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NOTE: Opinions and advice provided on this website are based on the personal experience of the author, Stacy Quarty. Ms. Quarty in no way claims to be a professional source of medical, psychological or statistical information.

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Miscarriage

Q. I had a miscarriage about one month ago. It was my first pregnancy. How soon after a miscarriage is it safe to try again? Also, I have been having a weird butterfly feeling in my abdomen and urinating a lot. Could this be due to the miscarriage?
-Tara

A. Most OB/GYNs recommend that you wait three to six months before trying to conceive again so that your uterus may fully recover. I imagine if you had a miscarriage in the second or third trimester, your doctor would probably want you to wait for the longer six-month period.

I'm not sure, but I think the strange butterfly feeling and urination you have been experiencing could be a result of lingering pregnancy feelings, or maybe it's just gas.

Q. My best friend’s doctor told her that she had a miscarriage because of the many arguments she had with her boyfriend. My friend had the miscarriage during her second month of pregnancy and the doctor said the arguments had caused blood to rush to the baby and make it "grow faster than normal." Could you please tell me if this bears any truth?
-Anonymous, Texas

A. Miscarriage is most common in the first trimester and women who are prone to it are usually advised to take it easy physically and mentally for the first few months. Some statistics have shown that stress may trigger the beginning of a miscarriage, but it's hard to tell for sure.

Unless your friend's boyfriend is punching her in the stomach, I don't think you can say he is “responsible” for her miscarriage.

As for the blood rushing to the baby and making it grow faster than normal, I've never heard of that theory.

Your friend may be upset, confused, angry and looking for someone to blame about the miscarriage. I think that's a pretty normal reaction to the stress of losing a pregnancy. Some women get over a miscarriage pretty quickly, while others may go into months of depression.

In any event, she probably needs some time to heal. Having a friend like you to listen and not judge may be the greatest help you could give her.

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Q. I am 28 years old and four weeks pregnant. I previously had two miscarriages within 18 months. Both miscarriages happened pretty early.

I just found out I am pregnant again. I am beyond scared! I am feeling everything I felt when I was pregnant through my first two pregnancies. I recently had a blood test and discovered that my HCG levels are low (apparently this is expected at such an early stage), and that my progesterone should be higher, so the doctor started me on 100mg of Prometrium three times a day.

I have been urinating more frequently. I have no breast tenderness like I had when I was pregnant the first time. I am a little dizzy. I do get hungry. I have been a lot wetter in the vagina area, feel a little pressure, and I have these pinchy, stab-like pains. I usually only get these pains when I am about to get my period. I am cramping and do have other period-like symptoms.

I never smoked, never drank, and never would think about taking drugs. I am a perfectly healthy 28-year-old with normal stress (okay, so maybe I have a ton of stress, but I try my best to keep it under wraps when I am pregnant).

I keep having this fear that I will miscarry because something terrible is going to happen in delivery. Some of what I am feeling is really frightening me! I know that there are no guarantees, but I would like to be reassured somehow.
-Anonymous, Pennsylvania

A. It is understandable and perfectly normal that you are anxious about having another miscarriage, but the odds of that happening again do decrease if you've already had one or two.

If a woman has had two or more miscarriages it could be related to a hormonal deficiency in the mother, hence the reason your doctor prescribed Prometrium as a precaution.

All of the symptoms you are experiencing are normal for your stage of pregnancy. I wouldn't worry if your breasts are not sore like they were during a prior pregnancy, because every pregnancy can be different, even within the same woman.

You may have heard that most miscarriages are nature's way of terminating a pregnancy that really wasn't meant to be in the first place (perhaps because of a genetic abnormality or maternal infection). In any case, miscarriage is emotionally difficult and it is important to grieve for your loss. It's possible that you have not finished grieving your previous losses and that is compounding your current anxiety. In some communities there are support groups for couples who have experienced pregnancy loss. You may ask your doctor or local hospital if they can recommend one in your area.

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Q. I'm 10-11 weeks pregnant and I'm scared I might have had a miscarriage. A few days ago I went the bathroom, wiped, and saw two big, clear, glue-like globs with white stuff in the middle. Maybe discharge? It's more discharge than I've had before. I should have looked before I flushed to see if there was any blood, but I didn't think of it. It seems like I haven't been urinating as much lately either. I also haven't had morning sickness since then, but I rarely got that anyway. Could I have had a miscarriage? Or is this normal?
-Anonymous, Washington

A. At your stage of pregnancy, it's common for vaginal discharge to increase and even vary in texture and color. This discharge, called leucorrhoea, can be white and creamy, clear and slimy or a combination of the two. (See the other leucorrhoea question for more details.)

As for your other symptoms, at two months the progesterone in a woman's body can level off a little and may give you relief (albeit temporary!) from morning sickness, frequent urination, tender breasts, and fatigue. Don't worry, there will be many more symptoms coming your way in the weeks to come, as friendly reminders of you maternal condition!

