The loss of a pregnancy due to a miscarriage is a physical and emotional experience that approximately 10 per cent to 20 per cent of all women go through, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Following a miscarriage, women will experience normal symptoms of cramping and bleeding and will require adequate rest and recovery time to avoid hemorrhaging and infection.
In general, after a miscarriage a woman experiences bleeding for 8 to 10 days, where they will soak about two sanitary pads a day followed by cramping of the uterus. A woman who bleeds longer than two weeks, has heavy bleeding or is passing large clots may have an infection. This is also accompanied by pain in the abdomen or back. Individuals who experience this type of bleeding should contact their doctor; if left untreated, such bleeding can lead to problems with future pregnancies or even death.
The sensation of constantly feeling cold and shivering can be a sign that the body has an infection. This commonly occurs if not all of the foetus was expelled or removed from the body.
A fever over 38 degrees C can indicate that the body has an infection from the miscarriage and is attempting to fight it off.
A vagina that smells foul or is discharging a white or yellowish material called "lochia alba" may be a sign of an infection. Infectious discharge can also be associated with itching and soreness.
The uterus contracts back to its normal size after a miscarriage, generally over two weeks where the stomach muscles feel tight and cramping occurs. Physically debilitating pain as indicated by prolonged cramping is a sign that something is not going back to normal in the body and can indicate an infection.
The cause of a miscarriage is mainly attributed to genetic factors, however, women can take certain steps to decrease their chances of a future miscarriage. The American Pregnancy Association recommends women get regular exercise, eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight, take vitamins, avoid smoking and drinking, and avoid stressful situations, if possible.