Female Fertility

Miscarriage and Me

by Dr Agilan Arjunan, Fertility Specialist, KL Fertility Centre (Malaysia)

Knowing the myths of miscarriage

“ I lost my baby because I was walking too much”

“ It’s all my fault, I should have just stayed at home”

These are some of the examples of what couples think about their miscarriage. In the practise of a gynaecologist and fertility specialist, miscarriage is one of the most difficult situation to deal with. The difficulty is not posed by the medical treatment that are needed in such a situation but by the ‘emotional’ treatment that a couple needs. The ‘emotional challenge’ lies in treating their perception of why they lost their baby. It is even more stressful if the couple had conceived after a fertility treatment (IVF / ICSI).

About 1 in 6 pregnancies will end in a miscarriage. This risk increases with the age of the women and less commonly with the age of the male partner. Thus , the risk of miscarriage is higher for an older couple than a younger pair.

Here are the myths about miscarriage that couples ought to know.

  1. Miscarriage is rare.

      Even in a younger couple ( < 35 years old)  , close to 20% will lose their pregnancy. Many lose their pregnancy during their first 12 weeks . In majority of cases, nothing can be done to prevent this because most of the miscarriages are due to genetic problems of the unborn baby. The miscarriage occurs as part of the human’s body quality control process.

2. Miscarriage is due to stressful events and lifting heavy objects.

    Once a woman is pregnant, she is often asked not to do anything except rest. Lifting any heavy objects is a big NO NO. The truth is, there is very little evidence supporting this idea. Most of the miscarriages are due to genetic problems of the foetus rather than physical exertions. Common stressful events such as death of a family member or even stressful events at work are not the reasons for miscarriage.

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