Miscarriage is losing the baby before the 20th week of pregnancy which can result in both mental and physical pain. Losing a baby after 20th week is a stillbirth.
How common are miscarriages?
50% of all pregnancies end up in miscarriage – Most of them even before a woman knows that she has a baby in her belly. About 15–25% of known pregnancies end up in a miscarriage. Out of which, 80% happen in the first trimester.
There are more than 10 Million cases of miscarriage in a year in India.
Getting pregnant after a miscarriage?
The rate of recurrent miscarriage is actually low. It’s 15–20% after suffering from 1 miscarriage and even less after that. 85% women go on to deliver healthy babies after a miscarriage. So, a miscarriage doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a problem with your body.
Women who suffer from recurrent miscarriage sometimes suffer from problems related to autoimmune response. Don’t lose hope there are various treatments available now to retract that too.
There can be many causes of miscarriage. However, In a few cases, the cause of both stillbirth and miscarriage can remain unknown.
Most common 9 causes of miscarriage are mentioned below:
Most of the bacteria live harmlessly in your vagina and are actually helpful when it comes to maintaining vaginal health. But, sometimes this healthy existence can get distorted and cause a change in the favorable environment of the vagina.
In particular, the presence of either of two types of bacteria—ureaplasma or mycoplasma—within the cervix or uterus has been suggested as a risk factor for pregnancy loss.
Both bacterial and viral infections can cause miscarriage. Some infections could occur during pregnancy. Read 3 Vaginal Infections During Pregnancy & What You *NEED* to KNOW About Them. In rare cases, these organisms can inflame the endometrium.
Your doctor will check you for infections once your pregnancy is discovered and also if you have had a miscarriage.
P.S.- The mother could get the infection from the father too. So, it’s necessary that both of you get checked for any infection.
Once the infection is diagnosed, it can be easily treated with antibiotics and topical creams.
The most common cause of miscarriage is a chromosomal mismatch. There are 23 sets of chromosomes in both male and female bodies, even if one of them doesn’t line up properly, miscarriage occurs.
Doctors wouldn’t generally don’t worry about it after 1 miscarriage, since the chances of having a healthy baby after conceiving again increases.
However, if you have a recurrent miscarriage, you will be asked to preserve the tissue so as to find out the problem in the chromosomes.
There isn’t much research to either prove or treat this cause of miscarriage in the human body, even if it was the ONLY cause.
This happens when the mother’s body attacks any foreign object (including SPERM), sometimes even if the sperm attaches to the egg, then these antibodies attack the embryo.
Underlying diseases like thyroid or diabetes.
They can affect ovulation, endometrium thickness and also lead to an unfavorable environment in the uterus. The extent to which it affects a woman varies on the severity of the disease.
Uterine Abnormalities and Incompetent Cervixes
This is responsible for around 10% of miscarriage. Uterine abnormalities refer to when the uterus’ shape is such that it’s either not able to implant or support the embryo. This is called uterine septum and can generally be treated by surgery.
An incompetent cervix is when the mother’s cervix is not strong enough to hold the growing baby. It can be treated by putting a stitch in the cervix to keep it closed, a procedure called a cerclage. You may also require bed rest or hospitalization for part of your pregnancy.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
1 in 10 women suffers from PCOS in India even though the average is 5–7 in rest of the world. Thanks to our lifestyle habits which contribute to developing insulin resistance and hence PCOS.
PCOS is basically insulin resistance in which body raises blood sugar levels, estrogen, and testosterone while significantly lowering down progesterone levels. Research has proven that women who are insulin resistant are 4-5 times more likely to suffer from a miscarriage.
PCOS plays with your hormones and hence can decrease fertility. But, don’t worry when diagnosed early, women suffering from PCOS can easily give birth to healthy babies.
Do visit your gynecologist twice in a year to make sure everything is okay.
