Miscarriage Essay

2239 words - 9 pages

Introduction Pregnancy is normally thought of as a time for joy and celebration. However, not all couples get to experience it quite that way. For many couples, their joy and celebration is cut short when they are devastated by the loss a miscarriage brings. This loss is felt and handled uniquely by both partners. However, miscarriage is much more common than one would think, and there are resources available to help these couples through this traumatic event.What is a Miscarriage: Description, Statistics, and CausesMiscarriage, or spontaneous abortion, is thought of as a pregnancy that ends on its own within the first 20 weeks. Regardless of when the pregnancy ends, a miscarriage is ...view middle of the document...

According to WebMD (2001), "When pregnancy tissues from miscarriages are tested, results show that genetic abnormalities cause about 50% to 60% of the miscarriages" (p.1). In fact, Turkington (1995) corroborates by adding that,"More than half the miscarriages that occur in the first eight weeks of pregnancy involve serious chromosomal abnormalities or birth defects that would make it impossible for the baby to survive" (p. 1).While these genetic and chromosomal abnormalities certainly seem to be responsible for the majority of miscarriages, experts believe that there may be other reasons that should also be considered. Physical problems with a woman's uterus or cervix, such as an abnormal uterus or weak cervix, are responsible for 12% of miscarriages during the first 20 weeks (Roy, 2003, p. 3). In addition, Turkington (1995) explains that, "In about 17% of cases, miscarriage is caused by an abnormal hormonal imbalance that interferes with the ability of the uterus to support the growing embryo" (p. 2). Furthermore, certain diseases such as Diabetes, endometriosis, and lupus cause a higher risk for miscarriages, as do some lifestyle choices (WebMD, 2001, p. 2).It is believed that smoking, consuming more than 300 milligrams of caffeine a day, malnutrition, drug abuse, and exposure to radiation or toxic substances also increase the risk of miscarriage (WebMD, 2001, p.1). However, these lifestyle choices are not yet scientifically linked to the cause of miscarriage, as the woman normally has no control over why she miscarries. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to stop a miscarriage that is inevitable. In fact, there is really nothing that can be done proactively to prevent a miscarriage either.With at least a 20% chance of miscarriage, some may ask why more couples are not aware of this possibility. Unfortunately, many doctors do not believe it is truly necessary to discuss the risk of miscarriage with the majority of their patients. Unless the patient has a specific and known risk factor for miscarriage, and the doctor has true cause for concern, miscarriage it not brought up. Furthermore, doctors are under the assumption that most pregnancies turn out fine, so they would rather not upset the couple by causing any undue concern or stress. No wonder most couples are totally unprepared for this devastating loss. Ultimately, they must face the reality of what this means and somehow cope with their loss. For some women, and men, this is a very hard task and society does not make it any easier.Unfortunately, miscarriage is largely ignored by modern society. The fetus is not thought of as being a person; therefore, losing it is not a major event. Friedman & Gradstein (1996) rationalize that,"Society denies the importance of what has happened and discourages the expression of grief by letting the woman know that she really didn't lose anything; she can always try again soon" (p. 10).Furthermore, people often do not know what to say...

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