The effects of miscarriage on the female body
Miscarriage can affect your body in many ways due to the fluctuation in your hormones. You might experience different symptoms both during and after a miscarriage.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of miscarriage include:
- abdominal or back pain
- expulsion of clots or tissue
- loss of other pregnancy symptoms, like nausea
- abdominal cramps
These symptoms happen because, in a way, your body is going through a very premature labor. After the miscarriage, your body can take around a month before going back to normal. These are some of the symptoms that you could experience during this period:
- light bleeding or spotting
- abdominal cramps
- breast discomfort or enlargement
After a miscarriage, your hormones will need a few weeks to return to normal. You might still experience some pregnancy symptoms. This will go away once your uterus shrinks back to its normal size.
Bleeding usually stops within 1 week.
The other after-effects of miscarriage should disappear within a month. There are certain warning signs that you should keep in mind. Please go to the doctor if you experience:
- foul-smelling discharge
- bright red bleeding
- heavy or prolonged bleeding
- severe abdominal pain
Emptying the uterus
There are different types of miscarriage. Depending on your case, you might need medical intervention to empty your uterus. This is very important since any fetal or membrane remains could lead to infections.
Some women experience complete miscarriages, in which the uterus empties itself out. Sometimes, patients don’t need any intervention. An ultrasound check-up will ensure that there are no remains in the uterus.
In other cases, a miscarriage can be deemed inevitable by doctors. When this happens, they can allow the natural process to continue.
Your doctor could prescribe medications if your uterus doesn’t empty itself out. These drugs, called mifepristone and misoprostol, stimulate uterine contractions.
If this fails, a minor procedure called dilation and curettage (D&C) is performed in an operating room.
Tracking cycle is always important
If you want to get back on a healthy track after a pregnancy loss, use a health companion app to detect your symptoms and activities.
Activities after the miscarriage
Your recovery time will depend on how much intervention you required and how far along you were. With this in mind, your doctor will be able to tell you which activities you can do in the period after a miscarriage.
You might be able to restart light daily activities if you feel well. You shouldn’t place anything inside your vagina for a couple of weeks. This means that you won’t be able to wear tampons and will need to abstain from sex to prevent infections.
A few weeks after a miscarriage, you’ll need to have an appointment with your doctor. A physical examination and ultrasound will ensure that your body is recovering. Your doctor can also order blood tests to determine that your level of hCG has returned to normal. hCG is a pregnancy hormone, and it should decrease after a miscarriage.
Emotions and depression after pregnancy loss
Miscarriage can cause complex emotions for both parents. It can be difficult for those closest to you to provide support. This is because miscarriage is hard to understand if you haven’t experienced it. Grief and depression after a miscarriage are real and valid, even if you never got to meet your baby.
Because many people never talk about miscarriage, it’s easy to think that it’s uncommon. In reality, 10 to 25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies end in miscarriages. Sometimes, women don’t even know they’re pregnant until they miscarry.
Most couples experience the 5 stages of grief after a miscarriage.
The stages of grief include:
Going through these stages is normal after any distressing event. But grief after a miscarriage can be more complex. Because parents don’t get to hold the baby or have a funeral, it can be difficult to feel closure. Loved ones can also lessen the event in an attempt to make the couple feel better.
During this time, you can turn to your partner for support. Discuss your feelings and grieve the loss together. Your partner is the person most likely to understand you, even if they show their grief in different ways. Talking about your loss can help you heal together.
You can also get support from family and friends. Ask for help to take care of daily activities - such as cooking or running errands - until you feel better. You might find that many people you know have gone through similar experiences.
Support groups can also be helpful during this time. If you’re religious, talking to a pastor or spiritual leader can also provide comfort. You can also ask your doctor to refer you to a therapist to help you cope after a miscarriage.
Trying to find the cause of the miscarriage is normal for many parents. But in most cases, there is no explanation for it. Give yourself time to deal with the loss, and don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s natural to grieve after a miscarriage.
Some situations can intensify these feelings, like seeing family-oriented advertising or approaching your original due date.
Grief can be more difficult for women who miscarry after 12 weeks. Those who miscarry after a heartbeat is heard might also have a more difficult time. It is also harder for couples who have suffered more than one loss. They can feel like they are having miscarriage after miscarriage
As time passes, you’ll be able to feel better after a miscarriage. But it’s also very likely that you’ll always remember this pregnancy and what it meant to you, and that’s okay.
Family life after a miscarriage
Family dynamics can feel somewhat strained after a miscarriage. If you have other children, it can be difficult to decide how to explain the miscarriage to them.
The best way to tell children about a miscarriage is by using simple words. Depending on their age, they might not be able to understand phrases like “mommy lost the baby”. Instead, explain to them in simple terms that the baby wasn’t able to grow.
Children can also grieve the loss of an unborn sibling. You should be alert to any changes in their emotions or behavior.
Couples should discuss their future plans, and if they’d like to try to conceive after a miscarriage. Both you and your partner should be on the same page when it comes to your choice of having more kids.
Conceiving after the miscarriage: when can you get pregnant again?
Fortunately for couples who want to try again after a miscarriage, you won’t have to wait long. Your fertility after a miscarriage should return to normal after one cycle. Most doctors agree that it’s safe to try to get pregnant after a miscarriage once you’ve had one normal menstrual cycle.
It’s very helpful to go to a check-up with your doctor once you decide you’re ready to try to conceive after a miscarriage. Your doctor might order tests to rule out conditions that increase your risk of future miscarriages. Some conditions that can increase the risk of miscarriage include:
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Systemic diseases, like diabetes
- Autoimmune disorders
- Uterine abnormalities
- Cervical incompetence
- Anti-phospholipid syndrome
Your healthcare provider will also be able to give advice on healthy habits that can help you prepare for pregnancy. These habits can include exercising, avoiding alcohol and taking a prenatal supplement.
Your fertility after a miscarriage
Ovulation after a miscarriage can happen within two weeks of losing the pregnancy. It can be helpful to track your cycle using an app like Flo to improve your chances of getting pregnant after a miscarriage.
For most women, miscarriage only happens once. Only 1% of women will experience more than one miscarriage during their lifetime. In most cases, fertility after a miscarriage goes back to normal soon. Women who conceive less than 6 months after a miscarriage have fewer complications in their pregnancies.
First period after the miscarriage
Most women experience their first period after miscarriage within 4 to 6 weeks. Since your hormone levels can take time to return to normal, it could take a couple of cycles for your menstruation to become regular again.
Flo can help you track your cycle, as well as detect the signs that you’re about to ovulate after a miscarriage. This is especially helpful for women who are trying to get pregnant after a miscarriage.
Overcoming a miscarriage can be difficult for anyone. You shouldn’t try to rush through the grieving process or deny your emotions. Surround yourself with supportive family and friends during this time. Remember that despite your loss, it’s very likely that you’ll still form the family you desire.