Coping with a miscarriage is not easy. You've spent weeks or even months planning your life with your future child, only to be left suddenly bereft.
But it's surprisingly common, and doesn't necessarily mean that you won't go on to have healthy children in the future. Here are a few interesting facts you might not know miscarriage...
How common is miscarriage?
The estimated rate of miscarriage in all confirmed pregnancies is between 15 and 20%.
Most miscarriages occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and research has shown that the risk of miscarriage falls dramatically throughout the first trimester – going from 9.4% at six weeks to 0.7% at 10 weeks.
I've already had a miscarriage - what are the chances of me miscarrying a second time?
If you have suffered a miscarriage previously, you have a 25% of having another - a statistic that is only slightly higher than for someone who’s never had a miscarriage.
Unfortunately, the risk of further miscarriage increases to approximately 40% if you have had three consecutive miscarriages.
Does my age matter?
Yes. The older you are, the higher your risk of miscarrying.
In fact, women under 35 years have about a 15% chance of miscarriage, while women between 35 and 45 have a 20-35% chance, so the difference is significant.
And women older than 45 can have up to a 50% chance of miscarriage...
What does morning sickness mean?
Morning sickness can be horrible to live with, but the good thing is that nausea is a strong indicator of a healthy pregnancy.
In fact, women who experience morning sickness during pregnancy have around a 50% lower risk of miscarrying than those who don't.
Can having sex make me miscarry?
There's no evidence that sex can induce a miscarriage. Penetration during sex never goes past the cervix. As the foetus is well protected in the uterus beyond, there is no way it can be harmed.
Does your weight have an effect?
Yes. Research has shown that women with a pre-pregnancy BMI over 35 may have miscarriage and other health problems associated with pregnancy. However, underweight women have a higher risk of miscarriage too...
Is heavy lifting risky?
This is unlikely. In fact, the likely scenario is that you will drop a heavy load long before it's heavy enough to create any type of miscarriage risk.
What about exercising?
It's important to exercise during pregnancy for your health. But it's also important to keep it gentle.
Research has shown that exercising an hor a day through the first trimester raises the risk of miscarriage, especially if that exercise is 'high impact.'
And being on The Pill?
If you are on the birth control pill when you get pregnant, there's little evidence to show that this can increase the risk of miscarriage. However, it's advised that you stop taking the pill as soon as you learn that you're pregnant.
Last but not least, is dying my hair a bad idea?
The amount of hair colour absorbed through the skin is so tiny that most experts agree that chemically colouring your hair is most likely safe and poses no risk of miscarriage.
Although, as very little research has been done in this area, some healthcare professionals recommend staying away from chemical treatments (hair dyes, perming solutions, hair straightening solutions) during the first trimester.