Getting pregnant is one of the most exciting and frightening times in a woman’s life. The initial shock of seeing the positive pregnancy test wears off and fear sets in. Will you be a good parent? Will there be any complications? When should you tell friends and family?
All of these are common questions to ask and worries to have. One thing people don’t think about is if the pregnancy will make it past the first trimester. You often hear people say they are waiting until 12 weeks to say anything because then they are safe. This is because the chance of miscarriage drops to around 5 percent.
I want to take the time to talk about miscarriages. 20 percent of women will experience a miscarriage within their lifetimes. 20 percent! If you count up all the women you know who have been pregnant, almost a quarter of them have suffered a miscarriage. Some people don’t even know they have, they just assume their cycle was a little late.
So why don’t more people talk about it? It’s still one of those things that make women feel like a failure and they feel weird talking about it with others who may not share the experience, or they may not want people to “pity” them for their loss. You have done nothing wrong. There is nothing you could have done to prevent a miscarriage from happening so early, and most of them occur because of chromosomal issues. Your body knew something was wrong and terminated the pregnancy.
Most women miscarry during first trimester and will do so naturally. No additional follow up is needed. In some cases, you may need assistance and a D and C (dilation and curettage) is performed. This is outpatient surgery and is normally over within 20 minutes and there is minimal pain and bleeding.
What about 2nd and 3rd trimester miscarriages? Well this one is rare, that’s why you don’t hear about these that often. After 20 weeks of pregnancy it is considered a stillborn and not a miscarriage. This is very rare and makes up less than 1 percent of pregnancies.
Have you experienced a loss before? It is always good to find someone to talk to if you are struggling and know you are not alone. There are many support groups and counselors out there to seek advice from. If you have been unlucky enough to experience a miscarriage, know that it does not effect your chances of getting pregnant in the future. Many women have one and go on to have children with no future complications.