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Understanding and Coping With Miscarriage and Loss

Understanding and Coping with Miscarriage

Going through a miscarriage can be devastating and a difficult topic to discuss, especially if you are feeling confused or lonely during the process. You are not alone in this process, and it’s okay to grieve your loss.

We are here to answer your questions about miscarriage and offer a few ways to help you cope if you have experienced a miscarriage or loss yourself. 

What is a Miscarriage

Miscarriage occurs when an embryo or fetus is no longer viable before the 20th week of pregnancy. The occurrence of miscarriage is at its highest in the first six weeks of pregnancy, and the risk continues to decrease as you progress past the first trimester of pregnancy. 

Up to 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Many of these miscarriages will go unnoticed as they frequently occur very early on after conception and may only delay the start of a cycle by a day or two. For those going through fertility treatment, you may be more aware of these early pregnancy losses as they can show up on early pregnancy screening tests performed by your doctor. 

What Causes Miscarriage

In a majority of cases, a miscarriage is caused by chromosomal abnormalities. This is when the embryo has the wrong number of chromosomes, or there are structural issues within the chromosomes themselves. 

While there are other potential reasons for miscarriage, it’s important to note that a miscarriage is not your fault, and there isn’t anything you could have done to prevent it from occurring. 

Depending on when the miscarriage occurs, you can also speak to your doctor about testing the products of conception to identify a genetic cause of the pregnancy loss. 

Coping with Miscarriage

It’s not easy going through a miscarriage and can leave you feeling an array of emotions as you deal with the grief of a loss. Below are three steps to help you cope during and after a miscarriage. 

  1. Remember that you did not cause the miscarriage. In most cases, the embryo had chromosomal abnormalities leading to a non-viable pregnancy. There is nothing you could have done to prevent this from occurring, so it’s important not to blame yourself. 
  2. Understand the five stages of grief. The five stages of grief include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, and many men and women who have experienced a miscarriage can cycle through these stages. It’s not a linear cycle, so you may repeat cycle stages as you recover and heal. Click here to learn more about the five stages of grief and how they can make you feel. 
  3. Lean in on your support. Going through a miscarriage can feel very lonely and isolating at times. This is a great time to stay connected with a partner, family member, or friend who can listen and support you on this journey. If you don’t have a close support network that you feel you can open up to, there are several online resources, support groups, and therapists that can help support you during this time. At Nova, we provide many resources to our patients to help them emotionally heal after a loss. 

Next Steps Following a Miscarriage

For those who are undergoing fertility treatment, your doctor will set up a follow-up appointment to discuss the miscarriage and potential next steps. This is an important appointment that will cover valuable information, including any potential risks of future miscarriage. 

During your follow-up, your doctor will review any causes or opportunities for additional testing and develop a plan for your next steps. 

You can also use this time with your doctor to note any reservations or feelings about moving forward and address any additional concerns you may have as you proceed.

It’s not easy going through fertility treatment, and even more challenging to face a miscarriage or loss. Here at Nova IVF, we address the medical concerns that go along with each part of the journey, and we listen to each of our patient’s concerns so that you can have the best experience possible. Our team will hold your hand through this journey and support you through these hurdles to help you find hope again.

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