Can stress cause a miscarriage?

Whilst it is as important as possible to remain stress free during pregnancy. There is no evidence that stress is linked to miscarriage.

I'm bleeding, when can I have a scan?

If you are bleeding in early pregnancy it is very unlikely that you will have a scan before 6 weeks. This is because before 6 weeks there is very little to be seen on a scan.  You may be offered a scan before 6 weeks to rule out an ectopic pregnancy

I've had some bleeding. Am I having a miscarriage?

Bleeding does not always indicate miscarriage. Some women bleed due to implantation, this usually happens between 7 and 14 days after conception. Your cervix is usually a little more sensitive during early pregnancy due to hormonal changes and an increase in blood supply. This can sometimes cause bleeding. If you have any bleeding during pregnancy it is always advisable to contact your midwife or GP. If you have pain and bleeding please visit your local A&E department.

If you experience heavy bleeding (enough to fill a pad in an hour), large clots or excruciating pain then you will need to seek immediate medical support.

I am miscarrying. What happens next?

Miscarriages can last a few hours, a day, a week or more. No two miscarriages will be the same. 
When people have a miscarriage it can feel like a period or it can feel intense, like labour. Other people will not experience pain or bleeding and this is called a missed miscarriage. 

Depending on your circumstances there may be three options available to you. These are :

  • Wait and see/expectant management - You may choose to wait 7-14 days for any remaining tissue to pass.
  • Medical management - You may choose to have medication to remove the pregnancy tissue. This may be in the form of oral tablets or vaginal pessaries. You will usually be given the tablets to take home.
  • Surgical management - You may need to have an operation to remove any remaining tissue. This is usually the case if you experience continuous, heavy bleeding, if medication has been unsuccessful or if there is evidence that an infection has formed due to retained pregnancy tissue. 

You will usually be told to take a pregnancy test 3 weeks after any of these options to ensure that all pregnancy tissue has passed. If your pregnancy test is negative this means that all pregnancy tissue has passed. If it is positive you will need to contact the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit or your GP, you may need to have further tests. 

When can we try for another baby?

It is always best to discuss your circumstances with your GP. You may want to wait until you are emotionally ready. However, unless there is a medical reason, there is no evidence to suggest that you should wait to have a baby after miscarriage. Some studies have shown that conceiving in the first 6 months after miscarriage can lower your chances of having a further miscarriage. You may be advised to wait if the hospital has sent your baby or any pregnancy tissue away for tests. It can be advisable to wait until you have a period so that professionals can accurately date your pregnacy.

When can we have sex again?

Sex is an important part of a relationship and can often bring comfort following the loss of a pregnancy. It is advisable to wait until all miscarriage symptoms have passed and you have stopped bleeding. If you have sex when you are actively bleeding from a miscarriage you risk introducing an infection. It is also recommeneded that you wait until you are emotionally ready. 

Do we need to use contraception after a miscarriage?

You are highly fertile following a miscarriage so it is advised that you use contraception if you wish to avoid getting pregnant. 

What happens with the baby's remains?

Sometimes miscarriages can happen in a controlled environment and you may be asked what you want to happen with the remains. This can vary across local authorities, so it is always advisable to check.

If you micsarry in hospital there are several options but the most important one may be “Undecided”. This means that you can defer making a decision for up to 6 weeks. Other options include:

Hospital management, which will be a shared cremation. In Cardiff you can attend the service if you wish but it is worth noting that other parents who have suffered a loss may be in attendance. The ashes will not be available but will be scattered at the crematorium.

Own Funeral arrangements. You can arrange a service with your local crematorium. It is likely thay they will pick up the remains from the hospital and transport them to the crematorium although we recommend you check with your local authority. You should be able to choose songs and an officiant. There may be ashes available for you to keep or scatter. Some Crematoriums do not charge for services for under 18s, check with your local crematorium.

You may be able to take the remains home and bury the baby in the garden or in a plant. 

How common is miscarriage?

  • Approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage
  • Around 60% of women who have a miscarriage go on to have a healthy pregnancy
  • Most miscarriages happen in the first 12 weeks


What are the symptoms of miscarriage?

Many people associate a miscarriage with bleeding and pain. This is not always the case. Miscarriages can last a few hours, a day, a week or more. No two miscarriages will be the same. If you have bleeding or spotting this does not always mean that you will miscarry.
When people have a miscarriage it can feel like a period or it can feel intense, like labour. Other people will not experience pain or bleeding and this is called a missed miscarriage. If you experience heavy bleeding (enough to fill a pad in an hour), large clots or excruciating pain then you will need to seek immediate medical support.

What causes a miscarriage?

Although it may be hard to accept, it’s important to know that there is no known answer for why miscarriage generally happens. In most cases it is not something you or your partner may or may not have done. 85% of miscarriages occur during the first trimester and these are generally caused by chromosomal abnormalities or by issues with the placenta.
Miscarriages during the second trimester are much less common than during the first trimester and may happen as a result of an underlying health issue or cervical weakness.

What are my chances of having another miscarriage?

Most women go on to have a successful pregnancy after a miscarriage. A small percentage of women go on to have further losses. 2% of women have 2 miscarriages in a row and 1% of women have 3 consecutive miscarriages. If you have 3 consecutive miscarriaes you will usually be referred for tests. 

What support is available after a miscarriage?

Miscarriage can have an enormous impact on a person's mental health. It is important that you take positive steps to help yourself such as:

  • Make sure that you eat healthy.
  • Journaling - Documenting your journey can be therapeutic.
  • Yoga – Yoga is becoming more and more popular and can benefit the body and mind. There are some lovely Yoga ‘After Miscarriage’ videos on Youtube that are easy to follow and gentle.
  • Support – Speak to your friends and family. Join a support group. Follow Morgan’s Wings for updates on support groups in Cardiff.
  • Counselling – Counselling can be really helpful but unfortunately the waiting lists are generally quite long. Speak to your employer who may have an employee access scheme. Speak with your G.P if you are really struggling.
  • Get Outdoors — We know it’s the last thing that you may feel like doing but being surrounded by nature has been proven to be good for your well-being.

Will I need follow up appointments?

It is not the norm to have a follow up appointment unless you have had 3 consecutive losses and then you may be referred for aditional tests.  You may need a follow up appointment if you were told to take a pregnancy test after 3 weeks and it has shown positive. Please contact your local EPAU or your GP for further information. 

I'm early into my pregnancy and I am having pain on one side. What's happening?

Any pain should be checked out by your GP but it is important to phone an ambulance or go to your nearest A&E if you have sudden, intense pain, low down on one side of your stomach and are feeling sick, fainting or looking very pale. Approximately 1% of pregnancies are ectopic. This means that the egg has implanted in the fallopian tube (or another area outside the womb). This can be very dangerous and will need urgent medical attention.