Practically every woman knows about the risk of miscarriage as well as some basic facts related to it. In comparison, fewer women are equally well versed in a condition called a silent, or missed, miscarriage. Those who have but a slight acquaintance with the subject should be aware of the phenomenon much better, especially if they are in the family way or beginning to think about starting a family.
Unfortunately, miscarriages are quite common and present a serious danger to pregnant women. If one happens, it usually means a psychological and physiological setback both for the woman and her partner, and takes a lot of living down. Therefore, a better understanding of what a miscarriage is and how to get over it will help attain a successful pregnancy in the years to come.
Experts define miscarriage as a pregnancy loss that takes place in the first five months of gestation. According to the statistics from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, approximately one in five pregnancies terminate in a miscarriage – usually within the first three months after conception.
Is a silent miscarriage different from a common one?
A silent miscarriage, also referred to as a missed miscarriage or (the professional term) a missed abortion, is an early loss of pregnancy which can pass unnoticed. It occurs in the first twenty weeks and often requires an ultrasound scan to make sure whether it really happened.
How can one detect if a missed abortion took place?
It can be recognized by two symptoms. First, a blighted ovum, that is, a condition when a fertilized egg is already implanted in the uterus, but for some reason no fetal growth is happening. Whether there is an embryo in the gestational sac or something went wrong, can be ascertained with an ultrasound.
The second symptom is the absence of a heartbeat, which also means that no development is going on in the gestational sac.
Do women really miss it?
Since a missed abortion can occur without any attendant symptoms of a common miscarriage – like abdominal pains and bleeding – for many women it may pass unnoticed. Several weeks may go by without the woman getting suspicious that no fetus development is in progress. There is no immediate symptom to show that the fetus is lost, although common pregnancy symptoms begin to fade away in a while: morning sickness wears off, breasts fail to grow tender, and so on.
How soon can a missed abortion occur?
A large number of missed abortions take place within the first two months after conception, but some of these may transpire even before the woman realizes she is pregnant, before she notices a break in her menstruation.
Can the condition be treated?
You don’t get your symptoms coming in time to warn you, so there’s no chance of preventing a miscarriage. Still, you ought to undergo treatment after it occurred so that no infection or hemorrhage (bleeding) will ensue. In cases of a very heavy bleeding a surgery may become necessary, the generally recommended one being a dilation and curettage (D&C), an outpatient procedure that is uncomplicated.
Customarily, though, early miscarriages don’t require any serious medical treatment.
What must be known about the recovery period?
Regarded purely from a physical viewpoint, miscarriages are very common and therefore easy to get over. The body comes to normal fairly quickly; it is the psychological impact on a couple that longed for and expected a baby that is much harder to bear. Three in ten women get depressive and can even be treated with anti-depressants for a while.
While the dominating wish may be to shut yourself off from the world and suffer in silence, actually the very opposite approach should be employed. The best expert advice for those suffering from post-miscarriage bouts of depression is to be vocal about it with your friends and family. It is not a good reason to drop out of life nor to keep mum; a miscarriage is something nearly every fifth woman in the world experienced, so a discussion of its consequences is neither shameful nor improper.
How long will it take until one can try to conceive again?
Doctors tend to agree that as soon as you’ve stopped bleeding you can resume your sex life. If you had a missed abortion, you can hope for conception in half a month’s time, although a 3 to 6 months’ period would be a safer bet. Getting pregnant too soon can increase the risk of another miscarriage following the previous one.
What are the reasons behind a missed abortion?
Most miscarriages can be brought down to abnormalities in the function of the fetus’s chromosomes – that is, the structures of the cells containing genes. If there happen to be the wrong number or structure of the chromosomes, it can lead to a missed abortion or the common kind of a miscarriage.
Fortunately, such problems are not hereditary, malfunctions occur as a result of certain mutations during conception that are unpredictable and non-recursive.
Missed abortions cannot be brought about by everyday habits?
Most definitely not. In many cases no routine habit – either on the part of a woman or her partner – can lead up to an abortion. It’s processes prior to, during and following fertilization, beyond personal control, that can trigger off a missed abortion. Now and then it can be caused by a background health problem in the mother, but it’s generally something you can’t pin down.
Of course, indulging in coffee, strong drinks in large quantities and smoking during pregnancy can be conducive to a miscarriage.
In conclusion it is worth stressing the fact that a miscarriage, being the result of chromosomal abnormality, cannot be blamed on the woman or the man involved, and it mustn’t be taken as nature’s way to show that the woman is not fertile. Although an extremely deplorable occurrence, it is by no means decisive, and doesn’t rob you of a possibility to become a mother in future.