Miscarriages cause extreme emotional, psychological and physiological heartache. It is also very common for these feelings to not only apply to you but also to your partner, loved ones, family and friends. The loss of a pregnancy can be devastating, but it is important to stay positive. Most people understand the fundamentals of a miscarriage, but by really understanding the causes and impacts associated with the loss of a pregnancy may help with accepting and recovering from the loss. It may also help improve and achieve future success if and when you decide to try again.
A miscarriage occurs within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. An early miscarriage occurs within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It is considered a late miscarriage if the loss occurs between 12-24 weeks. Unfortunately, early miscarriages are very common. Even after testing positive with a pregnancy test, you still have a 1 in 5 chance of miscarrying. Late miscarriages are less common and occur in approximately 1 of every 100 pregnancies. For parents-to-be, late miscarriages are even more unbearable.
Types of Miscarriages
There are several different types of miscarriages. Although somewhat of a harsh term, miscarriages are referred to medically as ‘natural abortions.’
Empty Sac Miscarriage - occurs when only the fetal sac develops and not the fetus itself.
Inevitable Abortion – occurs when the fetus’s heart stops beating and the fetus is expelled from the body.
Septic Abortion – is caused by an infection such as listeriosis, toxoplasmosis and sexually transmitted infections.
Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL) – refers to consecutive miscarriages.
Causes and Risks of Miscarriages
Miscarriages can be caused by chromosomal abnormalities, physical trauma, progesterone deficiencies and medical conditions such as obesity, hormonal conditions such as polycystic ovaries in women, chemical exposure, high blood pressure, excessive caffeine consumption and diabetes.
Risks associated with miscarriages include thyroid problems, smoking in men (which effects sperm quality) and women, men and women who are 30-40+ in age, lupus, heavy drinking and cocaine use. Although most miscarriages occur due to chromosomal abnormalities, women often tend to feel like they did something wrong. If present, chromosomal abnormalities are not preventative and in these cases there is nothing that the parents can do or could have done to prevent it.
The physical side effects of a miscarriage only last a few weeks, but the emotional and psychological effects can last much longer. Everyone bereaves differently, and it is very important to take the time to grieve and heal. Seek medical treatment and/or counseling if you feel depressed or cannot cope with the loss without the assistance of a professional. The same rule applies to the fathers-to-be. Since sperm quality impacts the health and rate of success of a growing fetus, both women and men may experience feelings of inadequacy, worthlessness and disappointment with themselves.
As mentioned earlier, it is important to stay positive. Concentrate on giving each other constant support and love when things get tough. The loss of a child is a heartbreaking experience, but in time you and your partner will heal and will perhaps be willing to try again. Take comfort in knowing that, although tragic, miscarriages are fairly common and many parents who have experienced one or even two losses eventually find success and give birth to beautiful, healthy babies later on.
If you or your partner apply to any of the above causes and risks associated with miscarriages, are having trouble conceiving and/or have experienced an unfortunate loss, talk to your family doctor to find ways of reducing or eliminating factors that may be hindering your success.
Sometimes even the smallest changes in lifestyle can make an enormous difference. Here at Make A Baby we have several products that help to increase fertility in both men and women including various vitamins and supplements, sperm-friendly lubricant and fertility teas for both men and women.
It’s so important to try your best to remain as hopeful, positive and motivated as you can. The best course of action is to always ask questions, learn all you can and constantly seek an understanding of what you can do to help find your success.
As Albert Einstein once said, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.”