Thanks to advancements in technology and progressive policies, women today have the power to take control of their fertility. However, even with all the support and options available, getting pregnant can still be quite the challenge for some couples, including facing a miscarriage.
“About 25 per cent of pregnancies in the first trimester will end up in a miscarriage,” says Dr Liu Shuling, senior consultant from the Department of Reproductive Medicine at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
The most common cause for miscarriage in the first trimester is an abnormal number of DNA in the pregnancy itself. Typically, a woman going through miscarriage in the first trimester for the first time would not be tested. “However, if the patient is undergoing a miscarriage for the second time in the first trimester, she can consider testing the DNA of her pregnancy,” says Dr Liu.
Depending on the results, the doctor will perform more investigations to determine the possible cause. Dr Liu highlights that most patients with recurrent miscarriages have unknown causes that are unexplained – more than 50 per cent of patients with three or more miscarriages will end up showing normal results despite extensive investigations.
Miscarriages in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy are less common. Some possible causes include severe fetal abnormalities and poorly controlled medical conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. A thorough check on the fetus and placenta, as well as blood tests, can be conducted to identify the cause of miscarriage.
Ultimately, the most important thing to do after a miscarriage is to rest and recover, advises Dr Liu. Once your menstrual cycle resumes, you can always try again. A normal menstrual cycle typically resumes four to six weeks after the miscarriage. Women who are keen to conceive again can try after their menstrual cycle resumes. “Stay positive, even if you had a miscarriage, your chance of having a successful pregnancy is still very high,” adds Dr Liu.
If you have been through a miscarriage and are looking to conceive again, here are some tips that may help increase your chances:
An I Love Children special brought to you by The Singapore Women's Weekly