With October being recognized as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, couples all around the world are experiencing the hardships that come along with having a miscarriage. In fact, it's estimated that 1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage in their lifetime, which amplifies the collective struggle that hopeful couples face when trying to start a family.
Regardless of whether or not a pregnancy lasts a few weeks or a few months, having a miscarriage at any stage can cause severe psychological and emotional damage to an expecting couple. Feelings of depression, anxiety, regret, and guilt can surface after a difficult loss, and quite often, finding the courage to try again can be ever more challenging if you're not sure where to start.
At Kofinas Fertility Group, we understand the pain that comes along with losing someone special. After months or even years of trying to conceive, the agony of having a miscarriage and starting over can certainly be defeating.
However, we're here to let you know that having the family of your dreams is still a possibility with the right kind of guidance and support. If you and your partner have recently suffered from a miscarriage and you're having trouble coping with the loss, here are several steps to consider to help lead you in the right direction:
Allow Yourself to Process Emotions
Although you may be experiencing a whirlwind of emotions after having a miscarriage, the most important thing to remember is that you shouldn't blame yourself for what happened. In a 2013 survey, results showed that over 40% of participants (male and female) claimed to have felt personally responsible for their miscarriage. Furthermore, over 75% of them believed that their miscarriage was due to the onset of stress or being involved in a stressful situation.
The truth is that most miscarriages are caused by an abnormal chromosome in the embryo that cannot be controlled or prevented. Other factors, such as drug and alcohol use, previous medical conditions, age, and premature pregnancy testing can also increase the odds of a miscarriage. That being said, your daily feelings and emotions are never as harmful as you think.
It's important to take some time to process your emotions in a way that feels safe and comforting. For example, keeping a journal can alleviate stressful thoughts or depression, or confiding in your partner is a great way to practice communication and healing.
When working through your grief, if you feel like being sad or angry, and that's okay. Express those emotions until they subside, but remember that they should never be directed toward yourself.
There is no right amount of time or grief that will signal you're "over" your miscarriage. Every individual is unique and deserves the time, support, and healing you need to get to a place where you are comfortable trying to get pregnant again or pursue another way of growing your family.
But oftentimes, reaching out to those with professional training or who have dealt with similar experiences will help you put things into a new perspective.
Find the Right Support System
Of course, your partner is the first person you lean on when something traumatic happens, but quite often, you may discover that you and your partner have different ways of reacting to situations. After having a miscarriage, you may experience bouts of depression, sadness, anger, and frustration to say the least, and during this time, you may notice that your partner has begun to show signs of retreat or reservation.
At first, any other form of behavior can be unsettling since it doesn't identify with your reactions, but not everyone deals with painful experiences the same way. If you and your partner are having trouble communicating or supporting each other through this difficult transition, finding the right support system from other sources can be a big help.
Speaking to a therapist or a counselor can be a great way to share your feelings and concerns in a healthy, non-judgmental setting. Through mediation and professional insight, couples can create a dialogue that encourages each other to express their inner struggles, opinions, and needs without the pressure of it escalating into a full-blown argument. Plus, seeking professional help can also alleviate symptoms of depression or anxiety that can be tough to manage on one's own.
If the weight becomes too much to bear, having an outside influence can make a tremendous difference in your future outlook. Individuals and couples who experience a miscarriage can find great relief in counseling sessions, group therapies, non-profit organizations, online communities, self-help books, and magazines. Once a solid foundation of acceptance and understanding has been established, the idea of trying again becomes much more possible to imagine.
Knowing When to Try Again
Unfortunately, there is no period of time that one has to wait before trying to get pregnant again after a miscarriage. Instead, you and your partner must first work through your feelings and arrive at a point that satisfies both of your mental and emotional needs. For some couples, trying again right away might be the best option to keep up the momentum, whereas other couples may feel like postponing their efforts until life becomes more stable. Whatever route you choose, trust that you're making the right decision because in any case, you are the ones who decide when the timing is right.
Along with feeling mentally and emotionally prepared, consulting with your doctor or fertility specialist is also a good idea to gauge how soon after a miscarriage you can begin trying to conceive. Certain physical parameters should be evaluated to ensure that your next pregnancy will have a higher chance of success. For instance, after a miscarriage, it's best to schedule a follow-up appointment two weeks later, making sure that your body is recovering properly. With your doctor's green light, you can begin tracking your ovulation cycles and resume sexual activity at the right times.
Something else to consider during a new attempt is your current lifestyle and attitude while trying to conceive and after you become pregnant. Remember, this isn't a reminder to put yourself down for any past mistakes, but think of it as a chance to make healthier choices with a positive mindset.
A good example of this is to implement a healthy diet with fruits and veggies, follow a casual workout routine, and stay away from harmful toxins like second-hand smoke or environmental hazards. More than anything, regaining the strength and motivation to try again after a miscarriage presents you with an opportunity to improve your awareness and stability, which will no doubt lead to a promising future.
Plan Your Future with Kofinas Fertility Group
Finding the determination to rebuild your life after having a miscarriage is no easy task, but knowing that you're not alone during the process can make it much easier to accomplish. Kofinas Fertility Group is here to be an advocate for your success, and our fertility specialists are committed to helping you achieve a healthy pregnancy by offering assistance and insight for your specific concerns.
Scheduling a fertility assessment with our team is a great way to learn more about your pregnancy and the many factors that can influence it. Even though a miscarriage can happen for reasons beyond your control, a treatment plan can still be created to lower the risks and set you up for a promising outcome.
Being rushed to the next steps or advanced procedures can be intimidating, but Kofinas Fertility Group wants to honor the time you need to cope with your miscarriage and move forward when the feeling is right. We will help you pursue a plan that encourages your needs as a patient, and our mission is to fully assess your case and set you down a confident path, while serving as a guide along the way.
Experiencing a miscarriage doesn't have to be a devastating setback, and instead, it can be a new journey toward self-discovery. To learn more about what options are available to you, please visit our site to schedule an appointment.