As an OB-GYN, I see couples who have difficulty staying pregnant. It is certainly disappointing and saddening when they realize they have lost their baby.
When a miscarriage happens, it cannot be blamed on anyone, especially yourself. Unfortunately, miscarriages are common.
It’s estimated that 10% of clinically recognized pregnancies end in a miscarriage. The most common cause of miscarriage is chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo. This means it’s neither mom nor dad’s fault.
Women often want to know if having one miscarriage means they’ll likely have another. There is no way to say for sure. Most women who have a miscarriage go on to have healthy pregnancies. Still, women who have had a miscarriage could have other miscarriages. After two consecutive clinical miscarriages, it’s recommended to be medically evaluated by your health care team.
There’s no way to ensure you will not have a miscarriage. But you can reduce your chances of having a miscarriage by having preconception and prenatal visits. Most miscarriages happen during the first trimester of pregnancy.
It’s important to avoid alcohol, drugs and tobacco while trying to get pregnant. It’s also recommended to take prenatal vitamins, or at least folic acid, three months before conception.
Signs of a miscarriage
You will be able to tell you’re going through a miscarriage if you start experiencing heavier vaginal bleeding accompanied by the passage of fetal tissue. This looks similar to a white mass covered with blood. It’s also common to feel severe cramping afterward.
Not every episode of pain or bleeding during pregnancy is a miscarriage. Heavy, prolonged bleeding can be associated with a normal pregnancy. If you experience these symptoms, it’s important to contact your health care team. If bleeding is heavy enough to soak one pad per hour, or you start feeling dizzy and lightheaded, go to the emergency department.
You don’t need to go through miscarriage alone
Miscarriages are difficult to go through, but it’s important to not give up. Many women who have miscarriages are able to have a baby in the future. After two consecutive clinical miscarriages, it’s recommended to have a medical evaluation. Having a miscarriage can be tough to deal with. If you’re having a hard time coping, talk to your health care provider. They will be able to help you find a counselor to speak with.
Gabriela Cardenas Palecek, M.D., sees patients in Obstetrics & Gynecology in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
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