One of the first things that one thinks about as you try to come to terms with a pregnancy loss is “what did I do wrong?”. This is something that plagues even those people who stick to all the rules in the book. I want to emphasize that if you are wondering what you did wrong, it wasn’t your fault.
If you are not sure whether or not you are experiencing a miscarriage, see ‘Miscarriage Signs‘.
Beyond looking after your nutrition, exercise sensibly and avoiding things like alcohol, drugs and contra-indicated medication, there is nothing that you should have done better. The most common cause of miscarriage is chromosomal abnormality, which is neither your nor your partner’s fault. In fact, NONE of it is your fault, unless you did it on purpose, in which case, you wouldn’t be reading this right now anyway. I know I repeat this sentiment a lot throughout the site – that’s because it’s true, and it’s something we have a lot of trouble believing at first.
Other factors could be hormonal, immunological (such as diabetes), systemic (like lupus or clotting issues), genetic, infections/viruses, or a combination.
Miscarriages are not a sign of your body working against you – rather, your body may be trying to overcome what it thinks of as an external attack. Chromosomal defects prevent the fetus from developing as it should, which ends in a loss. If you have had a miscarriage, you are still likely to have a successful pregnancy afterward. Only a small percentage of people suffer with recurrent miscarriage (3 miscarriages or more).
If you do have 3 miscarriages, you will undergo tests for thyroid functioning, karyotyping (to make sure your partner’s DNA is compatible with yours), and antiphospholipid syndrome. These are the main tests, although they are not totally comprehensive. If these don’t reveal any problems, there are more specialized tests that can be done, but none of these guarantees a definitive result on why you could be going through this.
There are three general scenarios here: (a) your doctor tells you they don’t know what is wrong, or (b) they have found an issue that is treatable, or (c) they have found the cause, and it is not treatable.
The news may comfort or frustrate you – or both even. It may be difficult to hear that there is a cause and, if it is treatable, you might be encouraged that there is a new avenue of hope.
Encouraging Miscarriage Statistics
- By 8 weeks (since LMP), your risk of miscarriage is halved.
- The chance of miscarriage gets progressively lower, dropping to 1% by 12 weeks.
- Once you’ve seen a heartbeat, the chance of a miscarriage is only about 2-4%
- Most people who have had one miscarriage go on to have a perfectly healthy pregnancy afterwards.