Understanding Bleeding and Miscarriage during the First trimester

The first three months of pregnancy is the stage where one feels oceans of emotions. Some feels excited about the thought of having a baby and then later feel fear because of the uncertainties that accompany this significant event. It is during this stage that maternal hormones are spiky and fetal development is very sensitive.  Moreover, dangers of pregnancy are highlighted during this stage such as vaginal bleeding, threatened abortion or worst, miscarriage.

What is frustrating about the first trimester of pregnancy is the feeling of helplessness. Women could not control their hormones or bodily reaction to the fertilized ovum. They could not see their baby and even hold it to ascertain that it is developing well. What they can only do is control their food intake, engage in healthy activities and pray for the best.

The Fang of First trimester Bleeding

Mild bleeding during the first three months of pregnancy is a normal occurrence. It does not directly mean or refer to abortion or miscarriage. Statistics show that about 20-30% of pregnant women bleed during the first trimester and only half of them proceed to the worst effect of vaginal bleeding which is miscarriage. Furthermore, about 15-20% of all pregnancies end up in miscarriage (where some women do not even know that they are pregnant).

Causes of Vaginal Bleeding

Vaginal bleeding is caused by one of the following: hormonal changes, cervical irritation and implantation problems. To know its etiology and distinguish if it is a normal vaginal bleeding or not, doctors or midwives do ultrasound to check the status of the uterus and so as run a number of blood tests.

Most of the time, women feel hopeful yet helpless during this crucial moment of their gravid life. While waiting for the result to come in, a number of strategies can be employed to monitor progression or regression of bleeding. One technique is to wear a diaper or a pad (simply monitor the pad every now and then and record its weight). This will help the doctor or midwife assess accurately the degree of bleeding. Of course, too much bleeding (soaking one to two pads an hour) is fatal for both the mother and the baby. This could not just lead to miscarriage but fetal and maternal death as well.

Overcoming Emotional Stress of Miscarriage

If one is meant to miscarriage, it will happen. Miscarriage is not primarily caused by vaginal bleeding (as what most women think) but by other factors. Vaginal bleeding is only the symptom of miscarriage.

Miscarriage is defined as the spontaneous loss of a fetus before it even reached the age of viability (20th week of pregnancy). It is caused by one the following: structural abnormality (womb), weakened cervix, placental attachment problems, chromosome problems and lifestyle (intake of alcohol, drugs and smoking). Whatever the cause it, one thing is for sure and that is the grief that accompanies miscarriage.

The emotional burden that miscarriage brings is not easy to carry. It feels like the world stopped and fell. It is expected that mothers would feel depressed, feel grief or maybe anger about the situation. Yes. These feelings are normal. To help ease the tension and wrath, the weight of the burden must be shared to the people that the mother considers important such as the husband, siblings, friends or parents. The feeling of sadness, hopelessness or depression may go for months (ideally six months; if it exceeds six months, professional help should be sought) and everyone should be very open and helpful during this tough time.

Standing up from Miscarriage

After miscarriage, it is advised to rest for three months. This will allow the body to heal and stock up nutrients (like folic acid and iron) to prepare it for another gravid stage (if conception was successful). Also, this will provide enough time for the couples to stand up from the emotional downfall they just had.

Dilatation and curettage is advised once there is miscarriage. This is a surgical procedure that cleans the uterus of debris that were left from the unfortunate event. Moreover, it prevents the development of infection, which may affect the mother’s health. The procedure actually traumatizes the uterus and makes it unlivable for the fertilized ovum. To prevent the discharge of fertilized ovum, the uterus should be given time to heal and regain its natural environment.

The chance of getting a miscarriage again is always there.  It is not a one-time event. Studies show that the incidence of miscarriage is higher for women who have a history of miscarriage than those who do not have. However, every one is still at risk. To prevent such, one should always visit a physician and be present during prenatal check-ups.