You've Had a Miscarriage -- What Now?

8 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Having a Miscarriage the Next Time You Conceive

Get to know more about your family medical and genetic history. Learn what conditions, if any, run in your family.

Make sure you are immunized against communicable diseases such as German measles and chickenpox.

Avoid exposure to infectious diseases such as Lyme disease, toxoplasmosis (contact with cat litter boxes, eating raw meat) and cytomegalovirus.

If you have had several miscarriages, have yourself checked for the possibility that there are anatomic abnormalities in your uterus or other reproductive organs.

5. Similarly, if you have had several miscarriages, make sure that your body is making sufficient levels of reproductive hormones to be able to sustain an early pregnancy.

Make sure your environment and your workplace are safe. Make sure the air you breathe and the materials you work with are not harmful to either you or your future fetus.

7. Make sure any medical problems you have are under the best possible control. If you are a diabetic, make sure your blood sugar levels are where they should be. If you are an asthmatic, make sure that your medications are properly adjusted.

Of course, stop smoking, stop the use of any recreational drugs and keep alcohol consumption to a minimum. Check with your doctor before taking any medications other than Tylenol or antacids.

Then, after making sure you are in the best possible condition to become pregnant, go ahead! Since miscarriages occur in one in five pregnancies, you have a four out of five chance -- 80 percent -- of having a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby with your next conception. Yes, you will likely have many fears during the early months of your next pregnancy. Yes, you will have difficulty discussing your early pregnancy with relatives and friends. But as the months of your pregnancy go by, as you first hear the fetal heart in your obstetrician's office and as you first begin to feel your baby moving around 20 weeks gestation, you will know that you have overcome the ordeal of having had a miscarriage and will soon be blessed with the healthy baby you have so long dreamed of having.

Copyright 2003 Henry Lerner
Henry Lerner, M.D., OB/GYN, is the author of Miscarriage: Why It Happens and How Best to Reduce Your Risks

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