Miscarriage is the loss of the pregnancy before the 20th week. Most
miscarriages occur during the 1st trimester and are a result of
abnormal chromosomes (genetic code) with the fetus. Usually there is
nothing wrong with you or your partner. Miscarriages occur in 15-20%
of all pregnancies. It can be difficult to deal with physically and
emotionally. Often, there is no reason found for miscarriage. If you
have had a miscarriage, you still have a very good chance for a
future normal pregnancy. Risk factors include: stress of all kinds;
hormone imbalance; disorders of the immune system; abnormal uterus
or intrauterine infection; environmental and life style factors such
as smoking, use of alcohol or cocaine; and uncontrolled diabetes.
Symptoms may include:
• Vaginal bleeding or spotting, usually without pain.
• Heavy bleeding with cramping or abdominal pain
• "Water gushing", indicating your water broke (ruptured membranes)
• Passage of any tissue from your vaginal area
• Fever and chills
WHAT YOUR DOCTOR CAN DO:
• Perform a physical exam to determine if a miscarriage has
• Often, no medical treatment is necessary as the body may pass all
the tissue from the pregnancy by itself.
• Treatment may include a procedure called a D&C (dilation and
curettage), one way to remove any remaining tissue from the
pregnancy. This procedure may be performed in the office, emergency
room, or surgical center.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
• Allow yourself to grieve. DO NOT blame yourself for the
miscarriage as this only punishes you. You need and deserve support,
love and reassurance during this time.
• There is help available for you to deal with your grief from this
miscarriage. If you need assistance, talk with your doctor or nurse
or request a referral to a counselor or local support group.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT:
• Miscarriages are seldom an indication of a problem with you or
your partner. There is still a very good chance for a future normal
pregnancy when you are ready.
• Emotionally, you may require a period of time to accept the
miscarriage and get back to your life in a way that is healthy.
• Possible physical complications of a miscarriage include
infection, blood loss, missed or incomplete miscarriage in which
parts of tissues or the fetus remain inside the uterus (womb).
CALL 1061 OR SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL
If headaches are not relieved with
treatment and medication, are different than before, occur more
frequently, or any other new symptoms develop. For women, notify
your doctor if you become pregnant because certain medications for
migraine treatment should not be taken while pregnant.