Have you had a miscarriage without knowing it?

Whether or not you knew you were pregnant, you may be part of the high percentage of women who have unknowingly had a miscarriage.

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  • Miscarriages are undeniably devastating, but they can also be mysterious. Medical professionals are still learning the different reasons why they happen - the fact that every woman has a different miscarriage experience only helps to add to the mystery.

  • Aware of pregnancy? NO. Aware of miscarriage? NO

  • Medical professionals say about 15-25 percent of recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage, but about half of all pregnancies end in miscarriage.

  • In other words, you could have gotten pregnant, had complications and lost the baby, all without knowing what was going on. In most circumstances, this happens during a chemical miscarriage, or a pregnancy that fails very soon after implantation.

  • You might be wondering how someone could have a miscarriage without realizing it. When a pregnancy is so short-lived, the miscarriage symptoms are very minor. The loss often results in bleeding and mild cramps that are similar to your normal period symptoms.

  • The bleeding from a chemical miscarriage usually occurs around the time you normally have your period anyways, so many women will unknowingly have a miscarriage during a normal (or slightly off) period week.

  • Aware of pregnancy? YES. Aware of miscarriage? NO

  • When a woman knows she's pregnant but doesn't realize her body is losing her baby, her experience is classified as a missed miscarriage. Also known as a silent miscarriage, the body does not recognize the pregnancy loss or expel the pregnancy tissue. As a result, the placenta may still continue to release hormones, so the woman may continue to experience signs of pregnancy.

  • Most of the time, the expecting mother won't discover the devastating news until a doctor fails to find a heartbeat at a routine checkup.

  • Missed miscarriages are not very common - experts predict only one percent of pregnancies will end this way.

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  • Most of these miscarriages are caused by chromosome problems with the fetus, but there's a bright side - most chromosome problems are not inherited. Instead, they usually happen by sheer chance and are not likely to recur if a couple wants to try to get pregnant again.

  • Aware of pregnancy? NO. Aware of miscarriage? YES

  • Sometimes, a pregnancy is far enough along that the miscarriage symptoms are noticeable, even if the woman didn't know she was pregnant to begin with. According to WebMD, you're probably having a miscarriage if you have these symptoms:

    • Bleeding which progresses from light to heavy

    • Severe cramps

    • Abdominal pain

    • Fever

    • Weakness

    • Back pain

  • Discovering you're pregnant by simultaneously discovering you're having a miscarriage can be devastating. Many women will be confused about the grief they feel following this type of experience. It's important for the woman and her loved ones to recognize that those feelings of grief are validated and normal, and help her process the loss.

  • Regardless of the different types of miscarriages, they can all be overwhelming. Any woman struggling with the aftermath should seek help and comfort through their loved ones and counseling if necessary. No one experiencing the grief from the loss of a baby should go through the pain alone.

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McKenna Park is a staff writer at FamilyShare. She's a happy wife, puppy mama, ice cream addict and film nerd. Website: www.mckennapark.weebly.com

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