A miscarriage can have a profound emotional impact, not only onthe woman herself,but also on her partner, friends and family.
Advice and support is available during this difficult time.
It's usually possible to arrange a memorial and burial service if you want one. In some hospitals or clinics, it may be possible to arrange a burial within the grounds.
You can also arrange to have a burial at home, although you'll need to consult your local authority before doing so.
Cremation is an alternative to burial and can be performed at either the hospital or a local crematorium. However, not all crematoriums provide this service and there won't be any ashes for you to scatter afterwards.
Unlike a stillbirth , you don't need to formally register a miscarriage. However,some hospitals can provide a certificate to mark what has happened if you want one.
Sometimes the emotional impact is felt immediately after the miscarriage, whereas in other cases it can take several weeks. Many people affected by a miscarriage go through a bereavement period.
It's common to feel tired, lose your appetite and have difficulty sleeping after a miscarriage. You may also feel a sense of guilt, shock,sadness andanger sometimes at a partner, or at friends or family members who have had successful pregnancies.
Different people grieve in different ways. Some people find it comforting to talk about their feelings, while others find the subject too painful to discuss.
Some women come to terms with their grief after a few weeks of having a miscarriage and start planning for their next pregnancy. For other women, the thought of planning another pregnancy is too traumatic, at least in the short term.
The father ofthe baby may also be affected by the loss. Men sometimes find it harder to express their feelings, particularly if they feel their main role is to supportthe motherand not the other way round. It may help to make sure you openly discuss how both of you are feeling.
Miscarriage can also cause feelings of Generalised anxiety disorder or depression , and can lead to relationship problems.
If you're worried that you or your partner are having problems coping with grief, you may need further treatment and counselling. There are support groups that can provide or arrange counselling for people who have been affected by miscarriage.
The following organisations can also help:
You should avoid having sex until all of your miscarriage symptoms have gone. Your periods should return within four to six weeks of your miscarriage, although it may take several months to settle into a regular cycle.
If you don't want to get pregnant, you should use contraception immediately. If you do want to get pregnant again, youmay want todiscuss it with your GP or hospital care team. Make sure you are feeling physically and emotionally wellbefore trying for another pregnancy.
The Miscarriage Association has written a leaflet called Thinking aboutanother pregnancy (PDF, 207kb) that you may find helpful. It's important to remember that most miscarriages are a one-off and are followed by a healthy pregnancy.
Although it's not usually possible to prevent a miscarriage, there are some ways you can reduce the risk. See preventing miscarriage for more information and advice.
It's natural to want to know why a miscarriage happened, but unfortunately this is not usually possible. Most miscarriages are thought to be caused by a one-off problem with the development of the foetus.
A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy during the first 23 weeks. The main signs of a miscarriage include vaginal bleeding, followed by cramping and pain.
The most common sign of miscarriage is vaginal bleeding.
There are many reasons why a miscarriage may occur, although the causes of particular miscarriages are often not identified.
If you see your GP or midwife because of vaginal bleeding or other symptoms of miscarriage, you may be referred to an early pregnancy unit for tests.
If you have a miscarriage, you may need to have any remaining pregnancy tissue removed from your womb.
A miscarriage can have a profound emotional impact, not only on a woman, but also on her partner, friends and family.