Higher Homocysteine Levels
Higher Homocysteine in the body leads to hypercoagulation of blood and hence increases the risk of formation of blood clots. Small blood clots can interfere with the formation of the placenta and hence, prevent the fetus from getting proper nutrients and oxygen that it needs to thrive.
This also increases your chance of premature birth and stillbirth along with miscarriage. Women with an MTHFR Gene Mutations (especially the C677T variation) are much more likely to have higher than normal Homocysteine levels in the body all of the time.
Higher Homocysteine levels can be diagnosed with the prescription of Folic Acid, B6 and B12, since, they convert homocysteine amino acids to other products in the blood. Sometimes Vitamin E and Zinc can be prescribed too.
Lifestyle (Cigarettes, Alcohol, Drugs, Environmental Toxins)
Nicotine can lower the blood supply to the fetus. All the others interfere with growth and can hence easily interfere with your fertility.
Giving up these habits is the only option to counteract this cause of miscarriage.
Hormonal Imbalance such as raised levels of estrogen, lower levels of progesterone, elevated prolactin and luteal phase defect are all linked to miscarriage.
What are the Symptoms of a miscarriage?
- Excessive bleeding: Bleeding that contains bright red blood and lasts for more than 2 days
- Severe Cramping: Unbearable continuous cramping in the abdomen could indicate ectopic pregnancy too.
P.S. – Please Note that both of them could be implantation bleeding and cramping. Here are some major differences and when you need to worry: Periods OR Pregnancy? Everything you NEED to know about Implantation bleeding
- Severe back and pelvic pain.
How is miscarriage diagnosed?
Your doctor will examine if the uterus is already empty if it’s not then the doctor will perform a dilation and curettage surgery to remove any tissues of the fetus left in the uterus. As an alternative, if your condition is stable, the doctor might just give you medications, which will expel the remaining tissues through vaginal discharge.
How to deal with miscarriage MENTALLY?
The grieving process has 3 stages-
- Shock/Denial- This can’t happen to me. I have been taking care of myself.
- Anger/Guilt/Depression- Why me? What wrong have I done?
- Acceptance- I need to move on.
Don’t shy away from getting medical assistance for grieving. Grieve as much as you want to. Join support groups. It’s okay to have a hard time dealing with your loss.
Can miscarriage be prevented?
Unfortunately, NO. Most of the miscarriages generally happen due to genetic abnormalities and no amount of intervention could treat it.
Even though there are various recommendations from doctors all around the world, which could reduce the chances of miscarriage. They are:
- Schedule A visit to a Gynaecologist before Trying: Getting medical consultation will help you understand what exactly your body needs in order to have a healthy pregnancy and conception. Treating any deficiencies and taking proper supplements should be one of the first steps towards decreasing your odds of miscarriage.
Read:HOW SOME *EASY* HEALTH MOVES CAN CHANGE YOUR FERTILITY GAME *FOREVER*
Also, if you suffer from any conditions such as PCOS, ovarian cysts etc, your doctor might give you certain medication which can help prevent the fetus survive without any issues.
- Exercise in moderation and don’t lift heavy weights: High Impact exercises like kickboxing etc. should completely be avoided, now, that you are pregnant.
- Limit Caffeine: Limit your Caffeine intake to less than 200 mg a day. If you were on high caffeine diet, you might get headaches due to suddenly dropping your limit, so, it’s normal.
- Handle your stress: In one study, it has been proven that happy women have 60% fewer chances of having a miscarriage.
- Regulate your BMI: Maintaining a healthy weight is really important throughout pregnancy. If you are overweight and pregnant, make sure you pay a visit to a nutritionist and get a proper diet and workout plan to follow.
- Find out the reason of Miscarriage as soon as possible especially if it’s recurrent.
How long should I wait to try again?
You need to make sure that you are both physically and mentally back on track before trying again. Do contact your medical advisor before trying again. He will know when your body is ready and if you need certain medications or not.
Lastly, just remember that it’s NOT your FAULT. It could happen to anybody.