Miscarriage Myths

I recently blogged here about new information related to miscarriage: that smog can increase the risk of miscarriage and that it is no longer generally thought that one needs to wait to try to conceive after a miscarriage. This is a policy that we have followed for some time; not new to us.

Now in an article in Self, an OB/GYN presents five myths about miscarriage. “You did nothing that caused this miscarriage and there is absolutely nothing you could have done differently,” writes Dr. Yalda Afshar, an OB/GYN at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Here are her Five Myths:

Myth 1: I must have done something, like exercising too much or drinking coffee, to cause the miscarriage.

Myth 2: My stress level caused the miscarriage.

Myth 3: Having sex caused the miscarriage.

Myth 4: My prior birth control use caused the miscarriage.

Myth 5: Getting the flu shot caused a miscarriage.

These all have one thing in common; patients question these and other reasons for the miscarriage when the truth is that their actions are very unlikely to have caused the miscarriage. Dr. Afshar goes on to say that even if nothing can be done to prevent a subsequent miscarriage, 78 percent of people in a survey wanted to know the underlying cause of miscarriage. The good news is that isolated pregnancy loss in the first trimester is usually a one-time event and, if desired, women go on to have a successful pregnancy. Recurrent pregnancy loss is rare—estimates show that fewer than 5 percent of women will have two consecutive miscarriages and just 1 percent will experience three or more. Miscarriages are very difficult and people often feel very alone after experiencing one and especially after more than one.

When early pregnancy loss is recurrent an evaluation to search for causes is warranted. The doctors at Reproductive Partners are experts in the evaluation and treatment of recurrent pregnancy loss.

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