For many women, discovering how to recover from a miscarriage involves understanding more about why it may have happened. If the cause of miscarriage can be pinpointed, it is sometimes possible to remedy the issue before becoming pregnant again or during your next pregnancy.
Reasons for Miscarriages
In many cases of miscarriage, it is impossible to determine its exact cause. For women who experience recurrent miscarriages, rest assured that our board-certified OB/GYN with more than 20 years of experience, Dr. Aya Sultan, will work together with you in the recovery and review process. Identifying your risk factors for miscarriage is an important first step in determining its cause.
Possible reasons for miscarriage include but are not limited to:
- Abnormal fetus development (this could be associated with extra or missing chromosomes and is the most common cause of miscarriage in the first trimester)
- Infections (such as toxoplasmosis, bacterial vaginosis, or listeriosis )
- Hormonal problems (such as insufficient progesterone)
- Uterus or cervix problems (such as a weakened cervix or uterine fibroids)
- Thyroid disease (which can exacerbate hormonal imbalances)
- Autoimmune disease
Common risk factors for miscarriage include:
- Being older than age 35
- Experiencing previous miscarriages
- Chronic health conditions
- Uterine or cervical problems
- Smoking, alcohol, and/or illicit drugs
- Being underweight or overweight
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What to do if You Suspect You are Miscarrying
You may be experiencing a miscarriage if you experience vaginal spotting or bleeding during pregnancy, which can vary from slight brownish discharge to very heavy bleeding. Other common symptoms include cramping and abdominal pain, mild to severe back pain, feeling faint or light-headed, or experiencing fluid, tissue, or clotted discharge from the vagina. Keep in mind that since most miscarriages happen before the twelfth week of pregnancy, you may experience one before you even know you are pregnant.
Contact Your Doctor
We want to hear from our patients who think they may be experiencing a miscarriage as soon as possible. At your appointment, Dr. Sultan may conduct a pelvic exam or ultrasound to determine if your cervix has begun to dilate and check for a fetal heartbeat or embryo development. Blood tests may also be ordered to measure HCG hormone (pregnancy hormone) levels.
If a miscarriage is confirmed based on these results, Dr. Sultan will explain and suggest options for moving forward. Depending on your unique situation, you may be able to let the miscarriage progress naturally. Alternatively, medical treatment may be required to expel the pregnancy tissue and placenta. A minor surgical treatment called dilation and curettage (D&C) may be needed in some situations.
Your recovery after miscarriage is important to your ongoing health. Dr. Sultan will advise you to avoid having sexual intercourse or putting anything in your vagina (such as a tampon) for six weeks after your miscarriage. You may ovulate as soon as two weeks after miscarrying and can expect your period to return within four to six weeks.
Keep Care of Your Ongoing Health
At Honu Women’s Health, we strive to support women who have experienced a miscarriage or are at increased risk of miscarriage in special ways. We understand how emotionally traumatic miscarriage can be at any stage of pregnancy, which is why we believe in caring for a mother’s physical and mental health during this difficult time. Supporting our patients who are recovering from a miscarriage is a delicate matter that we always take seriously.
Experiencing recurrent miscarriages is among the hardest issues a woman may face in her life. We understand the emotional toll recurrent miscarriages take on a woman and her family, and our goal is to be a constant source of support during this troubling and stressful time. As our patient, you can rest assured that we will investigate the underlying cause of your miscarriages thoroughly to try to discover what triggers them.
There could be genetic or anatomical abnormalities causing recurrent miscarriages. Other types of medical conditions that can increase the risk of recurrent miscarriages include:
- Antiphospholipid syndrome (a disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks normal blood proteins)
- Thyroid or hormonal issues
- Fibroids and polyps
- Asherman’s syndrome (the existence of scar tissue in the uterus)
Life After Miscarriage
If you are facing any of these issues surrounding miscarriage, do not lose hope. There are a wide variety of options that Dr. Sultan can recommend that involve lifestyle changes, medications, surgery, or genetic tests. We will work hard to develop a personalized plan to carry a healthy pregnancy based on your unique health profile—and we will be here to support you on your pregnancy journey every step of the way.