Miscarriage, one of the most heartbreaking events in a woman’s life, is a big challenge for both her physical and mental health. It is especially hard for patients undergoing IVF treatment who have already experienced enormous trauma. So it is understandable that they would do everything to minimise the risk. And unfortunately – miscarriages are not uncommon. According to estimates of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), as many as 26% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Even more miscarriages happen before a woman knows she is pregnant at all.
After a miscarriage, a woman is sure to experience a real roller coaster of emotions, looking for answers to (too) many questions. The most important of all of them is of course: why? It is easy to understand that she wants to know why it happened and how it can be prevented from happening again. However, determining what exactly went wrong may be difficult. There is no single cause of miscarriage and – moreover – there is no remedy that can prevent every type of it either. Luckily, these days doctors are more and more often in possession of a lot of tools, including tests and treatments, that can improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy. There are also some recommendations to follow in order to reduce the risk of miscarriage, too.
Hard as it may seem, every miscarriage should be a lesson for the future. In every such case, we should try to know all the facts about what happened and learn its potential future implications. It is advisable to look at medical records, seek for answers and take notes. Here we share with you everything we know about miscarriages, together with tips on how to reduce the risk of it happening.
By definition, miscarriage (also referred to as ‘spontaneous abortion’) is a loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks of gestation. The loss of a baby after 20 weeks is called a stillbirth. Most miscarriages occur in the first trimester, which is between 0 and 13 weeks.
Generally speaking, there are three main types of miscarriages:
- complete miscarriage – when all the pregnancy tissue has left the uterus. It occurs before 12 weeks of gestation.
- incomplete miscarriage – it is when a miscarriage has happened, but the body does not expel all thetissue from the pregnancy. It happens after 12 weeks of gestation.