Whether you’ve experienced one, are concerned about your own chances of having one, or know someone who has miscarried, understanding what it’s all about can help you be better prepared.
The risk of miscarriage is higher in women:
- who are 35-45 yrs old: 20-35% chance of miscarriage
- over the age of 45: 50% chance of miscarriage
- with health problems: uncontrolled diabetes, hormonal abnormalities, viral infections, cervix or uterine problems and thyroid disease
A miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a foetus before the 20th week of pregnancy, any later, its termed stillbirth. About 10-20% of pregnancies result in miscarriage.
Though modern science has yet to pinpoint the exact cause, most miscarriages are thought to be caused by chromosomal problems (>50%) that make it impossible for the baby to grow normally. Often, this problem is not related to parental genes.
Moderate exercises, sex, stress and mundane house or office work cause miscarriages.
Signs And Symptoms
There are a few common symptoms of miscarriage, many of which are also commonly experienced in most normal pregnancies. Therefore, it’s important that you check with your gynaecologist first before making any assumptions. Hallmark symptoms include:
- Heavy vaginal spotting or bleeding
- Unusual pain or cramping in your abdomen or lower back
- Fluid or tissue passing from your vagina
If your doctor has reason to believe you are at risk of a miscarriage, you may be recommended to stay in bed, restrict activity, and abstain from sexual intercourse until the symptoms are gone.
Diagnosing The Problem
An ultrasound scan is usually used to determine whether your pregnancy is still ongoing or whether you’ve miscarried. Similarly, a pelvic exam may also be done where the doctor checks for dilation of the cervix or membrane rupture which may indicate miscarriage.
If your body does not complete the miscarriage on its own and remove the foetal tissue, you may need treatment to stop the bleeding and prevent infection. It can be done in a number of ways:
- Wait 7-14 days after a miscarriage for the tissue to pass out naturally.
- Dilation and curettage or vacuum aspiration clears the uterus of tissue. These surgeries offer the quickest treatments for a miscarriage.
Treatment depends largely on the severity of your miscarriage and its symptoms. Discuss with your doctor which options are most suitable for you.
How long does it take before I can try to conceive again?
Can I prevent miscarriage?
It depends largely on the cause of your miscarriage. However, random chromosomal abnormalities – which cause most miscarriages – happen outside anyone’s control. Your best bet is to live a healthy lifestyle, continue regular prenatal care, and avoid known risk factors. What are my odds of miscarrying again? You could have a slightly higher chance of miscarriage as compared to women who have never miscarried. The numbers shouldn’t dissuade you from trying though; your chances of success remain higher still!
Miscarriage can be a very upsetting experience for parents considering the time, effort, love, and hope that went into conceiving a child in the first place. Healing does not mean forgetting, so give yourself some time to grieve the loss of your pregnancy, and seek help and support from loved ones.
What are my odds of miscarrying again?
Be sure you’re physically and emotionally ready before trying again. Rest assured, women who have a miscarriage, even recurrent miscarriages, can still go on to have perfectly healthy babies.
An educational collaboration with Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society of Malaysia.