Trying to get pregnant after a miscarriage can be daunting and confusing. Your second attempt at pregnancy may be marked with more pessimism than hope, because you fear it will end in miscarriage as well. Although it is perfectly normal to feel this way, keep in mind that you have at least a 70% chance of getting pregnant after an abortion. You can increase your chances of success by arming yourself with information – what caused your miscarriage and what you can do to prevent it.
Many women consider past stress a cause of miscarriage, especially if they have never had a stressful life before becoming pregnant. However, stress due to work or physical activity is not the only risk factor for miscarriage; The emotional stress of a previous miscarriage can make the next one more likely. Taking care of your emotional, mental and spiritual health can increase your chances of conceiving successfully.
The science behind stress and abortion
Because lifestyle and environmental factors impact fertility, it makes sense to say that the stress we experience can affect our body system, including the reproductive system. There is a lot of scientific evidence to support this. When you are feeling stress, your brain releases several stress hormones, including cortisol. Cortisol is known to affect production and inhibit the performance of sex hormones, which can delay menstrual cycles or cause contractions that make implantation difficult. A team of doctors at the University of Michigan found that 90% of the pregnancies studied had miscarriages during the first three weeks of pregnancy. When blood tests were done, they found that 90% had high cortisol levels.
More definitive evidence on stress and abortion was found by a team of researchers at Tufts University. The study, published in the June 2003 issue of the journal Endocrinology, aimed to find a cause of unexplained miscarriages to help prevent them. It turns out that in addition to cortisol, the body releases a hormone called corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) during times of stress. Previous studies have shown that women who have had premature births or low birth weight babies have high amounts of CRH in their blood. Unlike cortisol, produced by the hypothalamus, CRH is also produced in the uterus and placenta in order to contract the uterus during labor.
Researchers have found that CRH can also be released in other areas of the body where it attacks mast cells. These are the cells responsible for triggering allergic reactions, and it turns out that the uterus contains a number of mast cells. In times of stress, the presence of CRH allows mast cells to release substances that can induce miscarriage. This was discovered when 23 women who had multiple miscarriages had very high CRH levels in their uterine mast cells.
Take care of your emotional health
Trying to relax after an abortion may seem easier said than done, especially if you're still going through the maze of loss. However, there is a lot you can do to reduce stress the next time you conceive.
*Acknowledge your feelings and talk about them. It is perfectly normal to be afraid, pessimistic, or worried that your next pregnancy will not work. But it's no use denying those feelings or keeping them inside you. Talk to your spouse about what you are going through or see a therapist to help you cope with your loss. A support group can also provide the encouragement and healing you need.
*Distract yourself with a new hobby. Instead of worrying about your next pregnancy, why not waste your energy on a creative endeavor? If there's a particular project or hobby you've always wanted to pursue, now is the perfect time to do it. Keeping busy with a rewarding activity will help you heal and relax.
*Pamper yourself. It's okay to spend on small luxuries if it makes you feel better. Get away from the stress of everyday life and locate yourself in a quieter place. Go to the spa and have a relaxing full body massage or spend a weekend with your wife in a cozy hotel outside the city.