This article is written by Lindsay Schlegel for Verily magazine

Whether you’re pregnant or hoping to have children in the future, demystifying this issue is vital.

Whether you’re pregnant, thinking about trying to conceive, or hoping to have children some time in the future, it can be scary to consider the possibility of enduring a miscarriage. More and more people—even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg—are talking about pregnancy loss these days, making the stat that 15 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage feel all the more real.

There is no denying the emotionalmental, and physical pain of a pregnancy loss. But understanding more about what happens during miscarriage can alleviate some of the fears that surround it. Knowledge, as they say, is power.

We asked Dr. A. Nicky Hjort, M.D., OB-GYN, to help us understand the typical causes of miscarriage and how to know if it’s happening to you.

Q. WHAT TECHNICALLY IS A MISCARRIAGE?

A miscarriage is any time a pregnancy is lost before full gestation. Dr. Hjort says most miscarriages “occur in the first twelve weeks,” but they can present in a variety of ways. A course of treatment should always be specific to the patient, but there are probable recommendations for each situation.

What most people refer to as a miscarriage, is technically called an “abortion” in medical terms—but it’s not meant in the way the general population uses it. To those in the fields of obstetrics and gynecology, the word “abortion” (sometimes “spontaneous abortion”) describes pregnancy loss before 20 weeks’ gestation that is not a result of an intended interruption. It is not a word most women who have suffered such a loss prefer to use, and it can be challenging for a grieving mother to see or hear that term, but it’s helpful to be aware of what the doctor or medical records actually mean by it.

Find out how to tell if you’re having a miscarriage, what causes it, steps you can take to prevent it, and more on Verily magazine. Read the full article, here.

 


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