Jay Goldberg (Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center) gives expert video advice on: What are my chances of having a normal pregnancy after having a miscarriage? and more...
What causes a "miscarriage"?
Miscrriages are very common. Some studies say that miscarriages occur in greater than 50% of women. You become pregnant and you miss a period by a day or two and then have a heavy period. You may be miscarrying and not even know you were pregnant. Most miscarriages are a result of chromosomal abnormalities. The sperm and the egg met and they didn't have an exact match in terms of chromosomes, so that match does not result in a healthy pregnancy. At four weeks, six weeks, seven weeks - at some point - there will be something missing from that match - an enzyme or a complete chromosome - some information required to continue a healthy pregnancy. When that information isn't available, the pregnancy doesn't continue to groW. At some point the body may recognize that and if so, you will miscarry. That's one cause. There are other causes such as alcohol and drugs can lead to miscarriage, and sometimes we just don't know. We can evaluate for chromosomal abnormalities. A patient can have a clean bill of health, not be a drug user and have a miscarriage and we don't necessarily always have a definition.
Will my doctor check for serious medical issues if I have a miscarriage?
If you have recurrent miscarriages where you've miscarried once, then you get pregnant quite easily again and miscarry again, and even a third time. Doctors often make a judgement after 2 or 3 miscarriages and then proceed with a more of a thorough evaluation.There are blood tests to check for auto-immune disorders and clotting disorders that can be done to see why you are having recurrent miscarriages. One miscarriage will probably be explained to you by your doctor and he should assure you that it's very common and it somewhat should be expected in multiple pregnancies.
What are the signs of a miscarriage?
Typical signs of a miscarriage can be bleeding and cramping early in pregnancy. Typical signs of a miscarriage can also be loss of pregnancy symptoms. Someone who feels very nauseated, very fatigued, breast tenderness, wakes up one morning and all of her pregnancy symptoms are gone. She then calls the doctor, immediately comes in to the doctor, and they find that she's miscarried. I found in my experience that women have a very good sense of who they are and they know their bodies. And when they say that, I usually have them come in right away. And I would say that about 50% of the time everything is fine and people are just nervous in the early parts of pregnancy, but about 50% of the time they're right on and they have miscarried. So if you lose your pregnancy symptoms completely, you probably should contact your doctor; you may have miscarried.
What are my chances of having a normal pregnancy after having a miscarriage?
After you have a miscarriage, you're going to be very nervous, but your chances of having a normal pregnancy are very good. Most women, after a miscarriage, have a normal pregnancy. The next pregnancy turns out to be fantastic. You just have to have a little faith that that miscarriage happened for a reason and the next pregnancy, you'll have a good time and not miscarry.