How to Cope After a Miscarriage
If you have recently experienced a miscarriage, our hearts go out to you. Many individuals, including some of us at Attain Fertility, know and understand the pain of miscarriage, and we can empathize with your sorrow.
As sad and worried as you may feel right now, it may give you comfort to know that most couples who experience miscarriage do go on to have healthy babies in the future.
What to do when you miscarry
If you think you are having a miscarriage, you should call your doctor. He or she will guide you in how to take care of yourself.
Many women that miscarry do not need follow-up medical treatment, but some do. You may need a treatment called dilation and curettage (DandC) to remove all of the remaining tissue from your uterus. Or, your doctor may recommend a drug called misoprostol to help empty your uterus following a miscarriage.
Do not underestimate the emotional impact of this experience. Give yourself time to grieve and lean on others for support. This is a very difficult time and you may need a few days or longer to feel like you are ready to get back out in the world.
Testing after miscarriage
In cases of recurrent miscarriage, or if you have lost a pregnancy after the first trimester, your doctor may want to run further tests on you to see what is going on.
Your doctor may recommend one of the following:
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) now recommends that women visit their doctor for further testing after a second pregnancy loss. This is especially important for women over the age of thirty-five.
When can we try to get pregnant again?
Women vary in their desires to conceive immediately following a miscarriage. You may feel eager to start trying immediately or you may want to take time to emotionally mourn the experience.
Most doctors recommend that you wait until you have at least one normal menstrual cycle after an early first trimester miscarriage. If your pregnancy loss occurred towards the end of the first trimester, you may want to wait two menstrual cycles before trying to get pregnant. It may be best to wait at least three months after a second trimester pregnancy loss before you try to get pregnant again.
Ask your doctor for advice on when to start trying again. He or she may want to see your HCG blood titer down to zero before you get the green light to try again.
Causes of miscarriage
You may wonder if you could have prevented this pregnancy loss. You may worry that you have done something wrong to cause your miscarriage. More than likely, something was wrong with the pregnancy that was completely out of your control.
Here are some of the leading causes of miscarriage:
- Chromosomal problems, sometimes caused by a malformed egg or sperm
- Hormonal problems
- Implantation problems
- Advanced maternal age
- Uterine abnormalities
- Chronic disease
- Smoking, drinking, or eating a poor diet lacking key nutrients
Above all, try not to blame yourself if you think stress or something you did may have caused your miscarriage. At this time, stress is not known to cause miscarriages.
While you often cannot prevent a miscarriage, you can take good care of yourself and your baby during your pregnancy. Ask your doctors about maintaining a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy.
Seek help following miscarriage
If you're worried about your ability to get pregnant after miscarriage, talk with your doctor about prevention. You may also want to talk to a counselor if your emotions are out of your control or cause you to feel depressed.
- Mayo Clinic: Early Miscarriage: Is stress a factor?
- American Pregnancy Association: Miscarriage.
- March of Dimes: Miscarriage.
- Bruce, D, Thatcher, S., & Berg, B. Making a Baby.