Causes of miscarriages and how to prevent them

From my clinical experience, I think that most miscarriages can be prevented and helped. The important thing is that both sides (pregnant woman and practitioner) are aware of this issue and to pay more attention to it, especially from the beginning of the pregnancy. In this article I will share the knowledge about how to prevent a miscarriage; how to help you if you have a history of miscarriages, and how to look after your body after your miscarriage.

I have helped many women who have had a miscarriage experience in early pregnancy, and have helped them all have healthy babies. When I write this article, one of the children I helped save from a very serious miscarriage is now studying Law in University. I wish my articles and career can bring many families a healthy baby and happiness.

1. Symptoms of miscarriage

Miscarriages occur more often at the beginning of the pregnancy, from the first week up until the twelfth week. (Some miscarriages can occur very early, that you are unaware that you are having a miscarriage). Usually it may start with a very mild spotting or lower abdomen cramps or heavy sensation, the body usually has the following symptoms; lack of energy, lower back pain, strong nausea. If the bleeding cannot stop, it will become heavier and heavier and may cause a miscarriage.

2. Causes of miscarriage

Many miscarriages can be stopped in the early stage. It is important to find out the causes of the miscarriage.

i) Overwork and injury

Once you fall pregnant, your uterus needs a greater blood supply to support the functioning of the uterus and for the fetus to grow. But for this stage if you are overdoing it, it may affect or reduce the blood supply in the uterus area. Strong exercise, working long hours, or having a chronic or new lower back or abdomen injury or heavy pressure (such as strong sexual activity) all can cause disorder of the circulation around the lower abdomen and uterus, causing miscarriage.

ii) Quality of egg and sperm

Chinese medicine believes that quality egg and sperm is one of the important reasons for having a healthy pregnancy. Like in nature, if the seed is not strong it will not survive, the same can happen during a pregnancy. This is one of the reasons for a miscarriage.

For this type of miscarriage, it is strongly associated with fetal energy being weaker. For certain cases we can use the mothers channels to bring more circulation with fresh blood to flow to the uterus to strengthen the fetal essence which can add extra energy on top to help save the baby at the beginning of a miscarriage.

For certain cases, if the fetal energy is too weak it is hard to save the fetus, and is difficult to stop the miscarriage. Through my career and experience I suggest that for this type miscarriage, you should balance your body to strengthen the egg and sperm before you try again so you can have a successful pregnancy.

3. What you should do when you have mild miscarriage symptoms

i) Firstly you should seek medical attention as soon as possible, to give your body a general check up.

ii) In case you are unable to find the cause of bleeding or cramping, you can try natural therapy to help find the cause and stop miscarriage to save the pregnancy. Traditional Chinese medicine is one of these therapies which is effective in helping miscarriage issues. Usually a TCM practitioner will check your pulse and tongue to find the causes of your miscarriage, to give you certain treatment to balance the body and stop the bleeding. At the same time we will give you a suggestion for your diet and lifestyle to help maintain a healthy pregnancy.

iii) Having enough rest is an important factor in saving a foetus. It is important to stop doing exercise or intercourse if you have bleeding.

4. What should you do after a miscarriage

As soon as your are pregnant the body physically changes, especially in the uterus. But if a miscarriage occurs it will make the body unbalanced and disordered. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that the first two weeks after the miscarriage is very important for the body to recover (I remember when I worked in Beijing hospital in China, 20 years ago, usually if a miscarriage or abortion occurs, the doctor will give a medical certificate for two weeks off work, so that you can rest and recover). Otherwise the uterus will get a disorder from the miscarriage. I suggest that you should pay more attention to the following suggestions.

i) Try to rest as much as you can.

ii) Avoid doing exercise. Avoid standing or walking for long periods of time.

iii) Avoid drinking or eating frozen or cold food. Keep your body warm.

iv) Try to avoid stress and strong emotions.

v) If you are unable to get a good period after your miscarriage, you should seek medical attention or balance your body through natural therapy. Traditional Chinese medicine is one of these effective treatments to help.

5. How to avoid miscarriage

i) It is best to balance your body (your body should be generally comfortable, physical well-being should be good and you should have no particular symptoms), before you plan to start a family.

ii) You should see your family doctor to have a general check up, such as blood tests, ultrasound of your uterus, ovaries etc.

iii) If you have a previous injury which has not been resolved, it should be fixed as this may affect your ability to fall pregnant. This may also be the cause of early stage miscarriages.

iv) After a pregnancy avoid doing strong exercise, particularly those that concentrate on the abdomen and lower back area. I suggest that walking is best. If you really need to continue doing certain exercise you should seek advice from your health practitioner.

v) The first two months of a pregnancy, it is best to avoid intercourse. Afterwards you could have gentle intercourse, it is best to avoid a strong pressure on the abdomen area.

vi) After pregnancy, generally you should eat what you like, as this indicates what your body needs. I suggest that when you are eating a meal, you eat less but more frequently. For certain types of body’s you may have different constitutions during the pregnancy so you should see a TCM practitioner to find out what foods are good for you and what you should avoid.

vii) During the pregnancy you should avoid drinking alcohol.

viii) During your pregnancy, it is important to balance your lifestyle, avoid strong emotional issues and working hard. You should relax, be happy and enjoy your pregnancy.

ix) During your pregnancy you should eat a certain amount of fruit and vegetables everyday. You should have a bowel movement every day to remove toxins and release pressure around the abdomen are and uterus.

x) Incase you are bleeding at any stage of the pregnancy, you should see your doctor straight away or see your TCM practitioner to find out the case and balance your body to avoid a miscarriage.

