Miscarriages are devastating, especially if you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a long time, or have been going through fertility treatment. We understand that dealing with a miscarriage can be emotionally draining, however, whatever you’re going through, it is completely natural and normal.
Here at The Evewell, we are ready to help you and support you throughout your journey. Read on to learn more about the risk of miscarriage and what can help prevent miscarriages.
We know how easy it can be to want to blame yourself, but it is important to note that the majority of miscarriages are not caused by something the mother has done – the female reproductive system is very complex and sophisticated, and it can recognise any fetal abnormalities early on to ensure it’s developing a healthy baby.
A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy during the first 23 weeks, however, more than 80% of miscarriages occur during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. After the first trimester, the miscarriage rate reduces rapidly.
Miscarriages are not as uncommon as it might seem – among women who know they’re pregnant, it’s estimated about 1 in 8 pregnancies end in miscarriage, however, most of them occur due to chromosomal abnormalities.
The main sign of a miscarriage is vaginal bleeding, which may be followed by cramping pain in the lower abdomen. It is worth noting that light vaginal bleeding is relatively common during the first trimester of pregnancy and does not necessarily mean you’re having a miscarriage.
Often, the cause of a miscarriage is not identified, however, about 3 in 4 miscarriages happen during the first trimester, which is caused by chromosomal abnormalities in the foetus – if it hasn’t got enough or has too many chromosomes, the female body gets the signal that the baby won’t develop properly and decides to let the pregnancy go.
If a miscarriage happens after the first trimester of the pregnancy, it might be a result of an underlying health condition in the mother. For most women, a miscarriage is a one-off event and they can have a successful pregnancy in the future – read more about pregnancy after miscarriage here.
There are several types of miscarriages:
The most common symptom of a miscarriage is vaginal bleeding – it can vary from light spotting or brownish discharge to heavy bleeding and bright red blood clots.
Other symptoms of a miscarriage include:
In many cases, the causes of a miscarriage are unknown therefore can’t be prevented but there are ways that can lower the risk of miscarriage.
What can help prevent miscarriages:
It is important to note that these steps are not a sure way to prevent miscarriage, as in most cases miscarriages occur due to genetic abnormalities. This also doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you or your partner – the pregnancy simply ends because it’s not viable.
A healthy weight and diet are very important to maintain to keep yourself and the baby healthy – read more about the fertility diet here.
To help reduce the risk of miscarriage, certain food products should be avoided during pregnancy:
Unpasteurised dairy products may contain listeria, a bacteria that causes an infection called listeriosis.
Avoid soft cheeses like brie, camembert, goat’s cheese, soft blue cheeses such as danish blue, gorgonzola and Roquefort, unless cooked until steaming hot.
Eating raw or undercooked meat might increase the risk of getting toxoplasmosis, which can cause miscarriage. Also avoid liver and liver products, all types of pâté (including vegetarian pâté) and wild game meats such as goose, partridge or wild duck. Also, be careful with cold cured meats such as prosciutto, salami, pepperoni or chorizo – it’s best if they have been cooked thoroughly.
Avoid marlin, swordfish, shark and raw shellfish due to pollutants, toxins and bacteria they may contain. You should also limit tuna as it contains more mercury than any other fish – too much mercury could be harmful to the baby.
Also, limit the intake of oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel or herring to no more than 2 portions per week.
Eating raw or partially cooked eggs might cause salmonella, which isn’t dangerous to the baby but can give you food poisoning. Regardless of the type of egg, whether it’s hen, duck or quail, make sure the egg whites and yolks have been cooked thoroughly and are solid.
Caffeine: You can have caffeine but not more than 200 g per day. Remember that soft drinks, energy drinks, tea, milk and dark chocolate also contain caffeine.
Alcohol: Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to your baby. It’s safest to not drink alcohol at all during pregnancy.
Herbal teas: Limit your herbal tea intake to up to 4 cups a day.
Liquorice: Avoid eating liquorice root, however, liquorice is safe to eat.
Fruits, vegetables and salads: Ensure these have been washed thoroughly and don’t contain soil, which might make you feel unwell.
Peanuts: Only avoid eating peanuts if you have a nut allergy or have been advised by your doctor
Vitamins: Avoid taking high-dose vitamin supplements, or any supplements with vitamin A in them. Read more about fertility vitamins here.
In case of underlying health issues like some listed below, there are investigations and treatments to help reduce the risk of miscarriage
Here at The Evewell, we are fertility experts with 20+ years of experience. Whether you need help trying to get pregnant, have experienced a miscarriage or need emotional support, we are ready to help you. Please get in touch by emailing us at email@example.com or calling us on 020 3974 0950