December marks the start of National Grief Awareness Week when awareness is raised surrounding grief. One area of bereavement that is often overlooked, is that following a miscarriage.
New guidance has been published by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) to address miscarriage support. This includes supporting families in their coping with miscarriage loss, as well as future support with early pregnancy scans.
What is a Miscarriage?
A miscarriage is the natural loss of pregnancy within the first 23 weeks of pregnancy. Miscarriage is the most common form of pregnancy loss and it affects around 1 in 4 pregnancies. The main indications of a miscarriage are vaginal bleeding or spotting with or without abdominal pain or cramping. However, there are often no obvious signs at all.
Even though a miscarriage is unfortunately common, there are still gaps in knowledge as to the cause. When women do not find out the cause of their loss, it can be an extremely difficult thing to process.
Late and Recurrent Miscarriages
Most miscarriages occur within the first 12-13 weeks of pregnancy. But a late miscarriage refers to a pregnancy loss within the second or mid-trimester between 14 and 24 weeks of pregnancy.
A recurrent miscarriage is defined as having three or miscarriages in a row, even if you have had previous healthy pregnancies.
Changes in Guidance
Currently in the UK women can only access specialist support and additional investigations after they have experienced three miscarriages in a row. However, new guidance issued by the RCOG hopes to move towards a more individualised approach to care and allow women to access specialists earlier.
To begin, the RCOG feel that any woman who suffers even one miscarriage should receive information and help. With this support and guidance, they will be able to come to terms with their loss and plan for future pregnancies.
Furthermore, anyone who has two miscarriages should be automatically offered an appointment for clinical investigations with a specialist health practitioner. After three miscarriages it is proposed that a more in-depth exploration of health should be carried out.
Our Recurrent Miscarriage Service
At SureScan for Women, we offer a comprehensive Recurrent Miscarriage Service. This service is for anyone who has experienced three or more miscarriages in a row. A professional will investigate the cause, offer support and discuss treatment options for a successful future pregnancy.
If you would like to find out more, get in touch to book a consultation with one of our specialist consultant gynaecologists.