How Common Is Miscarriage?
A miscarriage is a loss of a pregnancy within the first 23 weeks of conception. Miscarriages happen for a number of reasons, but regardless of why they occur, they are never easy. As tragic as miscarriages are, you are not alone. Take a step toward healing by learning more about what causes miscarriages and what you can do to prevent them in the future.
What Causes Miscarriages?
It is estimated that 1 in 4 women will miscarry within the first twelve weeks of pregnancy; some women miscarry before they realize they are pregnant.
- Vaginal spotting or bleeding
- Pain or cramping in your abdomen or lower back
- Fluid or tissue passing from your vagina
Most people who experience vaginal spotting or bleeding can go on to have successful pregnancies. However, if you experience any of these symptoms in your first trimester, you should contact your doctor. They may do blood tests or ultrasounds to ensure everything is going as planned.
Am I At Risk of Having a Miscarriage?
The most common reason a miscarriage occurs is that the fetus is not developing properly. Most miscarriages happen for the same reason an egg is not fertilized by sperm – chromosomal abnormalities. These are caused by random errors that occur as cells begin to divide, and can happen in the genes of the egg, sperm, or a combination of both. This is not indicative of larger problems in either parent’s genes; rather, these chromosomal abnormalities prevent the fetus from developing normally, which triggers the body to miscarry.
Some people are more at risk of miscarrying during their pregnancy than others. These risk factors include:
- Having two or more previous miscarriages
- Being over 35
- Smoking, alcohol, and/or drug use
- Health conditions and autoimmune disorders such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), and lupus
Your body is not at risk of a miscarriage from exercising, working, falling, or hitting your belly during pregnancy, or sexual intercourse.
Can I Get Pregnant After I Miscarry?
Yes. More often than not, women who experience miscarriages have completely normal and healthy pregnancies. It is best to wait until after your first normal period to try to conceive again. However, if you have had repeat miscarriages, your doctor may do some chromosome or hormone tests, in which case you will wait until after these tests to try again.
You may choose to wait a while to get pregnant again, and that is completely valid. Give yourself the space and time to grieve, alone and with your partner. Miscarriages can be heartbreaking, but there is hope for a healthy family in the future. If you have questions or want to speak with someone about grief counseling, contact our experts today.