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How common are miscarriages? – Deseret News

Miscarriages are a common experience for women and are usually caused when a fetus doesn’t properly develop. Medically, they are referred to as a “spontaneous abortion.” They occur mostly before a women’s 12th week of pregnancy, but any loss before the 20th week is considered a miscarriage, according to the Mayo Clinic.

How common are miscarriages?

A miscarriage is estimated to be the most common form of pregnancy loss, per the National Library of Medicine. Miscarriages occur in 10%-20% of pregnancies, with 8 out of 10 happening within the first trimester, Planned Parenthood reports.

What causes a miscarriage?

About half of miscarriages are associated with extra or missing chromosomes, according to the Mayo Clinic. Chromosome problems can cause issues in the development of the embryo. Other miscarriage causes include maternal health conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes, infections, hormonal issues, problems in the uterus or cervix or thyroid disease.

Other possible causes include age, infection, improper implantation or immune system disorders, per the Cleveland Clinic. Most miscarriages are not caused by something a mother did.

Types of miscarriages

  1. Early miscarriage: The most common kind of miscarriage. This is when the fetus is lost in the first three months of pregnancy.
  2. Late miscarriage: Occurs when a pregnancy is lost in the second trimester, between 12 and 14 weeks of pregnancy. This type of miscarriage happens in about 1%-2% of pregnancies.
  3. Stillbirth: A miscarriage in the third trimester of a pregnancy, or after 24 weeks, is defined as a stillbirth.
  4. Complete miscarriage: All pregnancy tissue has left the uterus.
  5. Incomplete miscarriage: When pregnancy tissue remains in the uterus.
  6. Silent, delayed, or missed miscarriage: A fetus fails to develop.
  7. Chemical pregnancy: Pregnancy ends before six weeks of pregnancy.
  8. Molar pregnancy: Fetus doesn’t properly form in the uterus.
  9. Ectopic pregnancy: When a baby develops outside of the uterus, typically in a fallopian tube.
  10. Blighted ovum: This happens early on in pregnancy and happens when a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall, but the embryo doesn’t develop.

What are the signs of a miscarriage?

According to the National Health System, one of the most common signs of a miscarriage is vaginal bleeding, which can come and go over a period of days.

Bleeding is common in pregnancies during the first trimester and doesn’t necessarily signal a miscarriage. However, it’s best to contact a professional to get a diagnosis if you experience bleeding.

Other symptoms include cramping in the back or stomach, vaginal fluid or tissue discharge, weight loss, contractions and a decrease in signs of pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association.

How to cope after having a miscarriage

Miscarriage requires emotional and physical healing, and both need proper attention. However, even after healing physically, emotional recovery can still be in process. Miscarriages are emotionally devastating and there are several things you can do to cope.

According to Stanford Medicine, many women blame themselves after a miscarriage occurs. It’s important to not blame yourself and understand that most miscarriages are caused by a genetic abnormality.

Taking care of yourself

Give yourself time to grieve and deal with your emotions. Losing a baby in a miscarriage is comparable to losing a loved one, Healthline reports. It is normal to experience grief and intense emotions after a loss like this.

It may feel like you have to suffer silently because you kept the pregnancy quiet or you lost the child early on in the pregnancy, but that is not the case. Talk to friends or a partner or even a professional therapist as you work through your feelings.

Be sure to also take the time to care for yourself physically. Make sure to eat, rest and maintain your hygiene.

Other ways to cope

  • Join a miscarriage support group: here is a link to register for a support group. You can also join an online support group here.
  • Write out your feelings in a journal, or write a letter to your baby.
  • Do something that makes you feel better, whether that’s practicing self-care or going out to dinner.
  • Commemorate your baby by creating a piece of jewelry, planting flowers or pressing flowers you might receive.

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