As this year’s Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month draws to a close, I want to remind every woman and couple to know that it is not your fault if you’ve experienced a miscarriage.
Know that 60% of pregnancies are lost before women even know they are pregnant. One in four pregnancies will be lost once a woman finds out she is pregnant. That’s ONE IN FOUR pregnancies! That is a huge proportion which means that if you haven’t experienced a loss yourself, then you probably know someone who has.
Most miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities, where there is an abnormal number of chromosomes present in the embryo. A loss can occur due to having too little or too much chromosomal material. This occurs at random but increases in frequency, and becomes less random, as a woman gets older. There are other, less common, causes for having a loss, and most of these have been acquired over time or a woman was born with these factors.
One of the hardest things to observe is watching women going through physical and emotional pain from a loss. It can feel like they’ve a lost a part of themselves because they have.
If there is any positive about having a loss, it’s that your uterus is receptive; it was able to have an embryo attach and begin to grow. And, statistically speaking, when a woman experiences one loss or multiple, even if a cause isn’t identified, they are more likely able to carry a baby to term than have another miscarriage in the future.
On a personal level, I, myself, experienced several losses many years ago. And even though no identifiable cause was found, I couldn’t help but think that perhaps I did something wrong. But the medical side of me knew that that was not the case. And I knew that it wasn’t my fault. My experiences with having pregnancy losses provide me a unique perspective to understanding patients and their experiences.
I can say, without hesitation, that it wasn’t my fault.
I can also say, without hesitation, that it’s not your fault.
If you have experienced more than one loss, it may be time to seek help. Consider scheduling an evaluation with a reproductive endocrinologist so that you and your partner undergo testing, and look at the treatment options available.
Remember, you are not alone, and it’s not your fault. We can get through this together.