A missed miscarriage or a missed abortion means that the embryo is no longer developing but you may continue to show signs of pregnancy. The embryo is not expelled from your body and remains in the womb for a few weeks.
“Since there are no signs or symptoms of the loss of pregnancy, women may not know about it until they experience spotting or bleeding” says Dr. Anita Sabherwal, Consultant Obstetrician at Sitaram Bhartia in Delhi.
“An ultrasound is advised to identify the cause of bleeding and that is when the missed abortion is detected.”
When can a missed miscarriage occur?
A missed miscarriage usually occurs in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy and is detected between 8-12 weeks.
Once detected, your obstetrician may give you labour inducing tablets or do a minor surgical procedure (called Dilation & Curettage) to remove the embryo from the womb.
“Women may feel guilty of having done or eaten something wrong. What they don’t understand is it’s not their fault” says Dr Anita.
What causes a missed abortion?
Missed abortions mostly occur due to genetic defects or chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo which leads to termination of the pregnancy.
Can you prevent a missed abortion?
Unfortunately, missed abortions cannot be prevented.
Pregnancy after Missed Abortion
Successful pregnancy after a miscarriage is possible in 90% cases.
“Take your time to cope with your loss” counsels Dr Anita.
“You could talk to family, friends or come visit us.”
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When is the right time to try again after a missed miscarriage?
If you opted for labour inducing tablets to remove the embryo, you can start trying from the next cycle onwards.
In case you chose the surgical procedure (D&C), you will have to wait 3 cycles before trying again.
How to reduce the risk of missed abortions?
You could lower the risk of losing your pregnancy by following these steps:
- Take folic acid supplements before you conceive your next pregnancy
- Make fresh fruits and vegetables part of your daily diet
- Fix your sleep patterns and get enough rest
You should be regular with your antenatal appointments and keep a close watch on your pregnancy. If you notice spotting, contact your doctor and get it checked.
“With a little guidance, you will be able to move on and conceive successfully the next time around. So take your time and don’t lose hope “ emphasizes Dr Anita.