I hope that you have a happy pregnancy and healthy baby.

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11 Responses to Causes of miscarriages and how to prevent them

  1. bimbo 20 November, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    i miss my period for 15 days then on the 16 day i started seeing blood,

    does it means i had a misscarriage

    • Ping Wang 9 December, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

      Dear bimbo, this does not always mean that you have had a miscarriage. Sometimes periods may also be delayed due to stress or other reasons. If you had unprotected intercourse in the previous month, or had a positive pregnancy test, we would advise you to visit your doctor for a check up.

  2. Anna 9 February, 2014 at 9:28 pm #

    Hi,
    I have a 2yr old boy. During my pregnancy with him they found a large (7cm) fibroid and 2 other small ones.
    We have since been trying for second child and I have had 3 misscariages. First one went for 12 week scan and baby had died at around 8 weeks. Had d&c.
    Second time misscariged naturally at 5 weeks.
    3rd time went to doctors at 8 weeks and there was no heart beat. Having d&c this Friday if still haven’t misscariged naturally.
    Is there anything you can suggest.
    I live 3 hrs from Perth.
    Regard

    • Ping Ming Health 20 February, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

      Dear Anna, thank you for your question. Frequent miscarriages is a common case helped by our clinic. In your individual case, it would be best to see me for a traditional Chinese medicine consultation to find out the underlying cause and health of your uterus and internal organs. I will be able to give you further advice prior to your next pregnancy. Best regards from Ping Wang.

  3. Lisa 21 September, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

    Hi, I recently had a delay miscarriage. According to the doctor it was not a healty pregnancy and sac only formed for eight wks. However, we only discovered the miscarried at week eleven. I would like to know what to eat and any things I am not suppose to do during these time. And what should I do for a healthy pregnancy in future.

    • Ping Ming Health 31 October, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

      Dear Lisa, I suggest you can visit a Chinese medicine practitioner experienced in women’s health and fertility for a Chinese medicine diagnosis. They will be able to offer you more specific advice according to your body’s constitution. You will find that Chinese medicine can offer a great deal to help you have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

  4. Kamakshi 23 October, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

    Dear Dr Ping,

    I had an early miscarriage in 5W 6D of pregnancy. I am working full-time.

    Could you please advise when should I start trying again.

    And some Chinese herbal medicines for healthy, stronger body and safe pregnancy.

    Thanks.

    • Ping Ming Health 31 October, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

      Dear Kamakshi, I am sorry to hear of your loss. Miscarriages are not uncommon in the early weeks of pregnancy. Generally, we suggest waiting at least 3 menstrual cycles before trying again. During this time it’s important to find out if your periods are regular and that there are no underlying health issues. For this we suggest visiting a Chinese medicine practitioner experienced with fertility who can help you to regulate your periods and build up your body for another pregnancy. Yes, there are Chinese medicines which can support the body before and during pregnancy (and help to prevent a miscarriage), but the suitability of these medicines for your body must be determined by your Chinese medicine practitioner and taken with their advice.

  5. jelly bean 30 October, 2014 at 6:06 am #

    hi ming,

    can tcm help with recurrent miscarriage? i had 2 miscarriages in a row, although in australia it is not considered recurrent if its not 3 or more miscarriages. but for some reason i still cannot accept that it happened to me as i was expecting a normal pregnancy after my first miscarriage. I went for my 12 week scan and was told that the embryo stopped developing at 7w6d. I was not bleeding or having period like cramps so i had no idea that was having a silent miscarriage. yesterday i decided to have the medical management instead of the d&c because i felt that it will help me cope thinking that im just having a normal period.

    • Ping Ming Health 31 October, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

      Dear Jelly Bean, Chinese medicine is great for all things fertility. Miscarriages are not uncommon in the first trimester of pregnancy so please do not be overly concerned at this stage. It is certainly not your fault. I suggest following the advice of your doctor and gynaecologist, then visit an experienced Chinese medicine practitioner in fertility who can help you to regulate your periods and diagnose any underlying issues that may be causing the miscarriage. I suggest it’s also a good idea for your partner to have a health check too in case there are any sperm issues. Chinese medicine can also help to boost the quality and quantity of sperm for men’s health. Even if you are not considered to have “recurrent miscarriage” by medical definition, you can still use Chinese medicine to prepare and optimise your general health for conception and pregnancy. An experienced practitioner will also be able to give you much useful and practical advice in this area.

  6. Kamakshi 1 November, 2014 at 7:14 am #

    Thanks, Dr Ping. Could you please recommend a good practitioner in Brisbane.

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