Pregnancy brings happiness to women. However, it can also be filled with worry if they have previously suffered from a miscarriage. It is usual for them to feel a range of emotions after a pregnancy loss. However, there is no need to be unduly anxious as most women who experience a miscarriage will have a healthy baby.
This blog is a comprehensive understanding of miscarriage, its causes, the chances of recurrent miscarriages, and the steps women can take to lower their chances of miscarriage and increase their odds of conceiving again.
What are the causes of a miscarriage?
A miscarriage is the loss of the baby before women enter the 20th week of pregnancy. The majority of miscarriages happen when the fetus is not developing as expected. In about 50 per cent of the cases, problems with the baby’s chromosomes are responsible for early pregnancy loss. Most of these chromosome problems are caused accidentally when the embryo divides and grows, although it becomes more common as women age. Sometimes health conditions, including poorly controlled diabetes or a uterine problem, can cause miscarriage. However, the cause of miscarriage is often unknown.
In about 8 to 20 per cent of cases, the confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage. The number of actual miscarriages is likely higher since many women miscarry before they are even aware of their pregnancy.
What are the chances of another miscarriage?
Most women who miscarry have healthy pregnancies after one miscarriage, although a small number of women, about 1 per cent, will suffer miscarriages repeatedly.
The predicted risk of miscarriage in a future pregnancy after women suffer from one miscarriage is about 20 per cent. The risk of another miscarriage after back-to-back miscarriages increases to about 28 per cent, and the risk of another miscarriage after three or more consecutive miscarriages is about 43 per cent.
When is the best time for women to get pregnant after a miscarriage?
Sex is not suggested for two weeks after a miscarriage to prevent an infection. Women can ovulate and become pregnant as early as two weeks after they suffer a miscarriage. They can ask the doctor for guidance once they feel emotionally and physically ready for pregnancy. Women need not wait to conceive after they have suffered one miscarriage.
What happens when women miscarry again?
Women must see the doctor when they experience recurrent pregnancy loss. While up to 75 per cent of repeated miscarriages can be due to an unknown cause, some health conditions can put women at greater risk of pregnancy loss. When the grounds of miscarriage are determined, the treatment for the underlying cause can help women get and stay pregnant. Specific tests can help. They include:
- Blood tests – doctors evaluate a sample of the woman’s blood to detect problems with hormones or the immune system.
- Genetic tests (karyotyping) – doctors look for genetic variations in either partner that can affect chromosomes at the time of conception.
- Ultrasound (transvaginal or abdominal) – an ultrasound examines the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. They can detect uterine problems, including fibroids within the uterine cavity.
- Hysterosalpingogram is an X-ray procedure that doctors use to examine the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes.
- Sonohysterogram is a procedure that examines the inside of the uterus. It is safe as it does not use radiation and is painless because it uses sound waves to produce images.
- Hysteroscopy – The doctor inserts a thin instrument known as a hysteroscope through the woman’s cervix into their uterus to diagnose and treat identified intrauterine problems
- Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure that doctors perform to examine the pelvic organs.
Suppose doctors cannot detect the cause of the miscarriages; women must not lose hope since most of them who experience repeated miscarriages are likely to have healthy pregnancies eventually.
When should women contact the doctor?
Women must contact the doctor in case of a miscarriage .
What are the other steps that women can take?
Women cannot necessarily prevent miscarriage because half of the pregnancy losses happen due to chromosomal abnormalities. Women over 35 may have miscarriages since the eggs tend to have more chromosomal abnormalities with age. However, women can reduce their risk of miscarriage and get pregnant. To do so, they must:
- Take time to physically and emotionally heal after they suffer from a miscarriage.
- Drink plenty of water and consume a balanced diet with lots of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Reduce their intake of caffeine.
- Stay active by exercising moderately for at least 150 minutes each week. The doctor recommended exercises such as walking, jogging, swimming, yoga, and pilates. They should avoid certain activities, such as contact sports, activities where they can fall, and hot yoga, where they can become overheated. They must consult the doctor for guidelines specific to their health and pregnancy.
- Avoid substances such as alcohol, nicotine, and drugs so that they can have the healthiest pregnancy possible.
- Attend all their prenatal appointments and consult the doctor if they have any concerns regarding their or their baby’s health.
- Manage any chronic conditions with medications as instructed by the doctor.
While making all the lifestyle changes, women must also pay attention to their mental health because it is normal for them to feel a range of emotions when pregnant after a miscarriage. They must seek help if they experience anxiety and depression.
Women may feel sad and heartbroken after they suffer a miscarriage. They must take time to mentally process all that has happened before trying to get pregnant again. Some of them discover that it is challenging to cope with a miscarriage .Making lifestyle changes is critical in reducing the chances of miscarriage and increasing the chance of getting pregnant again.
Frequently Asked Questions
What emotions are women likely to experience during subsequent pregnancies?
Once women become pregnant again after suffering from one miscarriage, they will likely feel both joyful and anxious. While becoming pregnant again could be a healing experience, women can feel anxious and depressed even after giving birth to a healthy baby.
How can women mentally cope after suffering a miscarriage?
Women can mentally cope after they suffer a miscarriage by consulting a licensed therapist who can help them navigate the emotions that they are feeling. They can also teach them ways in which they can cope with their emotions. They can also speak about their feelings and sentiment with their partner, close friends, or family members.
Is there anything else women can do to improve their chances of a healthy pregnancy?
Although women cannot do anything to prevent a miscarriage, they can make healthy lifestyle choices for themselves. They can consume a daily prenatal vitamin or folic acid supplement, ideally a few months before conception.