There is nothing you can do to prevent a miscarriage. It is usually the body's way of ending a pregnancy that has had a bad start, often at the earliest stage of cell division.
It is important to be alert to the symptoms of a miscarriage so that you can seek medical evaluation. If you are having symptoms of a miscarriage, avoid sexual activity (called pelvic rest) and strenuous activity until your symptoms have been evaluated by a doctor.
- You have sudden, severe pain in your belly or pelvis.
- You passed out (lost consciousness).
- You have severe vaginal bleeding.
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- You are dizzy or lightheaded, or you feel like you may faint.
- You have new or increased pain in your belly or pelvis.
- Your vaginal bleeding is getting worse.
- You have increased pain in the vaginal area.
- You have a fever.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
- You have new or worse vaginal discharge.
- You do not get better as expected.
Coping with a miscarriage
It is normal to go through a grieving process after a miscarriage, regardless of the length of your pregnancy. Guilt, anxiety, and sadness are common and normal reactions after a miscarriage. It is also normal to want to know why a miscarriage has happened. In most cases a miscarriage is a natural event that could not have been prevented.
To help you and your family cope with your loss, consider meeting with a support group, reading about the experiences of other mothers, and talking to friends or a counselor or member of the clergy. For more information, see the topic Grief and Grieving.
Your local bookstore or library may have books on coping with miscarriage. Also, your doctor will be able to address your questions and concerns about the miscarriage.
The intensity and duration of the grief varies from woman to woman. But most women find that they can return to the daily demands of life in a fairly short time. The loss and the hormonal swings that result from a miscarriage can cause symptoms of depression, such as feeling sad and hopeless and losing interest in daily activities. It is important to call your doctor if you have symptoms of depression that last for more than a couple of weeks.
A healthy, full-term pregnancy is possible for most women who have had a miscarriage. This is true even after repeated miscarriages. If you want to become pregnant again, check with your doctor or nurse-midwife. Most health professionals recommend waiting until you have had at least one normal menstrual period before trying to become pregnant after a miscarriage.