Early Pregnancy Complications

Losing a pregnancy is unfortunately a very common event. About every 1:5 pregnancies end in miscarriage. The chance of this happening also increases with age, so at 40 years old the risk would be 1:2 (50%). We don’t always know why this  happens, but we assume it is usually something with the development of the baby. Even if we would check for all the potential causes that we can test for these days, most of the times we don’t find a cause. Couples should not feel guilty about doing anything wrong, as this is most often not the case. However it is still an event that couples can have difficulty dealing with. Help is available, so don’t hesitate asking for it. Usually having one miscarriage does not mean that you have an increased chance of having another miscarriage. You still have a much higher chance of having a normal pregnancy.

When you are diagnosed with a miscarriage (either because you have been bleeding or as a finding on an ultrasound) you have the option of waiting for a spontaneous miscarriage, or of having surgery. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of having a spontaneous miscarriage is that you avoid an anaesthetic and the complications of surgery. The disadvantage is that we can’t predict when it is going to happen (can be days to weeks to months even) and you will experience at least some pain and bleeding and sometimes even end up having the surgery anyway (because of excessive bleeding or retained products).  The advantage of surgery (Dilatation and Curettage) is that it can be a planned procedure and then you can go back to your usual cycle afterwards.

Both after a spontaneous miscarriage and after surgery you can expect bleeding, usually less than 3 weeks, but sometimes up to 6 weeks. Having the complication of an infection is also common and if you are concerned about the amount of bleeding, abdominal pains, fevers or smelly discharge please contact the rooms. Occasionally you can have some retained products and end up with a repeat surgical procedure.

When you are both emotionally and physically ready you can try for another pregnancy. A useful link would be: www.sands.qld.com

 

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is the condition where tissue that is normally located inside the womb, is now found outside the womb. The usual places are various throughout the pelvis and is present in about 7-8% of the female population. The usual symptoms are pelvic pains and pain during intercourse mainly around the time of your period. We do not really understand the causes of this condition, but we do know it is associated with reduced chances of fertility. The only way to  diagnose this condition is through keyhole surgery. There are medical and surgical options for the management of endometriosis and these can be discussed. Treatment for endometriosis needs to be individualised, as different treatments can have different effects on everyone.

More information can be found on: www.qendo.org.au