Stay tuned to the end for advice about getting pregnant again after an early miscarriage.
We cover a ton of stuff in this video but when you are done watching...
if you have a question about something we didn't cover please ask in the comments,
We will answer.
The first and maybe the most important thing to know about early miscarriage
is that it is extremely common. Between 50 to 60% of
all pregnancies end in miscarriage.
Of those about half are very early miscarriages.
which often occur before a woman even knows she is pregnant.
An early miscarriage is defined as a pregnancy loss that occurs during the
first thirteen weeks of pregnancy.
But really, most early miscarriages occur
before your doctor can see a fetus with heart motion on an ultrasound which is
typically around 7 to 8 weeks.
The good news is that if you have an early miscarriage
and are experiencing vaginal bleeding, but your doctor can see
fetal heart motion on ultrasound - 95% of those pregnancies will go on to result
in a viable baby. A slow heart rate on ultrasound, however, is a concerning sign.
A slow heart rate is seen in nearly 70% of early miscarriages.
Stated another way, the likelihood of having an early miscarriage is 30 times higher if
the ultrasound shows a low heart rate. A slow heart rate in combination with
vaginal bleeding is seen in 85% of early miscarriages.
How slow is slow ?
If the measured heart rate is less than 110 beats per minute then that is of concern.
A number of things can cause an early miscarriage. The most common cause is the
embryo or fetus does not have the correct number of chromosomes.
A normal fetus has 46 chromosomes - 23 from each parent.
60 to 70% of early miscarriages
are found to have an incorrect number of chromosomes.
As women get older, this number gets higher. So older women are more likely to have a miscarriage and
any given miscarriage is more likely to be from a chromosome problem.
Other things that probably increase the risk for early miscarriage include: smoking
taking supplements other than prenatal vitamins
Things that do not cause early miscarriage include: stress
having sex during pregnancy
exercise during pregnancy
using birth control before pregnancy
falling during pregnancy
getting hit in the abdomen or morning sickness.
In fact, women with morning sickness have a lower risk for miscarriage.
The most common signs and symptoms of early miscarriage are
vaginal bleeding and cramping.
However, these symptoms are also pretty common in
women who do not go on to have an early miscarriage.
If you are pregnant and have bleeding,
please contact your doctor for further evaluation!
Your doctor will want
to get a blood test to measure your HCG levels and an ultrasound.
This is important to do because some women with early pregnancy bleeding may actually
have a tubal pregnancy, which is less common, but much more dangerous.
One of the most common questions I get asked is: Can an early miscarriage be prevented?
The answer depends on whether you are already pregnant.
If you are not pregnant and you are trying to prevent an early miscarriage in your next
pregnancy, then there are a number of things you can do.
Stop those bad habits.
Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine.
If you are overweight, lose weight
If you are older, ask your doctor about IVF combined with testing the embryos for chromosome abnormalities.
If you've had multiple early miscarriages, meaning three or more...
see your doctor to be evaluated for recurrent pregnancy loss.
There may treatable problems that can be found
If you are already pregnant,
besides the things I discussed before, there is probably not much you can do.
Bed rest will not help.
Avoiding stress will not help, though it may make you feel better.
Taking progesterone supplements have been recommended in the past but there
really is very little evidence that it will reduce the chance for an early
miscarriage, but it probably won't harm anything.
Another question I get asked all the time is:
How soon can you try to conceive after having had a miscarriage?
In the past, doctors told patients, without any evidence, to wait at least
However, we have solid scientific data that shows attempting
pregnancy again right away, as soon as you start ovulating, will increase the
chance for a successful pregnancy.
This could happen within a few weeks of an early miscarriage.
Finally, if you need fertility treatment to conceive...
we recommend that you evaluate the uterine cavity before
starting treatment again
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