Here’s What You Should Know about Successful Pregnancy after Miscarriage
What are those things I need to know about pregnancy after miscarriage? This article will answer your questions about getting pregnant after having a miscarriage.
The period of pregnancy is usually a joyful one – but, in some cases, it may be filled with sadness and worry – especially for women with a history of miscarriage.
It is okay to feel sad after such a loss. And while you may not be entirely pleased to hear your friends discuss it over coffee, miscarriage isn’t uncommon, so the feeling is more or less mutual.
But there is good news. Most women who experience miscarriage always get pregnant and deliver healthy babies at the end of the day. The journey may not be smooth, but here is what you need to know about having a healthy and successful pregnancy after miscarriage.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MISCARRIAGE
Studies have shown that between 10 – 15 percent of pregnancies usually get miscarried in the first trimester or before the 12th week of pregnancy. Another one to five percent of pregnancies is miscarried between the 13th and 19th weeks of pregnancy.
And it is also worth noting that more than 50 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, in most cases before the woman even realizes that she is pregnant.
Many factors contribute to a miscarriage. These include:
- Chromosomal issues (molar pregnancy, blighted ovum, and translocation).
- Cervical or uterine abnormalities (scar tissue, fibroids, and septate uterus).
- Maternal health issues (hormonal imbalances, and autoimmune diseases).
Some miscarriages may have an acute setting – occurring all at once. In this case, the woman will see the blood, followed shortly by the passage of the pregnancy tissues. You may not even notice that something’s wrong until your doctor calls for an ultrasound appointment.
A miscarriage is accompanied by an intense expression of emotions, such as sadness, anger, and grief. At first, you may have that numb feeling, but after some time, you will experience a variety of feelings.
Recovery from a miscarriage takes several weeks to a month. How long it takes depends on the individual, and whether there is a need for medical intervention or not.
WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME FOR PREGNANCY AFTER MISCARRIAGE?
Well, you can get pregnant almost immediately.
It is interesting to note that a woman can get pregnant after a miscarriage without experiencing the normal menstrual period. But how so?
Here’s the thing… after a miscarriage, the human body begins a self-restore or self-reboot process with the aim of recovering its usual reproductive routine. This implies that you will ovulate before getting another period.
A woman may ovulate even two weeks after her miscarriage. If pregnancy occurs after this first ovulation, you’ll have a positive result on your pregnancy test.
Several studies have shown that pregnancy after miscarriage may occur in as little as 1 to 3 months.
A 2017 study showed that having a pregnancy within three months of a miscarriage may have a better outcome, such as – reduced risk of subsequent miscarriage. It is believed that a previous pregnancy “primes” the body to accommodate a future pregnancy. But that said, there are a few guidelines that you may have to follow specific to your miscarriage and health.
For instance, if you underwent a D & C, you’ll be advised to wait a few months so that your uterine lining can build back up to healthy levels.
If you’ve miscarried repeatedly, the doctor may ask you to run a few tests to determine whether there is an underlying cause before making another attempt.
We understand that at this point, you may not have the emotional strength to delve right back into trying after experiencing loss. So while you may be physically ready for another pregnancy, there are a few situations that may warrant waiting.
The important thing is, you should wait until you have both the emotional and physical capacity to cater for pregnancy – but if your doctor approves of it, what’s the need waiting any longer?
IS THERE A RISK OF EXPERIENCING ANOTHER MISCARRIAGE?
Most women do have a healthy pregnancy after miscarriage. In fact, studies have shown that the overall risk of experiencing a miscarriage does not increase if you had just a single loss.
But then, it is worth noting that at least 1 in 100 women experience recurrent miscarriages, or even two or more miscarriages concurrently.
Factors that may contribute to repeated miscarriages include hormone issues, issues with blood clotting, high blood sugar, autoimmune disorders, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
If you’ve had more than one miscarriage, then your risk of experiencing yet another miscarriage will be up by 28 percent, says the Mayo Clinic. After three back-to-back miscarriages, the risk of another shoots by 43 percent.
This explains why the American College of Obstetricians recommends testing if you’ve experienced more than two miscarriages in a row.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE EVENT OF ANOTHER MISCARRIAGE?
The best way to prevent another miscarriage is by working closely with your doctor if you experience any loss.
While the underlying cause of most repeated miscarriages remains shrouded in mystery, we understand that some health conditions can increase your risk of a loss. If you can determine these risks, then you can get the right treatment and stay pregnant.
The following tests may be of help:
- Genetic tests to check for variations in genetics that may be affecting chromosomes at conception.
- Blood tests: to check for autoimmune disorders, blood clotting disorders, and hormone levels.
- Ultrasound: Abdominal or transvaginal ultrasound for the examination of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the uterus.
- Laparoscopy: It is used for visualization of the exterior of the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes where an endoscope is inserted into an incision in the abdomen.
Other tests include:
Recall that you may or may not find out the main reason why you are losing even after a test.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
There’s something you should know – and that is, no one can prevent miscarriage. Research has shown that up to 50% of losses are caused by chromosomal abnormalities.
The risk of miscarriage is higher in women above 35 years. Also, the egg chromosome becomes defective as a woman ages.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle can be of help:
- Drink a lot of water and eat healthily. Women should take up to ten cups of fluid daily with an extra 300 calories beginning in the second trimester.
- Maintain your nutrient stores by taking a multivitamin and folic acid.
- Do at least 150 minutes of exercise weekly. Best choices include Pilates, yoga, swimming, jogging & walking. Avoid contact sports and other activities that have a risk of falling.
- Steer clear of nicotine, alcohol, and drugs. Check your intake of caffeine. Taking no more than 200mg daily.
- Never miss your prenatal appointments.
While considering all of these, do not forget to check with your emotions. It is ok to have diverse feelings during pregnancy after miscarriage.
While there are no right or wrong feelings, you might need professional help if you experience depression/and/or anxiety.
A therapist can help you analyze your emotions and also cope with them.
Never forget: There is no right way to feel about your miscarriage, and neither is there a wrong way. The same happens when you are pregnant after miscarriage.
For most women, the chances of carrying a pregnancy to full term, and delivering a healthy baby is high. No matter the setback, understand that there are people who care for you. Ask for support from friends and family when you are in need.
If the miscarriage recurs consistently, then you may have an underlying medical condition. Your doctor will run a check and create the appropriate plan of treatment.
Tonika Bruce, MSN, RN, MBA. is an accomplished nurse leader, published author, and personal development expert passionate about advancing healthcare management and quality patient outcomes.
She taps into the years of experience in healthcare management to produce credible and easy-to-understand health and leadership content. Her exceptional work has been featured in reputable publications, including Forbes, Recruiter, Inc, and the Color of Wellness magazine.