7 Questions to Ask Your Doctor After a Miscarriage

Making Sense of Your Loss and the Way Forward

Experiencing a miscarriage can be a heartbreaking and confusing experience for both you and your partner. You want so to make sense of it all and to find answers to questions that may never be fully answered. 

Communicating is the first step toward healing. To find a better sense of closure, meet with your doctor and ask whatever questions you need to ask. And not just about your loss but about what you and your partner can expect in the future. 

Here are seven questions that may help you get all of the answers you need:

1
What Caused the Miscarriage?

Doctor explaining medical details to a couple
kupicoo/Getty Images

Sadly, it's often difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of a pregnancy loss. Particularly in early miscarriage, the cause may never be known.

Generally speaking, the most common cause of a miscarriage is a chromosomal abnormality, which is random and unlikely to be repeated in future pregnancies. It was simply a genetic anomaly that the body recognized as being non-viable.

However, if there was a known cause for your loss or you experienced a specific type of miscarriage (such as a blighted ovum or molar pregnancy), you will want to get a better sense that means and whether or not it will affect your future chances.

2
What Could I Have Done Differently?

Pregnancy loss is rarely anyone’s fault. Even in cases where the cause is known, there is usually nothing anyone could have done to prevent it.

With that being said, there may be contributing factors to watch out for if you plan to try again. If for example, you have diabetes, hormonal problems, or thyroid disease, there may be risk factors you can mitigate, treatments you can try, or certain tools you can use to better monitor your pregnancy the next time around. 

3
Will This Happen Again?

Your odds of having another pregnancy loss vary greatly depending on the timing and type of miscarriage you experienced. If you’ve only had one early miscarriage, for example, your chances of having a second, successful pregnancy are high.

Repeated miscarriages are mostly related to an undiagnosed condition that makes pregnancy less viable. These may include uterine abnormalities, hormone imbalances, an autoimmune disorder, or cervical insufficiency (a cervix which dilates too early in pregnancy). 

In some cases, these abnormalities are imminently treatable and may improve your chances of pregnancy moving forward.

4
How Can I Improve My Chances of Having a Baby?

Couple and doctor in office
Jupiterimages/Getty Images

This is where medical insights may truly be able to help. Ultimately, the healthier you are as an individual, the more likely you will be able to carry your baby to term.

There are a few simple things you can do to better improve your odds irrespective of your age or health status. These including stopping smoking, losing weight if you are obese, or controlling chronic health conditions like diabetes. The simple lifestyle fixes can contribute greatly to achieving a healthy, event-free pregnancy.

5
Do You Recommend Any Further Testing?

If you’ve had more than one miscarriage or a stillbirth, your doctor may recommend you that you undergo additional testing before trying again.

Testing can often reveal the underlying causes of your losses and help your doctor prescribe a treatment that may make it possible for you to achieve a safe and healthy pregnancy.

Tests may include chromosomal analyses of both parents, imaging tests to check for uterine abnormalities, and blood tests to identify any infections, hormonal problems, and thyroid disorders.

6
How Long Should We Wait Before Trying Again?

Based on the circumstances of your case, your doctor should be able to estimate the period of time you should wait before trying again. Some doctors will advise you to wait for as long as three months, while others may be comfortable advising you to start again immediately. 

Whatever the response, ask your doctor to explain his or her reasoning. There may be physical concerns or issues related to the miscarriage that warrants a more cautious approach. Or it may just be general advice, and there is no actual barrier to starting earlier rather than later.

Ultimately, the most important aspect of trying again is knowing when you are ready.

7
Can You Recommend a Counselor?

Not every woman who has a miscarriage will need a grief counselor. And not everyone who grieves will develop clinical depression.

The emotions surrounding a miscarriage vary significantly not only from person to person but from couple to couple. There is no "right" way to grieve or anything wrong with you if you are able to cope just fine. 

But if you do find yourself struggling to deal with the loss of a pregnancy, ask your doctor for a referral to a mental health professional trained and experienced in grief counseling and miscarriage.

You may never need the number, but it won't hurt to have it close at hand if you suddenly do.

Source:

Leis-Newman, E. "Miscarriage and loss." Journal of the American Psychological Association. 2012: 43(6):56.d

Continue Reading