You've Had a Miscarriage -- What Now?

The process of having a miscarriage can be frightening, painful and tremendously disappointing. If you just had a miscarriage, you may be upset and confused about what you just went through. You may feel that something you did brought on your miscarriage. You may be fearful that you will never have a baby -- or another baby, if you already have children.

But while these may be natural ways to feel, you can help relieve your feelings of confusion, fear and guilt the next time you try to conceive by learning why miscarriages occur and what you can do to reduce your risk.

There is a beautiful poem, probably familiar to you, called the "Serenity Prayer." It was written in 1932 by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. Part of it goes like this:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference

This prayer provides a very useful model for thinking about and coming to terms with miscarriage.

Accepting what I cannot change
: The first thing you need to know is that most miscarriages are spontaneous natural events that occur because of random, accidental combinations of the chromosomes of the egg and sperm during conception. These are spontaneous acts of nature over which you have no control. You did not cause your miscarriage and bear no responsibility for it. This is also the reason why, at least for the present, medicine cannot prevent these sorts of sporadic miscarriages.

The courage to change what I can: By learning more about the causes of miscarriages, you will come to understand that some miscarriages are caused by specific, potentially correctable medical problems. You will learn that many of these problems can be treated with excellent results. You will be able to determine when medical testing following a miscarriage is reasonable and when it would be a waste of your time, money and energy.

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