Woman with a distraught look on her face
(C) Love Matters | Rita Lino

Miscarriage

If you’re pregnant, hopefully it will end with you holding a healthy baby. But things can go wrong.

Around one in five pregnancies end in miscarriage. What are the first signs? What can you expect to happen if you have a miscarriage? Why does it happen? And how would you feel?

Bleeding

It can be scary if you have bleeding from your vagina, or ‘spotting’ in your underwear when you’re pregnant. You can easily fear the worst and think it means you’re having a miscarriage. But often it’s nothing to worry about.

During pregnancy the blood vessels in your cervix can be delicate and bleed much more easily, so you can find blood in your underwear or on the sheets. You can compare it to a nosebleed! It can especially happen after sex because the penis bumps into the cervix. But it won’t do the baby any harm at all.

Not all bleeding during pregnancy is harmless though. It can be the start of a miscarriage. What’s more, bleeding can also be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy, where the baby is growing outside the womb. So if you experience bleeding during early pregnancy, perhaps everything is fine, but you should still go and see the doctor or midwife to get checked out.

Miscarriages

One in three early pregnancies end before the woman’s period is late. The fertilised egg just comes out with the blood like a normal period. If this happens, you won’t even realise you’ve been pregnant. A miscarriage is when the pregnancy ends in the first 16 weeks. And in fact, that happens with about one in five pregnancies.

Grief

Miscarriages might be a part of life, but that doesn’t make them any easier to bear. A miscarriage can be deeply upsetting. The further on in the pregnancy the miscarriage happens, the deeper the grief. Especially if you’ve been longing to get pregnant, your dreams are shattered and your future falls to pieces.

People can make it worse by not understanding your feelings. They might say things like, 'It was probably for the best.' Or 'Don’t worry, you’re still young, there’s still plenty of time for another baby.' But whatever people say, you have every right to feel grief for your miscarriage.

Reasons

It might sound harsh, but it’s true there’s nearly always a ‘good’ reason for a miscarriage. In most cases, it’s because there is something wrong with the baby. So you shouldn’t feel guilty that something you’ve done has caused the miscarriage, like heavy exercise or passionate sex.

It’s true sex can sometimes set off a miscarriage, but it’s not the cause. The miscarriage was going to happen anyway, and sex just starts it off.

What happens?

A miscarriage starts with bleeding and painful cramps like period pains. It can be very painful because it’s like a mini-birth. The cervix has to open up to let the embryo and placenta out, and you have contractions just like in labour. And it takes time. A hot-water bottle on your lower back or stomach, or a warm bath, can help you cope with the pain.

You should expect to bleed more than a normal period. But if the bleeding is like a running tap, or carries on after the amniotic sac (the bag holding the embryo) has come out, you should get medical help.

If the pain carries on after the miscarriage has finished it could mean not everything has come out properly. Again you should get medical help. You might need an operation called a D&C (dilation and curettage) to suck out anything left in the womb.

Comments
Early this year my wife had a miscarriage and even befor that six month earlier we expected pregnancy but instead she got her periods can isay there is a problem some were? What can we do then
HI Celleh, Most miscarriages happen when the unborn baby has serious genetic problems. Usually, these problems are unrelated to the mother. Other causes can include; infection, medical conditions in the mother such as diabetes, hormone problems, Immune system responses, physical problems in the mother and uterine abnormalities.
In this year I had amiscarriage but now i am pregnant of 5months but still I fill the pain what am I supposed to do? To avoid any infection?
Hi Eisii, I suggest you visit to a specialist - Gynecologist so they can help to monitor the pregnancy and advice you which may help to prevent this from happening.
Hey Fayie, since everyone is different I suggest you talk to your Midwife or Gynecologist who will give you comprehensive information on what to expect and also help monitor the onset of labor. We wish you well.

Hey Rosie, yes most of the women who have had a miscarriage can still get pregnant again and even go on to deliver their baby. It depends on the reason that led to the miscarriage in the first place. One needs to talk to their health provider to see whether this is possible and whether they require any treatment before getting pregnant. Lastly, it is important to take time to heal emotionally from the loss before choosing to get pregnant. Check out this article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/being-pregnant/miscarriage-top-facts 

2017 I abort bcoz of hard situation I wos passing thru From that day I become jealous of may self then I got married and I was paged then after seven week I miscarriage wat can be the problem

Hi Trizah, so sorry about your loss. I am not able to tell what could have happened. You also didn't talk about what kind of abortion you had and whether it was a safe abortion. A safe abortion is one that was conducted by a professional health provider. Usually when an abortion is safe, it will not affect one's ability to get or carry a pregnancy in the future. I suggest you speak to your health care provider for further advice. Have a look at this article for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/being-pregnant/miscarriage

I miscouraged when tuning 3months now am 1year 7month what taking me too long to get pregnant does it mean i wont get pregnant again?

Dear xexil, so sorry about your loss. It is important that you consult a Gynecologist who will be able to advice. Usually it may take upto about 12 month for one to get pregnant, since in your case it has been longer that this period you and your partner need to go see the specialist for further advice. Also, having a miscarriage doesn't affect ones ability to get pregnant in future. Check out the following article for additional information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/before-pregnancy/getting-pregnant-dos-and-donts

Dear Cicilia, so sorry about your loss. Usually it may take upto about 12 month for one to get pregnant, if in your case it has been longer than 12 months, you and your partner need to see a specialist Gynecologist for a check and further advice. Also, having a miscarriage doesn't affect ones ability to get pregnant in future. Check out the following article for additional information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/before-pregnancy/getting-pregnant-dos-and-donts

I have lost three pregnancies I feel so discouraged I don't want to think about trying ever again yet my husband really want to have children.

Hey Dorothy, we are so sorry about this. This was not your fault and there is nothing you could have done to have a different outcome. I suggest you talk to a Gynecologist before you try again. It is possible to carry a baby to term even after having a miscarriage, it is however important you take sometime and heal from the previous loses. Let your partner know, you can even consider getting professional help together with your partner before getting ready to try again. We wish you well. Check out the following article for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/being-pregnant/miscarriage-top-facts

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