The thought of miscarriage may have gone through a pregnant mother’s mind more often then she wanted. Worry-filled thinking of losing the life they carry in their womb for weeks and months is such a devastating topic for anyone to endure. Perhaps many mothers out there are reluctant to share their tragic experience because how personal it connects to their heart and soul.
This is also to say that miscarriage is never the mothers fault. It is easy to shift the blame onto the mother but what is more heartbreaking is when the mothers themselves find it is their fault. No it isn’t. If you are going through this grieving period, know that we are with you and you are not alone in this.
To break the misconception people may have about miscarriage, here are some of the things everyone need to know.
What Is Miscarriage?
Miscarriage is a loss of pregnancy, meaning you lose the child that you are carrying in your womb. There is a difference between miscarriage and stillbirth. Miscarriage are losses during the first 22 weeks of pregnancy. In the other hand, pregnancy losses after 23 weeks are called stillbirths.
Stillbirth Vs Miscarriage.
Miscarriage happens to about 8-20% of pregnancies. About 80% of the those cases happens before the 13th week. It is consider a miscarriage because during the time it happened, the baby is still undergoing crucial development. Additionally, the term stillbirth is use once the baby has passed the essential development stages. All in all, both term means the same – a baby has lost its life.
For stillbirth, there are 3 types: Early, Late, and Term. Each represents the time of loss.
- Early stillbirth occurs during the 23rd to 27th week of pregnancy.
- Late stillbirth takes place between the 28th and 36th week of pregnancy.
- Term stillbirth happens between week 37th to 40th. (Complete pregnancy)
Types of Miscarriage.
Miscarriages can be classified further into several types. Some of these types can actually be saved and you can carry on with your pregnancy after treatment.
Threatened miscarriage means that your pregnancy is threatened due to appearing symptoms of miscarriage like bleeding. If your cervix is not dilated, then your pregnancy can still be save.
Similarly to threatened miscarriage but it miscarriage becomes inevitable when your cervix is dilated. This means that your pregnancy cannot be save and you will lose your baby.
Complete or incomplete miscarriage is determined by the amount of tissue that discharged out of the womb. When a miscarriage happens, the fetal tissues and placenta will make its way out of the uterus. If all of it comes out, it is a complete miscarriage, otherwise, it is known as incomplete miscarriage.
Missed miscarriage means that the baby is not developed and died in the womb but the tissue did not come out.
When you experience more than 3 miscarriages in a row it is known as recurrent miscarriage. This type of miscarriage often happens during the first trimester and it is a quite rare case.
This type of miscarriage is due to an infection in the uterus. Symptoms for this includes high fever, shivers, stomachache, vaginal bleeding and thick yellowish discharge that smells.
There are actually many possible factors that contributes to the cause of miscarriages. In most cases, it is caused by genetics and not because of the mothers’ action.
Miscarriages that occurs before week 8 of pregnancy are most likely due to genetic. In fact, about 40-45% of miscarriages are because of this. It happens when the embryo fails to multiply and develop properly to becoming a fetus.
Miscarriages that happens in the second trimester are usually caused by cervix insufficiency. This means that the mother’s cervix is not strong enough to carry the growing baby. Cervix insufficiency can be aided with a stitch at the cervix area to keep the cervix closed until full term.
Other cause may also include:
- Improper implant to the uterine wall
- Old age during pregnancy
- Environmental exposure like radiation
How Do I Know If I’m Having A Miscarriage?
You may look for observable symptoms during your pregnancy. More often than not, these symptoms are hard to miss.
Light bleeding in the early stages of pregnancy is normal. What’s not normal is when the bleeding starts to become heavy. When that happens, you may want to go to the hospital for checkup. Sometimes heavy loss of blood may cause anemia.
2.Pain In Lower Abdomen
If you are experiencing severe cramp-like pain in your lower abdomen, it could be a sign of miscarriage. Especially if the pain does not go away for sometime.
One of the symptoms can also feel like you are experiencing contractions.
If you observe that there are tissues (what may look like blood clots) coming out of your vagina. You may want to go to the hospital to confirm. You can take a sample of the tissue for your doctor to do some lab test.
Do I Have To Go To Hospital?
If you are in your early pregnancy, you may not need to visit the hospital. Having said that, going to the hospital to get a thorough checkup would always be best. You may need to ensure that all the tissue or placenta come out completely.
If you are unsure whether you are having a miscarriage or not, going to the hospital would be a wise decision rather than self-diagnosing. Here are some exams that your health provider may carry out in order to determine your condition:
- Pelvic Exam – to check if your cervix has dilated
- Ultrasound Test – to check for the baby’s heartbeat
- Blood Test – to check hormone in your blood and also your blood level if you are bleeding
- Tissue Test – to confirm if it is a miscarriage when you have tissue discharge
What To Do After A Miscarriage?
If a miscarriage is confirmed, you may want to ensure that all the tissues have come out naturally. This may take about 1 to 2 weeks. During this period, you may experiencing the symptoms like pain in lower abdomen, tissue discharge etc. After 2 weeks, the pain should subside to mean that all the tissues have been removed thus you do not need to go to hospital.
Pain becoming worse could mean that there are still tissues in your womb. That or the process of tissue shedding has not yet begun. In this case, you may want to contact your doctor to get it removed through medicine or surgery.
After going through a loss of pregnancy, your body may feel weak but more importantly is to get a good support for yourself because you’ll be most vulnerable emotionally and mentally. You can contact your closest friends, a relative you are comfortable with, or you can even seek counselling from the hospital. Take your time to slowly heal from the loss and after 2-3 months you should be able to try again.
Will Miscarriage Affect My Future Pregnancy?
If you are wondering about fertility, no it will not affect your chances of getting pregnant again. However, the risks of you having a miscarriage in the future may have increase now. Not to worry dear mommies, many mothers who had experienced miscarriages gave birth to many beautiful children in their next pregnancy. To put it simply, the risk may be increased but the chances are still very slim for you to get a second miscarriage back to back.
How To Prevent Miscarriages?
Unfortunately miscarriages are not preventable because for most, it is a genetic issue. Nonetheless, you can still lower the risk by eating healthy or getting to a healthy weight before pregnancy for example.