For the month of October, we pause to acknowledge the millions of women who have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss. If you have experienced a loss, we are so sorry. If you are currently pregnant and concerned that you might be miscarrying, there are a few things we want you to know. Keep reading to learn more!
What is a miscarriage? Is a spontaneous abortion a miscarriage?
A pregnancy loss that occurs in the first trimester (before 13 weeks) is considered a miscarriage. Medical professionals may refer to a miscarriage as a spontaneous abortion. It’s important to know that spontaneous abortion is not the same as elective abortion. In an elective abortion, the woman chooses to terminate the pregnancy. On the other hand, spontaneous abortions occur without any outside influence.
How often do miscarriages happen?
At least 10-20% of pregnancies end in a miscarriage. Medical professionals estimate that the frequency of miscarriages could be higher as some women miscarry before they realize that they’re pregnant.
Can stress or drinking alcohol cause a miscarriage?
Most miscarriages occur due to causes outside of a woman’s control. Over 50% of miscarriages occur because an embryo has too many chromosomes or not enough chromosomes. In other cases, a miscarriage could be caused by an infection, hormonal imbalance, uterine abnormalities, certain medications, and substance use. However, research shows that a woman who stops drinking or smoking as soon as she finds out that she is pregnant has a significantly lower chance of miscarrying than if she were to continue. Furthermore, research affirms that stress, exercise, sexual activity, and prolonged use of birth control do not cause miscarriage.
What does it feel like to have a miscarriage? Where is the pain at in a miscarriage?
It’s common to experience abdominal cramping and back aches during miscarriage. For some women, the cramps feel like their normal menstrual cramps, but for others, the cramping can be severe. In many cases, the pain gets progressively worse. Additionally, cramping during a miscarriage is often accompanied by bleeding that progresses from light to heavy and may contain some clots.
Not all cramps or abdominal pain indicate a miscarriage. In fact, some women experience cramping that comes and goes during the first trimester, but do not experience any pregnancy complications. However, it’s important to reach out to your pregnancy care provider so they can monitor your symptoms. If you are experiencing severe pain or heavy bleeding, you should seek medical care immediately!
How are miscarriages diagnosed?
Most often, providers use an ultrasound to evaluate the state of the pregnancy before determining whether a woman had a miscarriage. Sometimes a series of ultrasounds will be required to monitor the progression of the pregnancy. A hormone called hCG can also be trended by providers to determine whether the woman is miscarrying or not.
How are miscarriages treated? What does the overturning of Roe v. Wade mean for miscarriage?
Much has changed in the past few months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade. Although abortion laws have been impacted in various states, miscarriage treatment is still safe and legal!
Some women are able to allow their miscarriages to progress naturally. Others need medical or surgical treatment to aid in the miscarriage process. Under the direction of a healthcare provider, a woman may be given misoprostol after a miscarriage to help her uterus contract and expel any remaining pregnancy tissue. In other cases, a surgical procedure known as a dilation and curettage (D&C) may be necessary to remove everything in a woman’s uterus that has not yet come out. All of these treatments remain legal. In fact, many state laws have explicit protection for women experiencing a miscarriage. So, doctors are legally able to provide medical treatment for a miscarriage for the health of the mother.
Who can help me if I think I’m having a miscarriage?
If you think that you may be having a miscarriage, you can call us today at (865) 977-8378 to make an appointment with one of our nurses. She’ll ask you a few questions about your pain, bleeding, and other symptoms. We know that this time can be scary and we want you to receive the best care possible!
Miscarriage Support in Maryville, TN
Navigating an unexpected pregnancy can be stressful. When the possibility of miscarriage arises, it becomes that much harder. Get professional, confidential care at Pregnancy Resource Center!
We provide free ultrasounds and a safe place to express your emotions. Our compassionate nurses are here for you, each step of the way. Give us a call at (865) 977-8378 or schedule your appointment online. No insurance required!