If you suspect that you are going to have a miscarriage, or if you think you have had a miscarriage, it may be helpful to read something about it.
A miscarriage, also called spontaneous abortion, is the loss of a non-viable fetus in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy. Vaginal bleeding and / or abdominal pain are usually the first signs of a miscarriage. However, not every pregnancy with blood loss or abdominal pain ends in a miscarriage!
Unfortunately it can also occur that the first ultrasound shows that the pregnancy is not vital, even though you have not yet had any blood loss or abdominal pain. We call this a missed abortion. Your body has not yet picked up that there was something wrong with the fetus.
Most of the time, a miscarriage is caused by an error in conception. This causes a serious chromosome abnormality in the fetus, making it unviable. So the growth stops and the body starts to reject the fetus at a certain point. On average, 1 in 10 pregnancies ends in a miscarriage. A miscarriage cannot be prevented or treated with medication or bed rest. And it is not caused by, for example, making love or exercising. These chromosome abnormalities causing a miscarriage are usually not hereditary defects and therefore have no consequences for a subsequent pregnancy. If you have had two or more miscarriages, you are eligible for chromosome testing. For more information about this testing, you can contact us or your family doctor.
What to do?
There are some options:
- Wait until the miscarriage occurs spontaneously. This usually occurs without complications and without the need of medical intervention. Waiting is safe and often gives you some time to part with the idea you were expecting. Waiting can sometimes take a few weeks.
50% of the miscarriages has been expelled after 2 weeks.
- Give nature a helping hand by introducing oral medication (Mifepriston) in combination with vaginal medication (Misoprostol) this stimulates the uterus to cause cramps, causing the fruit to be expelled. You will receive this medication from the gynecologist. You can take them yourself at a suitable time and wait for the progress at home. So no hospitalization is necessary for this option.
- A curettage, an operation in which the fetus is removed through the vagina by the gynecologist under general anesthesia. This is usually not preferable as it can have consequences for subsequent pregnancies .
What can you see?
- Clots in combination with bright red blood loss. Clots are bright red gelatinous lumps of blood. The size can vary from “marbles” to “tangerines”, depending on the amount of blood loss and the gestational age of the pregnancy.
- The amniotic sac. This can be recognized as a flesh-colored or red balloon filled with water. When you open this you sometimes see a small fetus.
- A fetus without an amniotic sac. The size depends on the gestational age. At 6 weeks the fetus is 6 mm, at 8 weeks 1 cm, at 12 weeks 7 cm. If you are afraid of losing the fetus during a toilet visit, you can opt to urinate on a baby potty or a bucket. So you can always see what you have lost. In an early pregnancy it is sometimes difficult to recognize something between all the clots.
When the abdominal pain disappears and the blood loss subsides, you can assume that the miscarriage has been completed and the uterus is empty. Our advice is to have an ultrasound made at “Diagnostiek voor U” about a week after the miscarriage, to make sure that the uterus is empty.
When to call?
- Too much blood loss. When the sanitary napkin fills up completely and needs to be replaced within 30 minutes.
- Dizziness or fainting.
- Fever (> 38 ° C)
- When in doubt about the miscarriage being complete.
In these cases, please contact us day or night: 06-41555300.
Physical recovery after a spontaneous miscarriage is usually smooth. After the blood loss has stopped, the body has recovered enough to conceive again. Your menstruation cycle resumes on after about 4-6 weeks.
A miscarriage is usually very unexpected and the grief can be very profound. In addition to feelings of sadness, other feelings can occur such as guilt, disbelief, anger, a feeling of emptiness, failure of one’s own body, or jealousy towards other pregnant women. Time is needed to process these feelings and the duration of the processing is therefore different for everyone. Please do not feel reluctant to seek for help if you notice that your mental wellbeing is affected by the miscarriage.