Miscarriage can be defined as a spontaneous loss of foetus before 24 weeks of pregnancy. For any woman who has had a miscarriage, the loss can be quite disturbing and distressing.
After a miscarriage, a woman may wonder if it is going to have any long-term effects on her, and if she may be able to conceive again. The reality is that most woman who miscarry are able to recover without being befallen by adverse effects and can eventually carry a baby to full-term.
Many women may hide the news of their miscarriage or feel ashamed as they think of miscarriage as unusual and symbolic of a health problem. But, the truth is that about one in five pregnancy ends this way. So, if you conceive it does not mean that it is definitely going to continue till the time of childbirth. Most miscarriages usually occur in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.
The physical effects of miscarriage usually clear up quickly. Vaginal bleeding (which is dark red or brown in colour) usually stops in 7 - 10 days. If an infection occurs, the bleeding may persist longer or you may have itching, or smelly or greenish discharge. If the bleeding continues for longer than 7-10 days, is heavy, appears to be bright red in colour or you have symptoms suggestive of infection, consult your doctor. The next period starts in about four to six weeks.
Emotional effects of a miscarriage are relative and can take time to heal. Grief at times can be profound; it is a normal reaction to miscarriage. You may cry without a reason, have disturbed sleep and disturbing dreams, feel withdrawn and alone, have loss of appetite, and mental confusion. To overcome your grief and other emotional problems it is important to acknowledge them and address them rather than rather than attempting to hide or feel ashamed of expressing. It is advisable to avoid sex for at least 2 - 3 weeks or till the time you and your partner are comfortable; avoid getting pregnant until you have completed at least one normal menstrual cycle.
Miscarriage is a distressing and painful experience, but remember that most women who have had a miscarriage go on to have healthy babies later. Recurrent miscarriage or loss of pregnancies is rare and occurs in only about one to two per cent of otherwise healthy women. If you have recurrent miscarriages, your doctor will do a complete medical assessment to identify the cause.
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