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Information about Miscarriage

You’ve found out you’re pregnant. This was not your plan. The time is not right; the circumstances are not right. For whatever reason, all you can think is, “I just want it to go away.”

Although it’s little comfort, you’re not the first to find yourself in this situation. There is something, though, that we hope will give you some comfort: You don’t have to go through this alone. Avenue Women’s Center is here to bring support and assistance to you, as we have for the past thirty-five years, to women of all ages in the Chicagoland area who have gone through experiences similar to yours.

Avenue Women’s Center is the first step for women who are confronted with unplanned pregnancies. We provide information and services women need, many at no cost to you. Please allow us to walk with you as you navigate the road ahead. Contact us to schedule a free, confidential appointment with one of our caring, nonjudgmental pregnancy consultants.

Many of our clients are learning very early that they’re pregnant. Their first instinct may be to rush to get the abortion pill, to make it go away as soon as possible. There are a couple of compelling reasons why taking a little more time to examine the situation a bit further is often a good idea. Abortions are not inexpensive, and having one may be something a woman prefers to avoid. Some women learn that a medication or surgical abortion will not be necessary for ending their pregnancy. Here’s some information about spontaneous abortion – miscarriage – we hope will be helpful as you take the time you need to determine the best course of action for you.

Miscarriage facts

Miscarriage occurs when a pregnant woman’s body spontaneously expels a developing embryo or fetus—most often an embryo. In most cases, this happens early in the pregnancy.

What causes a miscarriage?

Most often the loss is a necessary termination of a pregnancy in which the developing entity has a fatal genetic defect. The human body is a grossly complex structure requiring multitudes of intricately interacting elements that have to work together intimately in time and space. Any failure in the processes leading to that association will produce a flaw that will require the pregnancy to be terminated. Except in certain rare circumstances, for example diabetes in the mother, she is in no way a contributor to the occurrence of the miscarriage. Certainly, normal physical activity will not increase the risk of miscarriage.

What is the frequency, or incidence, of miscarriage?

It is common to hear quoted miscarriage frequencies of one in five or one in six; that is an average over the whole of the developmental period. Actually, frequency of miscarriage is very dependent on the stage of development. At week two, the frequency is about one in three. By week eight, when the embryo becomes a fetus, the frequency has dropped to one in 20—and it becomes more rare as the pregnancy develops. So, the vast majority of miscarriages occur in the first few weeks of pregnancy, at a time when the entity is not only embryonic, it is microscopic.

Other variables involved in the frequency of miscarriages are the age of the mother and her past history of miscarriages. At age 35, the frequency is about one in five; at age 40, it is about two in five; and at age 45, it is about four in five. After multiple miscarriages, a woman is at somewhat higher risk for another miscarriage.

What difference does this make for a woman with an unplanned pregnancy?

As noted earlier, if one in five or one in six pregnancies end naturally in miscarriage, it’s possible that an abortion may not be necessary as the pregnancy would have been lost anyway.

Limited medical ultrasounds can be used to assess the likelihood that a specific pregnancy will miscarry. This is a good reason for a woman to obtain an ultrasound first, separate from an abortion appointment.

At Avenue Women’s Center, we are here to help women who are facing unplanned pregnancies. Perhaps you want to schedule a free medical-grade pregnancy test to confirm positive home results. Maybe you want to discuss whether a limited medical ultrasound would be appropriate in your situation. It could be that you are someone who doesn’t want any medical attention at this time; you just want a free consultation to help as you process the different aspects of your personal situation. We affirm your desire to seek the care you need and deserve.

“I just want it to go away!” is a very understandable response. We get it. And we hope learning about the possibilities of miscarriage and of Avenue Women’s Center services has been helpful. As you prepare to take your next steps, we are just a phone call, text, email or chat away. We hope you will reach out to us and allow us to support you on your journey.


References:

  • Datayze. Miscarriage Probability Graph. Retrieved from: https://datayze.com/miscarriage-chart.php?mode=graph
  • WebMD. (2017, March 2017). Pregnancy and Miscarriage. Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/pregnancy-miscarriage#1
  • Mayo Clinic. (2016, July). Miscarriage. Retrieved from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pregnancy-loss-miscarriage/symptoms-causes/dxc-20213666

Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.

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