If you experience cramping, bleeding and/or a high fever, do consult your doctor ASAP. None of these symptoms definitely signify a miscarriage, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Q. I am around eight weeks pregnant with my third child, and have been experiencing symptoms I never felt with the other two. I have had an odorous light brown discharge that surprised me because my underwear was soaked with it. I am having discomfort in my left shoulder and the left side of my neck, as well as the occasional cramp-like pain in either side of my abdomen. Is this something to be concerned about?
-Anonymous, Georgia

A. Every pregnancy can be so different, even within the same woman. My two were so unlike that I was convinced the second was a boy. They were both girls.

Back to the subject: The discharge you have experienced may or may not be okay. The brownish color indicates presence of blood, which should always be reported to your doctor, just in case. I don't want to scare you, but the foul odor combined with cramping could also be an indicator of infection or miscarriage. Check it out with your doctor ASAP.

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Q. I had a miscarriage in November and confirmed in January that I am pregnant again. I am approximately five weeks. I have started having headaches and a small amount of dark discharge, but no cramps. Is this normal or am I in for another heartbreak?
-Kim, Ohio

A. The headaches are nothing to be concerned about. They are just a normal, yet annoying, symptom of pregnancy.

The dark discharge could indicate presence of blood, which should be reported to your doctor, just in case. Although sometimes unexplained, bleeding during early pregnancy can be normal. I bled during both of my pregnancies (as much as a heavy period) in the first trimester. (See the other "bleeding" questions for more details.)

Q. I've had two miscarriages in the past nine months. I am 34 years old and had a very successful pregnancy early in my twenties. I also had three abortions. You probably guessed it: I am pregnant again. I have only known for four days that I am pregnant and of course I am plagued by the fear of having another miscarriage. I took a walk four nights ago and I am not a very active person. The next day I had the most unbelievable back pain, but no cramps. The pain in my back has not gone away. My back feels like it is going to break. Now this morning I am getting a slight brownish color on the tissue. I just started taking a progesterone pill. Could that have anything to do with the changing of the color? I realize there is not much I can do, but getting information seems to help. Any suggestions?
-Anonymous, California

A. I don't think the use of the progesterone is causing the brownish discharge. Progesterone is typically used in pregnancy to keep the uterine lining in tact.

I'm not sure if the exercise has anything to do with your back pains. You may have pulled a muscle, ligament or tendon, or you may be having some sort of cramping that you are feeling mainly in the back.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you may be starting to miscarry. The brownish colored discharge could indicate the presence of blood, which should be reported to your doctor. If you are less than five or six weeks pregnant, your doctor will probably only test your HGC levels and may prescribe more progesterone. I know it's frustrating, but the only other thing you can do is just wait and see.

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Q. I just got the "All's well" after a D and C (Dilatation and Curettage- a post-miscarriage procedure where endometrial tissue is scraped away from the uterine walls) following a miscarriage. I went home and "celebrated" with unprotected sex. I never imagined that I might be ovulating again so soon, but I took the ovulation test the next day and it was reading "go girl." The doctor said to wait one cycle until we try again. Other information says it is okay to dive right in. Still other information says to wait two months. Does this mean another miscarriage? What do you advise?
-Anonymous, North Carolina

A. Your doctor has probably advised you to wait one more month just to be sure your uterus is fully healed. If you do get pregnant again right after a D and C, you are obviously healed enough to have an egg implant itself in the uterine lining. Once implanted, I think that egg has just as good a chance to fully develop as any other pregnancy. I guess you'll just have to wait and see!

Q. I had a miscarriage (at eight weeks) last April. I am now four weeks pregnant with my second pregnancy. I have been experiencing intermittent light cramping all over my pelvic area, which is known to be normal during pregnancy. I am concerned, however, about the cramping on my right side, which is always in the same general area but not constant. I am terrified about having a second miscarriage and afraid of the possibility of ectopic pregnancy. Is it normal and common to experience cramping on one side (possibly the side I ovulated from)?
-Teresa, Texas

A. It's true that light cramping in early pregnancy is normal. It can sometimes feel like period cramps that come and go.

It's also true that cramping on one side could be an indicator of an ectopic pregnancy. If you have any of the following symptoms—crampy pain with tenderness that starts on one side and then spreads throughout the uterus, pain that worsens when you have a bowel movement or cough, any bleeding or spotting, nausea or vomiting, shoulder pain or rectal pressure—then you should consult your doctor ASAP.

Or, you could be right. You may just be a little sore on the side you ovulated from. This is probably the case if you've ever experienced the same feeling while menstruating.

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Disclaimer: This web site, Frankly Pregnant: The Reality Site of Pregnancy, and the book it represents, Frankly Pregnant: A Candid Week-by-Week Guide to the Unexpected Joys, Raging Hormones, and Common Experiences of Pregnancy, in no way claim to be sources for expert medical or professional advice of any kind.

©2006 Frankly Pregnant: The Reality Site of Pregnancy, by Stacy Quarty. All rights reserved.

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