Miscarriage is the term used if you lose your pregnancy before 24 weeks of gestation. Most miscarriages occur in the first trimester, or before the 13th week of gestation. Sadly, miscarriage is far more common than people think. One in every four to five pregnancies will end in miscarriage.
It's an incredibly difficult and emotional experience. It brings physical, psychological and social challenges. People often wonder why it has happened, and whether they’ve done anything wrong or could have done something to prevent it. Most of the time, there is no obvious reason for a miscarriage, and you should reassure yourself that there’s nothing you could have done differently or better. You should also take heart from the fact that a miscarriage, even multiple miscarriages, does not mean that you are not going to carry a pregnancy to full term and become a parent.
Many people need to take time to grieve for the loss of their baby after a miscarriage. Around 20% of women who have suffered a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy will have ongoing psychological symptoms, and these can last for many months.
Your doctor would want to know that you have had a miscarriage and would want to know if you were having a difficult time with your mood, mental health or other distressing psychological symptoms.
In the first instance, it's worth reaching out to trusted friends, family and to your partner. Talking about things with people who care about you can give you a sense of strength and perspective.
If it’s causing ongoing distress, or your feelings are interfering with your day-to-day functioning or relationships at home or work, book a routine appointment with your doctor. They will want to hear how you are doing and may be able to advise of useful support groups, charities or services that are available in your area.
You should speak to a medical professional urgently if you are having thoughts of harming yourself or of suicide. You can get urgent help via your doctor, calling 111, or by attending the emergency department, which is a safe place during a crisis.
If you have had multiple miscarriages, you should speak to your doctor as there are some instances where medical causes lead to an increased chance of miscarriage. And you may need their support with future pregnancies, as this can bring up similar feelings of anxiety, guilt and grief.
The Miscarriage Association is a UK-based charity that can provide you with information and give you support via telephone, online chat or support groups.
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