention is usually for suction and curettage performed under general anesthesia, bleeding risk, or pain.

Causes of Miscarriage

Miscarriages have many causes. These include chromosomal abnormalities, a uterine malformation, infections, hypothyroidism, blood clotting disorders, gestational diabetes, tobacco exposure, excessive coffee or alcohol consumption, the use of recreational drugs, amniocentesis, intensive exercise.

As miscarriages are so common, it is rarely necessary to look into the cause until after three or more consecutive miscarriages.

Conceiving After a Miscarriage

It is generally advisable to wait 2 to 3 menstruation cycles before trying to conceive again. Many experts advise properly grieving the loss of your baby before considering having another baby, as it can be physically and emotionally draining to miscarry.

However, some women do become pregnant sooner after having a miscarriage.

Effects of a Miscarriage

Miscarriage is usually a very sudden, unexpected, and distressing event. Women and their partners often have feelings of loss, anger, grief, depression, and being cheated out of the opportunity of becoming a parent. Relationships can sometimes suffer, so it is important to share your feelings on the situation with your partner.

Counseling is very beneficial after experiencing miscarriage loss. It gives you the opportunity to talk about your emotions and allows you time to grieve for your loss.

Stress, anxiety, and bottled-up feelings can have an effect on conceiving again, so it is important to deal with any grief that you may have as a result of the miscarriage.

Image: © Evgeny Atamanenko - 123RF.com


Latest update on January 28, 2018 at 03:20 PM by Olivia Long.

This document, titled "Miscarriages," is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM Health (health.ccm.net).