Becoming pregnant again after a previous miscarriage, you are likely to be bombarded with a variety of emotions – joyful at the new life growing inside you, but anxious and scared about the outcome. Many women choose to wait before sharing the good news with friends and family until much later in the pregnancy when the foetus is much more stable. If you have suffered a spontaneous termination and plan to conceive again, you should have a lot of questions. When is the best time to conceive? What are the effects of a previous miscarriage on your pregnancy? Are you at risk for another miscarriage?
How common are miscarriages?
Sadly, about one in every five pregnancies ends in a miscarriage. It is a very common occurrence, especially if you consider that many women miscarry without even realizing that you’re pregnant. Even if you’ve had a previous miscarriage, nothing is to say that you cannot have healthy pregnancies in the future. Only five percent of women are at risk for consecutive miscarriages.
Nevertheless, just because it is a relatively common experience does not make your loss any easier to deal with. But you would want to ensure that your next pregnancy is a healthy one. The first step is to identify the risk factors that might contribute to miscarriage.
Risk factors for miscarriage
- Age. Couples over 35 are considered high-risk candidates for miscarriage. However, advances in modern medicine have proved otherwise.
- Previous miscarriages. If you have a history of recurrent miscarriages, you are at a higher risk to experience problems during your next pregnancy. In such cases, a doctor will carry out further tests to determine the underlying causes.
- Hormonal problems. If you have a history of irregular and skipped periods, you might want to undergo a checkup before trying to conceive.
- Bad habits. Heavy drinking, smoking, stress and a poor diet can have adverse effects on the developing foetus.
- Chronic illnesses. Uncontrolled diabetes or thyroid problems can contribute to early miscarriage.
- Cervical problems. Abnormalities within your cervix or uterus can affect your pregnancy.
- Weight issues. Women who are too skinny might have trouble carrying the pregnancy to full-term.
Recovering from previous miscarriage
For women who experienced previous miscarriage, subsequent pregnancies can be accompanied with a cautious hope that is mingled with much fear of another loss. After suffering one miscarriage, most women will not have any problems conceiving and delivery a healthy baby, assuming of course, that no complications set in during the healing process.
If you showed no signs of infection, bleeding or pain afterwards, there is nothing stopping you from trying for another baby as soon as you and your partner are ready. The physical recovery from a miscarriage can take some time to heal. However, a miscarriage can bring about feelings of intense loss, so do not rush the recovering and grieving process.
Causes for repeated miscarriage
It’s an unfortunate truth that some women can continue to have two or miscarriages in a row, and this could be due to certain underlying problems. Doctors tend not to do further testing if you’ve only had one miscarriage, especially if it occurred in the first trimester, partially because the exact reason for the early loss cannot be accurately determined.
However, if a woman continuously fails to carry a baby to term, it could be a cause for concern. Hormonal defects, uterine abnormalities and an incompetent cervix are often to blame, and corrective treatment for a majority of these problems is available. It is essential that you consult your doctor if you experience a second consecutive miscarriage, since the chances of future miscarriages will greatly increase hereafter.
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