What is a Miscarriage?
A miscarriage, medically known as a spontaneous abortion, is the loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week of gestation. It occurs when the fetus cannot survive outside the womb, and the pregnancy ends naturally. Miscarriages are relatively common, with estimates suggesting that up to 15-20% of recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage, though the actual rate may be higher when accounting for very early pregnancies that go unnoticed.
Miscarriages can happen for various reasons, including genetic abnormalities in the embryo or fetus, problems with the mother’s uterus or cervix, hormonal imbalances, chronic medical conditions in the mother (such as diabetes or thyroid disorders), infections, or lifestyle factors like smoking or drug use. In many cases, the exact cause of a miscarriage remains unknown.
Symptoms of a miscarriage can include vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain or cramping, and the passing of tissue from the vagina. However, not all vaginal bleeding during pregnancy indicates a miscarriage, as some bleeding can occur in otherwise healthy pregnancies.
What Causes a Miscarriage?
Miscarriages can occur for various reasons, and often, the exact cause is not always clear. Many miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities in the developing embryo or fetus. Here are some common causes and contributing factors of miscarriages:
- Chromosomal Abnormalities: The most common cause of miscarriage is the presence of genetic or chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo or fetus. These abnormalities can prevent the embryo from developing normally, leading to spontaneous abortion.
- Maternal Age: The risk of miscarriage increases with maternal age, especially for women over the age of 35. This is because older eggs are more likely to have chromosomal abnormalities.
- Hormonal Imbalances: Hormonal imbalances, such as problems with the thyroid or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), can affect the ability to sustain a pregnancy.
- Uterine or Cervical Issues: Structural abnormalities in the uterus, such as fibroids or a septate uterus, can interfere with implantation and pregnancy development. Cervical incompetence (when the cervix opens too early) can also lead to miscarriage.
- Infections: Certain infections, such as sexually transmitted infections or urinary tract infections, can increase the risk of miscarriage if left untreated.
- Chronic Health Conditions: Women with chronic health conditions like diabetes, lupus, or autoimmune disorders may be at a higher risk of miscarriage.
- Lifestyle Factors: Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, and exposure to environmental toxins can increase the risk of miscarriage.
- Maternal Trauma or Injury: Physical trauma or injury to the mother can sometimes result in a miscarriage.
- Hormonal Medications: Some medications, like certain chemotherapy drugs, may increase the risk of miscarriage when taken during pregnancy.
- Immunological Factors: In some cases, the mother’s immune system may react to the developing fetus as if it were a foreign substance, leading to miscarriage.
It is important to note that many miscarriages occur early in pregnancy, often before a woman is even aware that she is pregnant. When a miscarriage happens very early, it may resemble a heavy menstrual period, and the woman may not realize she was pregnant.
How to Manage a Miscarriage Physically and Emotionally?
Managing a miscarriage can be a physically and emotionally challenging experience. Here are steps to help you manage both aspects:
- Seek Medical Care: The first step is to contact your healthcare provider if you suspect or confirm a miscarriage. They can confirm the diagnosis and provide guidance on the best course of action.
- Rest and Self-Care: Rest as needed. Your body may need time to recover physically. Stay hydrated and eat nourishing foods to support your overall health. Avoid strenuous physical activities and heavy lifting.
- Pain Management: Your healthcare provider may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen to manage cramping and discomfort.
- Follow Medical Advice: Attend follow-up appointments to ensure the miscarriage is complete and to discuss any concerns or questions you may have. Adhere to any instructions or medications prescribed by your healthcare provider.
- Monitor for Complications: Be vigilant for signs of complications, such as heavy bleeding, severe pain, fever, or signs of infection. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
- Seek Emotional Support: Lean on friends, family, or a partner for emotional support. Sharing your feelings can be therapeutic. Consider speaking to a mental health professional who specializes in pregnancy loss to help you process your emotions.
- Join a Support Group: Some people find comfort in joining a support group for individuals who have experienced pregnancy loss. It can provide a sense of community and understanding.
- Allow Yourself to Grieve: Grief is a personal process, and there is no “right” way to grieve. Allow yourself to feel and express your emotions as they come.
- Memorial or Ritual: Creating a memorial or engaging in a ritual, such as planting a tree or lighting a candle, can provide closure and acknowledgment of your loss.
- Take Care of Your Relationship: Be open with your partner about your feelings, and seek ways to support each other during this difficult time.
- Self-Compassion: Be kind and patient with yourself. Understand that healing takes time, and it’s normal to have a range of emotions.
- Future Plans: If you plan to try to conceive again, discuss your future pregnancy plans with your healthcare provider to address any concerns or recommendations.
It is important to remember that everyone’s experience is unique, and there is no “right” way to manage it. Additionally, seeking emotional support and allowing yourself to grieve are essential steps in healing emotionally from a miscarriage.
The ten modern lifestyle root causes for hormonal imbalance related to PCOS that may on some level lead to problems of miscarriage are:
- Food Related Causes– Inflammation, toxicity, acidity, excess male hormones, insulin resistance.
- Exercise Related Causes: Sedentary lifestyle, lack of muscle strength, excess ovarian fat.
- Sleep Related Causes: Poor sleep quality (Lack of Deep Sleep).
- Stress Related Causes: Chronic Stress. Addressing these triggers through an integrated approach can naturally restore hormonal balance.
How can the Five Pillars Integrated Lifestyle Approach Help You to Have Hormonal Balance and Help With Miscarriage?
- Eat Right: Embrace living, water-rich, whole, plant-based foods that nurture our genetic potential. By opting for local and seasonal choices, we honor nature’s wisdom. Eliminating packaged and processed foods liberates us from epigenetic imprints, elevating our hormonal health.
- Move More: Embark on a journey of holistic lifestyle changes, where staying active transcends mere exercise. Embracing constant movement throughout the day optimizes epigenetic expression, igniting hormonal balance. Engage in pleasurable physical activities, dance, or even mindful walks to unlock the power of epigenetic triggers.
- Breathe Aware: As we deepen our understanding of Pranayama, the science of breath, we access a profound gateway to support gland function and harmonize hormones. Harnessing the breath’s epigenetic influence, we transcend the ordinary and elevate our hormonal well-being.
- Sleep Better: Unlock the secrets of deep sleep, a transformative practice for healing and regeneration. With the art of Yog Nidra to avoid being sleep deprived, we embrace epigenetic potential, unearthing hormonal harmony in the realm of dreams. Rejuvenate your entire being through this exquisite dance with the epigenetic clock to stop feeling sleep deprived.
- Mind Free: Journey into the realm of emotions, thoughts, and stress resilience, where journaling, gratitude, and emotional practices become our guiding compass. Embracing epigenetic intelligence, we shift our narrative from stress to serenity, empowering our hormonal landscape.