If you have recently gone through a miscarriage you may have some questions about what has hapened, what could have caused it and where you can get help.
We have created this leaflet which may help you to get some answers about miscarriage
Sometimes you may find that you feel guilty in some way about your miscarriage. For more information on guilt and how to overcome it see this leaflet
Select each question to see the answer
Whilst it is as important as possible to remain stress free during pregnancy. There is no evidence that stress is linked to 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.
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 :
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.
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.
Due to COVID-19 Hospitals are currently asking parents to wait to conceive to try and relieve pressure on hospitals.
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.
You are highly fertile following a miscarriage so it is advised that you use contraception if you wish to avoid getting pregnant.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.