A pregnancy loss is a devastating experience for any couple to have. Miscarriage is the loss of pregnancy prior to 20 weeks gestation. Miscarriage most commonly occurs during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and is much more common than most people realize. The most common signs of miscarriage to watch for include bleeding from the vagina or cramping. While the most common cause of this loss is due to genetic problems in the developing embryo, it doesn’t make the loss any easier. Many miscarriages occur before any signs of miscarriage or even pregnancy occur. A relatively small portion of pregnancies result in successful implantation of the fertilized egg. While early miscarriage is a very common part of pregnancy, watching for signs of miscarriage can be unnerving to the pregnant woman.
It’s important to remember that not all bleeding means that a miscarriage is going to happen. If you are bleeding, you must get it checked out immediately and while your doctor may see bleeding and cramping as signs of miscarriage and categorize this as a “threatened abortion”, you may have a good chance of carrying your pregnancy to term. Many women have early symptoms and signs of miscarriage that result in perfectly healthy babies.
While the reason for many miscarriages is unclear, an ectopic pregnancy is one reason why a miscarriage may occur. An ectopic pregnancy cannot go full term. As your weeks of gestation increase, the chance of miscarriage decreases. Most women breathe a sigh of relief after the twelfth week of pregnancy as the chances of a loss significantly drop. When experiencing miscarriage, often, the fetus died prior to the symptoms and signs of miscarriage began. Some women have no signs of miscarriage at all and the miscarriage is only diagnosed when an ultrasound scan occurs. A pregnant woman who develops any signs or symptoms of threatened miscarriage should contact the doctor or visit the emergency room immediately. A doctor will generally check for fetal heart tones and run an ultrasound. They also might do a blood test to test for HCG levels. It is important to be alert to the symptoms and signs of miscarriage so that you can seek medical attention at the first sign of a problem.
While a miscarriage is among the most devastating events a couple can endure, with time and support, the healing process begins. Most medical professionals recommend trying to conceive after loss is delayed at least one to two menstrual cycles after the miscarriage. Recurring or repeated miscarriage is generally defined as occurring when someone has three or more consecutive miscarriages. A miscarriage does not always completely happen by itself and a procedure such as a D&,C may be necessary. While this is a painful experience to endure, it is common and finding support and grieving your loss are important parts of the healing process.