What to Expect When You Are No Longer Expecting: The First Period After a Miscarriage

first period after miscarriage
Getting pregnant can be such an exciting time for women. It’s a time when you really learn what your body is capable of and the beautiful process of growing a human inside your body. While many pregnancies do end with a beautiful baby at the end to hold, some do not.

Even though it’s such a common occurrence, or more common than many people think, stating that you had a miscarriage still holds this stigma with it. When we say it’s common, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 million women have a miscarriage every year. [1]

That‘s approximately 1 in 5 women. That’s a pretty big statistic. But we don’t talk about it. There are people that don’t find out their best friends had a miscarriage until years later because it’s just so stigmatized. So when it does happen to women, who do they turn to, where do they get their information from?

That’s what this is here for. Women should know what to expect from the physical aspect to the emotional and mental aspect of having that first period, or shark week, or aunt flow, or whatever it is that you call it after you lose your baby.

First Let’s Get the Feelings Out of the Way

You are reading this for a reason; you’ve experienced a miscarriage. And you know what? I’m sure that thinking of your period is the last thing you actually want to do. Some welcome it because then they know they can have another child, or try again.

Others dread it because of horror stories. But before we worry about the period aspect, some women had some great advice for moms that are just undertaking this huge life change.

“let yourself grieve” but also “don’t be surprised if you don’t feel much emotion at all.”[2]  It’s really about embracing the process; the process of realizing that a child didn’t come to fruition, but that there is hope of another chance to do it again.

So take the time to feel and then go from there. Find your support system because that can be a tremendous help.

How Long Will the Wait Be

Not having a period when pregnant is sometimes one of the best things about being pregnant. So now that you aren’t, there is the whole getting that first one again.

Your first period is going to generally come any time after you have had 20 consecutive days of having no bleeding after the miscarriage. This happens roughly around 4-6 weeks after it.[3]

What to Expect

Honestly, just like anything else, you really can’t get one person advice as to how it was and expect it to be the same for you. Everybody is different, and that means that yours could react differently than your best friend or neighbor, or another person.

It can range from very heavy to just above spotting. You may have a lot of cramps or no cramps. It could start off heavy and get really light in a short time frame. Or you could have spotting for several days, then all of a sudden have a full heavy period. [4]

You should worry if you are going through a pad every hour or so for more than a week because that isn’t considered normal and a doctors appointment should be in your near future.

What if your Period is Irregular?

Now some may not get a “regular” period back. This can be just as frustrating as anything else because now you don’t know if you can try again if you are ovulating, and generally thinking what is wrong with my body? There are a few reasons as to why it could be irregular.

  1. It could be that you haven’t actually finished expelling the tissue and maybe even some placenta. Depending on how far along you were in your pregnancy, it could mean there is more that has to come out.
    But if you have been dealing with spotting and heaving bleeding on and off since the miscarriage.[5]
  2. Maybe you aren’t actually ovulating. That’s essentially what a period is, you ovulate, the egg doesn’t get fertilized, and you have a period shedding the lining of the uterus.
    If you are not having a period, then you have it and it’s heavy, and you don’t have it again, your body isn’t working how it should. Then you should see a doctor.
  3. It could be normal for you. Consider what your schedule used to be like. Was it irregular when you first started having a period?
    If so, then this might actually be your normal. But it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best for you. Again, consider seeing your doctor to rule out any issues.
  4. And then there could be reasons for being under or overweight because that can significantly affect your period. If you have lost a lot of weight or gained a lot, maybe you are under a ton of stress, it can also affect your period.
    Try and look at the past few weeks, other than the miscarriage, how well are you handling life? If you can honestly sit there and say not well, take a break for a bit, maybe see a professional.
    There is no shame in that. It’s something that many women need to do in order to get their head back on straight.
  5. Last but definitely not least, you could potentially be pregnant (yes that quick). If you started ovulating and you’ve been sexually active, you could have had a moment at the right time and are on your way to having that rainbow baby.
    While it is recommended that you take some time to let your body heal, it’s definitely a possibility. Take a test, see what happens.

A miscarriage is not something that any woman wants to go through. Its emotionally and physically draining. But let’s not let the stigma of talking about it hinder women.

Let’s make it a conversation, let’s make it okay to talk about, because you know what, it is okay, it will be okay, and it’s normal. The more that we know, the more comfortable the conversation, and the more information that people can share to help others through that time. However, hopefully for those who have suffered, a rainbow baby is in the future.

References

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_08.pdf
  2. Healing After a Miscarriage (Moore, F.) Parenting. http://www.parenting.com/article/healing-after-miscarriage
  3. What to Expect About First Menstruation After the Miscarriage. (Author unknown) http://www.newkidscenter.com/First-Period-after-Miscarriage.html
  4. Your First Period after a Miscarriage. http://www.pregnancyloss.info/first_period.htm
  5. Irregular Periods After Miscarriage: What you Need to Know (Vengrow, B. G.). Parents. https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/complications/miscarriage/irregular-periods-after-miscarriage-what-you-need-to-know/
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2 Comments

  1. Sheilah Powers March 28, 2018
    • Daniela April 1, 2018

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