For women who have suffered a miscarriage, it is a very difficult loss and one that is not easily defined. There are feelings of sadness and thoughts of “what if,” that sneak into the mind and make us wonder why.
As women warriors, we can help others who might go through this to understand and learn from a very common issue facing women today. The more we can educate ourselves about this very personal health issue, the stronger we can and will be for each other.
There are over 3 million U.S. cases per year. The loss is great for every woman who has wanted a child, but the fetus isn’t developing normally, and a miscarriage occurs.
What are the facts?
- The Good News: Most women who miscarry go on to have a healthy pregnancy later. According to the Cleveland Clinic, at least 87% of women who have had a miscarriage will go on to carry a baby to full term.
- Do you have to wait to try again? It’s important to talk with your OB about trying again. Some doctors may recommend waiting a certain length of time from one menstrual cycle to three months. Take the time to heal both physically and emotionally.
- Can a miscarriage be prevented? Usually, a miscarriage cannot be prevented and often occurs because the pregnancy is not normal. If a specific problem is identified with testing, then treatment options may be available.
Know the risks
The March of Dimes website discusses several risk factors including:
- Having two or more previous miscarriages.
- Smoking, drinking alcohol, or using harmful drugs while you’re pregnant or getting pregnant.
- Being exposed to harmful chemicals. If you or your partner have contact with harmful chemicals, like solvents, this may increase your risk of miscarriage.
- Maternal Health Conditions-uncontrolled diabetes, infections, hormonal problems, Uterus or Cervix problems, Thyroid Disease.
The risk of miscarriage increases with age. According to the Mayo Clinic, the risk is 20% at age 35. It increases to 40% at age 40 and rises further to 80% at age 45.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Talk with your health care provider right away if you experience the following symptoms:
- Vaginal spotting or bleeding
- Pain or cramping in your abdomen or lower back
- Fluid or tissue passing from the vagina
- Fever with any of these symptoms
The Mayo Clinic advises that we keep in mind that most women who experience vaginal spotting or bleeding in the first trimester, go on to have successful pregnancies.
Coping with loss
Each person copes with loss in their own way and on their own terms. Men and women cope in different ways, so remember to lean on your partner for support.
Turn to loved ones and friends who will lift you up and listen to you whenever you need it. Take time to gain your strength back both emotionally and physically. If you feel comfortable, join a support group. The support team at Duke Health is here to help you.
The information on this site is intended to raise awareness and understanding of specific health issues. It should not be used for diagnosis, or a substitute for health care by your physician.