Even Kajillionaires Have Miscarriages

I know this may be old news, but I was touched when I came across Mark Zuckerberg’s posting from about a month ago, that he and his wife are expecting a baby girl- after trying for 2 years, and suffering 3 miscarriages along the way. They shared this in the hopes of raising awareness and understanding about miscarriages, as the subject can be so taboo.

Mark Zuckerberg exists in such a suspended reality for me, I watched that Facebook movie, and remember him being portrayed as a bit of a jerk. (I guess that’s Holywood!) I was somewhat surprised to read his real relatable human account of the rollercoaster ride of their miscarriage: feeling hopeful at first, imagining who their baby would become, dreaming and making plans, only to learn that the baby was suddenly gone and then being left feeling sad and alone in the experience.

Having had 2 miscarriages myself, I can attest to the fact that it wasn’t until after I went through it that I began hearing about so many other women’s experiences with miscarriages too. It is really more common then we would like to think. Up to 15-20% of confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage. And for women over 35, it is up to 25-30%.

The most common cause of miscarriage is due to chromosomal abnormality. The chances of this happening increases with age in both women and men. Collecting the tissue that you pass when you miscarry and testing it can confirm if there is any chromosomal abnormality.

It can also be due to anatomical abnormalities, like unusual uterine shape, a weak cervix, fibroids, or scarring. Visual testing such as hysterosalpingogram, hysteroscopy, ultrasound, or laparoscopy can help to rule any of these out.

Other causes include unusual clotting factors, immunological disorders or hormone imbalances. Blood tests can determine if you have any of these risk factors.

In Vancouver, if you have had 2 or more miscarriages or one late term miscarriage, you can be referred to the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Clinic at BC Women’s, where they can help you deal with a current miscarriage and/or run comprehensive testing to help determine why you are having pregnancy losses. Counselling is also offered to help deal with the grief, anxiety and loss.

In addition to your physician’s treatment plan, Chinese medicine helps to prevent miscarriage through pre-conception care and pregnancy support. A combination of herbs, acupuncture and a healthy lifestyle promotes circulation to the reproductive organs, optimizing egg and sperm maturation as well as uterine lining. After conception, Chinese medicine helps to support pregnancy by supporting hormone balance and blood flow to ensure proper transfer of nutrients between mother and baby. It also helps to reduce pregnancy symptoms as well as any stress and anxiety that may inevitably arise.

So miscarriage is common. And bless the heart of anyone who has to go through one (including Mark Zuckerberg’s!) And thank goodness there are ways to help prevent them. If you have any questions about how we can help you, contact us for a free 15 minute Q & A, we are happy to help!

Dr. Alda Ngo 

 

Alda Ngo