A miscarriage is every expectant mother’s worst nightmare. Miscarriages are often painful in an emotional sense and can cause the body to act in unfamiliar ways over the course of the following weeks as it expels fetal tissue.
You’ll likely bleed for a few days (or weeks), and in rare cases, may even need minor surgery to scrape the uterus and completely remove the placenta and fetal tissue.
Here’s why it’s important to get follow up care for both your body and your mind following a miscarriage.
You May Bleed for a Few Days to a Few Weeks
A miscarriage causes the body to expel the placenta and fetal tissue in the same way it expels unfertilized eggs during the menstrual cycle: via bleeding. This bleeding can occur for a few days after a miscarriage up to a few weeks, depending on the individual circumstances. It’s important to follow up with your doctor so this bleeding can be monitored.
You may experience a level of discomfort as well, as a miscarriage is a shocking occurrence to both the body and mind. Your doctor will be able to examine you and run tests to ensure that everything is moving along as it should and that your body isn’t reacting in an adverse way to the miscarriage. Adding extra health issues on top of an emotionally challenging experience is about the last thing you want, so visit your doctor regularly after the miscarriage if you experience excess bleeding, discomfort, or notice sudden changes in your overall physical health.
Mental Health is Key
Following a miscarriage, you’re likely going to experience a significant sensation of loss and mourning for the baby. A miscarriage is never an easy thing to cope with, and it certainly helps to seek professional help when you just need to talk to someone. A miscarriage can be considered a traumatic event, and from trauma we see such mental health conditions as depression and anxiety developing. It’s crucial to your future mental health that you seek professional help if you begin exhibiting symptoms of any mental illnesses following the miscarriage.
Not only do you have a responsibility to yourself, but also to those around you. If your partner is taking the miscarriage hard as well, you may both need to seek professional help for both your mental health and the sake of the relationship. Coping with such a thing can be challenging, but mental health professionals are available to help guide you through difficult times.
If you plan on future pregnancies, you’ll definitely want to see your doctor following a miscarriage. There is a myriad of reasons why the fetus was miscarried; some of which could be detrimental to further pregnancies.
It’s better to discover these issues early on instead of waiting until they cause further complications. Certain conditions could mean you can’t have children at all, and rather than trying and miscarrying again, it’s better to be informed.
You Might Need Minor Surgery
With any miscarriage, there’s a small chance that your body will have difficulty shedding the placenta and fetus, in which case your doctor may need to perform minor surgery. This is called Dilation and Curettage and involves a simple scraping of the uterus to remove the placenta and fetus. The surgery is normally quick, relatively painless, and shouldn’t cause discomfort or bleeding for more than a few days following the procedure.
Depending on the length of your pregnancy prior to the miscarriage, this procedure may be able to be completed in your doctor’s office; otherwise, your doctor may suggest you visit a hospital for the procedure. Every woman’s body reacts differently to miscarriage and pregnancy, so it’ll be up to your doctor where and when the procedure is performed or if it’s necessary at all.
Just to Be Safe
Anytime your body experiences such a significant health event, it’s always better to get checked just to be safe. A miscarriage can adversely affect your health or even endanger future pregnancies, causing years of grief and further complications.
See your doctor as soon as possible following a miscarriage, and don’t forget to take care of your mental health as well as your physical health.
A miscarriage is something no one wants to go through, but it can happen. Being prepared for such an occurrence will help you navigate the post-event grief and possible depression, and following up with your doctor as soon as you experience symptoms can mean the difference between healthy future pregnancies and unhealthy ones.
Take care of your body following a miscarriage and remember that there are hundreds of resources available both off and online for women who have suffered such an event. Don’t be afraid to reach out to support groups or mental health professionals.