Having a miscarriage can be very traumatic and upsetting and it can be easy not to fully realise other things that are common following a miscarriage. One of these things is the first period that a woman has following losing her baby in miscarriage. The first period (menstruation) may be delayed because of an increased level of hormones that are still in the system following the pregnancy. The further along the pregnancy is the more unpredictable the resumption of monthly periods may be. Typically periods will resume between four and six weeks later and may be a lot heavier and accompanied with more pain than the woman has experienced in the past.
A miscarriage is the most common way for a pregnancy to be lost and in fact some statistics suggest that between 10 and 20% of all pregnancies end in this way. There will be women who miscarry before they even realise that they are pregnant. Suffering a miscarriage can be very upsetting for expectant parents but it will also take its toll on a woman’s body.
When a woman suffers a miscarriage, her body will attempt to empty the contents of the womb out through the vagina. This process can lead to cramping in the abdomen and severe pain both in the abdomen and often in the lower back. Next a woman may notice that she’s passing blood and that the blood includes tissue and fluid. The pain experienced during miscarriage is easily distinguished from the occasional bouts of pain or spotting that are quite common in pregnancy or in their normal menstrual cycle.
Whether you have been aware that you were pregnant or not, there will be several tell-tale signs that you are in fact having your first period after a miscarriage. These may be:
Following a miscarriage the body may need a month or more to recover. That is because during pregnancy the hormones that are in your body will change and will need sometime to adjust to the fact that you’re no longer pregnant, before you have another menstrual cycle. This is the reason that periods after miscarriage can seem different and unusual.
The first period that you have after miscarriage will depend to some extent on how far advanced that pregnancy was. If you suffered from an irregular menstrual cycle before you got pregnant the chances are your periods will be irregular after your miscarriage. Delay of some 4 to 6 weeks is not at all unusual before the resumption of your periods.
The first period you have after a miscarriage is likely to be more painful and your breasts may also feel tender for a while. There are some things that you can do to help such as:
The body can recover quickly from a miscarriage and can in fact be ready to release an egg ready for fertilisation in just two weeks. However your body and hormone levels may take longer, as long as six weeks, to get back to normal. It is best to avoid sexual activity for a fortnight after a miscarriage so that you don’t suffer any complications or pain. If you do not intend to get pregnant again immediately it’ll be fine for you to start any contraceptive as soon as you like.
Often it will be very difficult for a doctor to identify the precise cause of a miscarriage, but it is widely accepted but a miscarriage can be the response of the body to problems identified as a baby develops in the womb. The instance of miscarriage also increases where there are known genetic disorders, if a woman is over 35, takes drugs, smokes or drinks, has an infection or a problem or abnormality in the womb. In most cases, one miscarriage will not stop a woman going on to carry a baby to full-term the next time she falls pregnant.
As well as the physical effects of miscarriage, there can be a very traumatic emotional response. Women often find it difficult to talk about what has happened but there are some coping mechanisms that can be very useful if you have suffered the upset of miscarriage:
There is no right or wrong time to try for another pregnancy after you’ve had a miscarriage. It is really down to when you feel ready but there are some things that you can do to help minimize the chances of another miscarriage. They are:
If you are pregnant and you suspect you’re having a miscarriage you should contact your doctor right away. You may need to undergo a procedure that will remove any foetal tissue that remains in your womb. If you doctor is not sure that all the foetal tissue has been passed then it may be necessary to have a dilation and curettage when the uterus will be scraped to ensure that no tissue remains. Failing to do this can lead to infection and prolonged bleeding. If you require this it will be done under general anaesthetic although usually you should be able to return home on the same day.
You need to call an ambulance if you experience any of the following, as these symptoms may be indications that you have a serious infection:
Even if you think that your first-period after miscarriage was not that unusual it is always wise to have check up with your doctor during the six weeks after your miscarriage. Your doctor will need to check that you have recovered and that your womb is back to its normal size.
You will need to consult your doctor as a matter of urgency if you have any of the following:
While it is true that the first period that you have after miscarriage will often be longer more painful and heavier than you’re used to the reason for this might be because your body has not ovulated and this may cause the lining of the womb to be thicker which will lead to a longer, heavier period.
It may often take several weeks or a month or more before the body is fully recovered from a miscarriage. Depending on how advanced the pregnancy was, pregnancy hormones may be present in the blood for one or two months after the miscarriage. After that, periods will usually resume.
This will vary from woman to woman but on average a post miscarriage period may last from four days to a week.
The body can recover quite quickly, after miscarriage and ovulation may take your place just two weeks after the loss of the pregnancy. As a bleeding abates and the hormone levels normalise, the menstrual cycle will start again.
It is entirely possible that you could become pregnant straight after miscarriage and before your periods resume. It is possible to ovulate and to get pregnant as little as two weeks after a miscarriage has occurred. If you have only had one miscarriage, there should not be any need to wait before you try to conceive again. If you have suffered two or more miscarriages, however, your health care provider might well recommend that you have some tests carried out.
If getting pregnant again right away is your aim, then the best way to achieve this is to eat a diet that is rich in fresh fruits, leafy vegetables, protein and foods rich in iron as well as ensuring your vitamin intake is adequate. However, doctors will usually recommend waiting for at least three months after a miscarriage before getting pregnant again. It is generally accepted that allowing this period of time to relax can guard against another miscarriage
Just as with an abortion, having a miscarriage will often mean a delay in the resumption of your usual menstrual cycle.
Yes you could try taking Folate along with other B vitamins. Try to eat whole-grains, seeds, nuts, and those green leafy vegetables, which will provide a good source of Folate and other vitamins in the B-group.
Unless your doctor has advised you otherwise, it should be fine for you to return to your normal daily activity and the exercise routine you had before your miscarriage as soon as you feel as though you can. Exercise may be a good idea because it is a good stress and anxiety reliever and will also help with depression.
Miscarriage can be difficult and traumatic but knowing the facts and taking care of yourself will help you through it and I Allow you to move on to another successful pregnancy in due course.