Miscarriage is quite common, but you’d never know it because there is a (mostly) collective silence around the topic. Miscarriages are often kept secret, or only shared with a few trusted family members or friends, making makes it a subject shrouded in mystery, myth and misconceptions.
Miscarriage Facts Every Woman Should Know
Here are 5 facts every woman should know about miscarriages, what they mean for you and your future fertility and what you can do about them.
1) They are very common
A miscarriage (spontaneous abortion) occurs anywhere from conception up through week-20 in a pregnancy. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) states at least 10% of all conceptions result in miscarriage. But, because miscarriages can occur before a woman even knows she’s pregnant, most health experts estimate closer to 1 in 5 (20%), and up to 30% of pregnancies end in miscarriage.
You are not alone (and the miscarriage was not your fault)! When and if you’re ready, do reach out to support groups in your area or seek support from a therapist. Your grief is real and you deserve caring support and a an outlet for venting and releasing your feelings.
2) The sooner you try to get pregnant again the higher your chances of pregnancy success
The old school of thought was the body needed a while to heal after a miscarriage and many couples were urged to wait at least six=months before trying again. However, recent research shows us this was not the best advice after all.
It turns out women who get pregnant within the first six months after a miscarriage are more likely to experience reduced risk of a repeat and/or preterm birth with the subsequent pregnancy.
Read, How Soon After Miscarriage Can We Try Again, to learn more.
3) Most are the result of chromosomal or genetic abnormalities
The cold, hard fact, and one that doesn’t sit comfortably beside the heartache and grief following a miscarriage, is that it is actually the body’s way of preventing a full-term pregnancy of a baby with chromosomal and/or genetic abnormalities.
Preconception genetic testing may help to prevent a miscarriage, but not always. If you’re pursuing IVF, genetic testing of the embryo is worthwhile if you’ve experienced undiagnosed, recurrent miscarriages.
4) Recurrent miscarriages require further investigation by a fertility specialist
While they are common, recurrent miscarriages (3 or more in succession) are not and indicate something is amiss. In some cases, it could turn out you and/or your spouse are both carriers of a chromosomal/genetic abnormality. They may also indicate something is amiss in the uterus (such as fibroids or a septate uterus) preventing fertilized eggs from attaching properly or from developing normally.
Your fertility specialist will diagnose this via testing and these causes are often reversible using surgical treatment and fertility treatments, if necessary.
5) Tissue from a miscarriage can be tested
The tissue resulting from a miscarriage can be tested. If a chromosomal or genetic abnormality was the cause, this will be evident via genetic testing of the fetal and/or endometrial tissue (products of conception). While it is heartbreaking, to be sure, if you’ve miscarried in the past and experience a miscarriage in the future – consider having the products of conception tested. If you’re miscarrying and having a D&C, ask the staff to save the tissue for you.
While these tests aren’t always conclusive, they can help you and your fertility specialist to learn more, rule out certain causes and create a more tailored fertility plan for the future.
Are repeat miscarriages affecting your fertility future? Schedule a consultation at RRC.