Pregnancy loss is a heartbreaking and traumatic experience. Many women have experienced one or more miscarriages, or pregnancy losses. After spending time, money, and energy trying to conceive, a pregnancy loss feels devastating.
It’s not your fault. You’re not alone.
If you’re newly pregnant and afraid of having a miscarriage, or if you’ve miscarried in the past and you’re wondering why, read on for more information about pregnancy loss.
What causes a miscarriage?
Most miscarriages occur during the first trimester of pregnancy. Oftentimes, the cause of a specific miscarriage is unknown, but most occur because of an abnormality with the chromosomes of with the developing fetus.
Miscarriages that occur later in pregnancy may be due to complications such as untreated diabetes or a bacterial infection.
What are signs of a miscarriage?
Some signs of miscarriage include:
- cramping and abdominal pain
- feeling weak
It’s possible to experience these symptoms as part of a normal pregnancy, too, so if you have these symptoms, don’t panic. Call your healthcare provider immediately to talk through your symptoms and arrange for an exam.
What happens during a miscarriage?
If the miscarriage occurs in the early weeks of pregnancy, the body will likely expel the fetal tissue on its own.
However, sometimes when a fetus is lost, the body does not immediately expel it. In these cases the doctor may recommend a dilation and curettage (D&C) to remove the fetal tissue and placenta. This procedure is done under local or general anesthesia.
If the fetus dies late in pregnancy, labor may be induced.
Mourning your pregnancy loss
If you’ve had a miscarriage or a stillbirth, you may feel like you will never get over the loss. Give yourself time to grieve and to heal. Talk to your partner, your family, and your friends about the loss. You may want to see a counselor or join a support group.
Some couples find it helpful to have their lost baby blessed, christened, or memorialized in some way. It’s not weird or wrong to want to name your baby or save your ultrasound photos. It’s important to mourn and acknowledge your loss.
Will I be able to get pregnant after a miscarriage?
Having one miscarriage doesn’t mean you’re more likely to have another. In most cases, women who have had a miscarriage go on to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.
If you have had several miscarriages, you may need to see a specialist who may be able to determine if there is a hormonal, genetic, or anatomical cause.
How long after a miscarriage can I get pregnant?
It is recommended that you wait at least three months after a miscarriage before trying again to get pregnant, in order to give your body and your spirit time to heal.