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While any loss is difficult and emotional, I also don't believe that miscarriage means you have to panic about your possibilities of motherhood. Miscarriages are very common, and one miscarriage isn't usually enough to concern docs about your future ability to carry babies. Multiple miscarriages may indicate a problem, however.
Whether or not a miscarriage affects your ability to conceive in the future depends on the reason you lost the pregnancy. Watch this video in which obstetrician and gynecologist Evelyn Minaya, M.D., discusses trouble conceiving after a miscarriage.
A miscarriage, on its own, should not affect a woman's ability to conceive again. Since most miscarriages are due to fetal abnormalities, the miscarriage shouldn't affect any anatomical structures or biological processes. Yet, if you have had several miscarriages, you may want to have a doctor investigate the cause. You could, in fact, have a uterine or cervical condition that is affecting your ability to sustain a pregnancy. There may be treatments available for such conditions that could help you have a healthy pregnancy. There could also be genetic factors from one or both of the parents that could be causing repeated miscarriage.
If a patient has had 1 or 2 miscarriages, her chances of another miscarriage in future pregnancies is no greater than the general population. Often times after a patient has had 2 miscarriages, I will obtain blood work to assess her thyroid as well as to see if her blood clots too easy. If any of these tests are abnormal, I will consider placing her on a baby aspirin while she is trying to conceive. She may benefit from daily Lovenox injections (blood thinner) that can help keep her from miscarrying. Some patients have low progesterone levels, and it is very important in a patient who has had recurrent miscarriages to check a progesterone level early in her pregnancy.
If you have a miscarriage, it's important to know that it doesn't necessarily mean you won't be able to carry a baby to full term in the future. At least 85% of women who have miscarriages go on to have healthy pregnancies.
Early warning signs of a miscarriage include:
- vaginal spotting of blood
- pain in the lower back
- cramps in the lower abdomen
- heavy bleeding with clots
Most women who have bleeding or cramps during early pregnancy are not miscarrying, and the pregnancy usually progresses normally.
The loss of your baby through a miscarriage is emotionally traumatic. You should discuss your feelings with your partner and others; your healthcare professional can recommend a bereavement counselor if you want to consider this option for helping you overcome your grief and loss.
Even though losing a pregnancy is very upsetting, it is a fairly common event. Usually, an evaluation is not started until after three miscarriages have occurred. Obviously, such an approach seems unsatisfactory to couples, and certainly it can be extremely upsetting.
It would be appropriate, after two miscarriages, to proceed with a limited evaluation, which includes, primarily, a few blood tests. Any board-certified reproductive endocrinologist should be able to guide you through such an evaluation and recommend further treatment.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.