October 30, 2018
For anyone who has been through it personally, the word miscarriage pierces straight through the soul. This one little word represents some of life’s most painful emotions. Loss, grief and hopelessness just to name a few. Before we dive in, it is important to note that if you have indeed experienced this great loss, rest assured it is not your fault. We repeat, it is not our fault. As if the sorrow was not great enough a lot of women invert the pain and blame internally.
“It is a natural tendency for women to look back and try to find an association between something they did and the loss,” says Zev Williams, MD, Ph.D., chief of the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the Columbia University Medical Center.
The truth is the majority of miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo. They cannot be caused or avoided. They just happen. Any genetic errors are usually not associated with any genetic problems with the mother.
A miscarriage is better described as the spontaneous termination of a pregnancy and shockingly 1/3 to ½ of all pregnancies result in a miscarriage before a woman misses her monthly period or even knows she is pregnant.
They are most likely to occur during the first three months of pregnancy with only 1 % occurring after 20 weeks’ gestation. If the miscarriage is in fact after the 20 weeks’ gestation mark it is deemed a late miscarriage.
There are five specific types of miscarriages. They are sometimes referred to by these tissue-specific names.
Threatened miscarriage– A threatened miscarriage is when vaginal bleeding may occur however there is no loss of pregnancy yet.
Incomplete miscarriage– An incomplete miscarriage occurs when some of the tissues of conception have been expelled by the uterus and some remain.
Complete miscarriage – A complete miscarriageoccurs when all the tissue relating to the pregnancy has been expelled.
Missed miscarriage– In a missed miscarriage the fetus has not yet developed, however, there is placental/fetal tissue contained in the uterus.
Septic miscarriage– In a septic miscarriage infection is found in the retained fetal/placental tissue.
As painful of an experience as miscarriage is no matter what type you may have endured, the prognosis for future successful pregnancies is relatively good.
The risk of reoccurrence in women who have had previous miscarriages is about 15%.
It’s important to note that most women will have their menstrual cycle 4 to 6 weeks after they miscarry. Your doctor may direct you as to when you can try to conceive again.
In the midst of great grief, there is great comfort. You are not alone. It was not your fault and holding onto all hope is key. The sun still shines and tomorrow greets you with arms wide open.
For further miscarriage support please visit:
Health. 2018. The Heartbreaking Thing Most Women Get Wrong About Miscarriage. May 8, 2018. https://www.health.com/pregnancy/what-causes-miscarriage
Cleveland Clinic. 2012. Miscarriage. Last reviewed on December 12, 2012. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9688-miscarriage
MedicineNet. 2018. Miscarriage: Facts About Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments. July 31, 2018. https://www.medicinenet.com/miscarriage_causes_and_symptoms/article.htm#what_is_a_miscarriage
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