When a pregnancy stops without the body realizing it, this is called a missed abortion. Going through it is stressful both mentally and physically. It can be difficult to know how it happens, why and what help you are entitled to. In this article, midwife Maria guides you through the typical process of a missed abortion.
How is a missed abortion detected?
A pregnancy that stops but does not result in any bleeding or the body does not understand that it has stopped is called a Missed Abortion. or missed miscarriage. The most common way of detecting a missed abortion is through an early ultrasound (or the ultrasound performed during the KUB) shows that the pregnancy has stopped. This means that the embryo and the pregnancy have stopped growing - usually one or two weeks earlier. It may also be the case that you, as a pregnant woman, have seen a doctor because you have noticed symptoms that have not felt good, that you have felt unwell in some way, or that you have had an appointment for medical pregnancy planning and discovered that the pregnancy has stopped.
Missed abortion comes as a shock to almost everyone, and can be difficult for the pregnant woman or couple to absorb and deal with. Let it sink in a bit. If you have supportive family or friends, let them take care of you so that you can focus your energy and thoughts on the reaction to the news.
Missed abortion - the process
When a missed abortion is detected by ultrasound, the pregnant woman will be informed about the situation and what will happen next. If there is spontaneous bleeding within one or two days, no treatment is required and the pregnant woman can wait to seek medical attention. The midwife or doctor who performs the ultrasound and determines that it is a missed abortion will send a referral to an abortion clinic for further care and treatment. Then it may take a few days before the next visit takes place. Once there, an additional ultrasound will be performed to confirm that the pregnancy has stopped and then a decision will be made on the type of treatment to be given.
If the body has not started bleeding on its own, medical treatment is given in the form of tablets or a scrape. If tablets are given, they should be taken at home while waiting for the bleeding to start, and then it is important to remember not to be alone.
During the bleeding, you may feel a pain similar to a severe period pain in your stomach or back, radiating down to your groin and legs. You can take painkillers in the form of paracetamol. The clinic may also have sent you other preparations for pain relief. Any form of heat, such as showering and directing the rays to your stomach or back, can also help with the pain.
The bleeding can vary; bleeding similar to a heavy period in quantity is perfectly normal, but sometimes you can also see clumps of blood, follicles or the structure of the embryo. This is not an easy thing to prepare for or go through. There are a thousand different emotions you may feel at this point and the important thing to remember is that all emotions are accepted, normal and should be taken seriously.
Common thoughts and feelings
It is common for pregnant women to feel disappointed that the pregnancy has stopped, to worry about why it happened, to feel cheated by the body that led them to believe that the pregnancy was growing as it should, and many other difficult thoughts. Feelings of guilt may arise and thoughts that you have done something that led to a missed abortion. None of this is true! Almost all missed abortions and miscarriages happen because something about the fetus and its development could not continue as it should. It can also be linked to the first sensitive weeks, when the placenta is forming and the embryo is growing in the uterine wall, which prevented the pregnancy from continuing to develop. It is therefore not your fault, but all your feelings are perfectly normal.
Here you can get support
In order to deal with the grief, anxiety or emotional reaction, it is important to get the help that suits you or your family. This can be in the form of conversations and the opportunity to ask questions to a midwife or doctor. It can also mean surrounding yourself with the people you feel safe and comfortable with.
Through the midwife at the midwifery clinic, you can book appointments where you can get support for everything from the thoughts and feelings you have to the questions you have. There are also counselors at abortion clinics with whom you can book appointments. Ask during your visits so that you really get the support and help you need!
If you have a previous contact in the form of a psychologist or therapist, it may be safe to go to that person, or to someone you trust around you. The health center also has psychologists and the possibility of counseling support.
The reaction to what you have gone through can come immediately, after a period of time or during a new pregnancy later on. There are no strange or wrong feelings and anything that affects you in a negative way, you have the right to be supported in dealing with it.