The topic of miscarriage is still considered taboo in many circles today, despite easy access to research and anecdotal material. Miscarriage is the term for a baby’s death while still in the womb. There is not a definitive reason or cause for most miscarriages, although there are some strong correlations to chromosomal abnormalities as a major factor. Here are four facts about miscarriage you should know.
MISCARRIAGE IS VERY COMMON
Sadly, miscarriage is a very common occurrence. Although up to about 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, many think the actual numbers are higher. Many pregnancies end before you even know you are pregnant and may be mistaken for a heavier period. This is also why you should get an ultrasound if you are considering getting an abortion, because it may be unnecessary. If you have experienced a miscarriage or know someone who has, you are far from alone. Ask us for more resources and information on miscarriage support groups. These groups can be very helpful and healing.
MISCARRIAGE OCCUR IN EVERY STAGE OF PREGNANCY
The majority of miscarriages happen in the first trimester or about 12 weeks into pregnancy. However, this does not mean that they do not happen outside of that time period. Miscarriages can occur at any time during pregnancy, even in the third trimester. A miscarriage that happens after 16 weeks of pregnancy is also called a stillbirth. While second and third-trimester miscarriages are rare, they do happen. This is why it’s important to make sure you receive proper prenatal care throughout your pregnancy as you may be able to catch any potential concerns early and monitor them as needed.
MISCARRIAGES ARE NOT YOUR FAULT
Generally, much is unknown about the causes of miscarriage. If you’ve had a miscarriage, please know that it is not your fault. Many women struggle with shame and think something they did or didn’t do contributed to the pregnancy loss. This is rarely the case. Most miscarriages, particularly in the first trimester, are caused by genetic and/or chromosomal abnormalities.
MISCARRIAGES DO NOT ALWAYS SIGNAL INFERTILITY
While miscarriage is common, the good thing is that recurrent miscarriage is not. Most women who experience a miscarriage go on to have successful pregnancies afterward. While consecutive, repeat miscarriages can signal infertility, having one or even several miscarriages does not warrant a visit to the doctor unless you want to. Miscarriage is a real and painful loss of your baby, and it’s important to grieve. As common as it is, pregnancy loss does not predict the inability to have more children later or at all.
Whether you’ve experienced a miscarriage, know someone who has, or want some more support and/or resources, please give us a call.