Thinking about pregnancy after miscarriage? You might be anxious or confused about what caused your miscarriage and when to conceive again.
Here’s help understanding pregnancy after miscarriage and the steps you can take to promote a healthy pregnancy.
Consequently, women have a miscarriage at one time or another. Miscarriages can happen for many reasons. However, having a miscarriage doesn’t mean a woman will have another miscarriage if she tries again.
Some women suffer more than one miscarriage. This is called recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL). As a result, women and families often grieve these losses deeply.
But some women may also worry that they are sick or did something to cause the losses. RPL, however, is often a natural process caused by several factors. Most of recurrent miscarriages have an obvious or treatable cause.
To start with;
What is a Miscarriage?
Miscarriage refers to the loss of an embryo or fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy. The “proper” medical term for miscarriage is spontaneous abortion, but no matter what label you put on it, it’s the unexpected loss of a child.
Conversely, problems with the baby’s chromosomes are responsible for about 50 percent of early pregnancy loss.
Most of these chromosome problems occur by chance as the embryo divides and grows, although it becomes more common as women age.
Tragically, about 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. However, not all women are aware that they are miscarrying, and others do not seek medical care, meaning the real number is probably higher.
Sometimes a health condition, such as poorly controlled diabetes or a uterine problem, might lead to miscarriage.
The incidence of miscarriage is likely underreported, as many women have miscarriages before they even knew they were pregnant and do not experience any signs or symptoms of the miscarriage
Knowing miscarriage is a relatively common experience doesn’t make it any easier, but having access to support can help move through the loss.
Causes of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Though most miscarriages occur because the fetus is simply not developing, about 50% happen because of extra or missing chromosomes.
Typically, chromosomal abnormalities are the result of errors as the embryo divides and grows.
The parents, however, cannot blame themselves for these non-viable pregnancies.
Below are Different Factors that are Often Linked to Recurrent Miscarriages
Genetic abnormalities pointing to miscarriage include:
- Blighted ovum. This occurs when no embryo forms.
- Intrauterine fetal demise. The embryo forms but dies before any symptoms of pregnancy occur.
- Molar pregnancy. Both sets of chromosomes come from the father. Associated with abnormal placenta growth, there is no fetal development.
- Partial molar pregnancy. The mother’s chromosomes remain, but the father also provides two sets. This causes abnormalities in the placenta and miscarriage.
Mother’s health conditions
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Uterus or cervix problems (such as scar tissue or uterine septum)
- Thyroid disease
Risk factors for miscarriages
- Age; At 35 women have a 20% risk. A 40% risk at age 40. And getting pregnant at 45 puts you at 80% risk.
- Substances; Smoking, drinking alcohol, and doing illicit drugs.
- Weight; Being overweight or underweight increases miscarriage risk.
- Invasive prenatal tests
This is another cause of pregnancy loss. Thrombophilia is a serious genetic disorder that skews the body’s coagulation process. The body naturally creates blood clots to stop bleeding.
The body usually breaks down a clot after it is used, but with thrombophilia the body fails to break down the clots. Accumulated clots can block the blood supply to key organs.
The result can be a heart attack or stroke. The clots stop blood in the veins from carrying oxygen to the cells, and they starve.
Genetic inheritance is only one way to develop thrombophilia. More prevalent is thrombophilia caused by medicine, disease, or lifestyle. Risk factors include:
- Tobacco use
- Having cancer, diabetes, or HIV
- Not moving the body for long periods
- Taking birth control pills that contain estrogen
- A family history of blood clots
Thrombophilia may be treated with anticoagulant medication. Also known as blood thinners, this medicine greatly reduces the chances of blot clots.
What is the Care Plan After Recurrent Miscarriages?
Following recurrent miscarriages, you will usually be offered blood tests and a scan to try to identify if there is a problem.
Where possible, you will be referred to a specialist unit dedicated to managing recurrent miscarriage. Often, good supportive antenatal care in these circumstances makes a big difference.
There is some evidence that attending an Early Pregnancy Unit can reduce the risk of further miscarriages.
After reviewing a detailed medical record surgical history, and family genetic history and performing a physical examination a specialist can decide on effective recurrent pregnancy loss testing.
Pregnancy loss testing includes;
Genetic Testing: Doctors can identify potential abnormalities by testing the karyotype of both partners. The test can identify abnormalities that could be passed on the offspring.
Uterine Abnormalities: The uterus and uterine cavity will often be evaluated. Tests may include an X-ray, MRI, or hysteroscopy. The doctor will look for abnormalities such as polyps (growths of the lining of the uterus), fibroids, or scarring.
Hormone Testing: Your doctor may check thyroid function and thyroid antibodies as well as prolactin. The hormone responsible for breast milk production.
Ovarian Reserve: Ovarian reserve tests indicate how well an ovary is functioning. Some studies indicate that poorer ovarian function, as shown by these hormone tests.
Things to do Improve the Chances of a Healthy Pregnancy?
Making healthy lifestyle choices is important for you and your baby. Taking a daily prenatal vitamin or folic acid supplement, ideally beginning a few months before conception.
Additionally, during pregnancy, limit caffeine and avoid drinking alcohol, smoking and using illicit drugs.
Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Treatment
Treatment recommendations for patients with recurrent pregnancy loss depend on the underlying cause.
No matter what the results of the work-up are, the chance for a successful future pregnancy is high.
While recurrent miscarriage is different from infertility, fertility doctors can help determine if in vitro fertilization (IVF), surrogacy, or other treatments can help you have a healthy baby.
A gynecologist or fertility specialist may determine that cervical or uterine abnormalities are preventing carrying a full-term pregnancy.
In that case, your fertility clinic can help you find a suitable gestational carrier.
What Emotions are Likely During Subsequent Pregnancies?
Once you become pregnant again after miscarriage, you’ll likely feel joyful, as well as being anxious. While becoming pregnant again can be a healing experience, anxiety and depression could continue even after the birth of a healthy child.
Talk about your feelings and allow yourself to experience them fully. Turn to your partner, family and friends for comfort. If you’re having trouble coping, consult your health care provider or a counselor for extra support.
All the best to you in your journey to become a great mother!
Stay healthy and never give up!
c/o Plan B Wellness Limited
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