Having an ectopic pregnancy or experiencing one or more miscarriages can affect your whole being – mentally, emotionally and physically.
Every pregnancy loss is different and not everyone reacts the same way.
Often, along with the feelings of shock, grief, sadness, confusion and uncertainty, many couples feel resentment towards others who are pregnant or have children.
You may also feel a sense of isolation in their attempt to keep it to yourself and end up grieving alone.
It’s important to give yourself permission to feel all these feelings.
It may be helpful to find someone to talk to – be it a friend or family member, someone who has had a similar experience with whom you feel comfortable to share your feelings, or possibly someone qualified and experienced to support and advise you and give you strategies on how to look after yourself and your partner.
Miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a baby before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
According to research, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage.
Ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy in which the foetus develops outside the uterus, typically in a fallopian tube.
It’s important to know that having one miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy doesn’t significantly increase the chance of having another miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
Many couples who come to see me after they have had an ectopic pregnancy or one or more miscarriages, are encouraged by the fact that they can go on to have a successful and healthy pregnancy.
A miscarriage can occur suddenly (over a few hours) or it may occur over a few days or weeks. Usually, the first sign of a possible miscarriage is vaginal bleeding and this can be accompanied by period-like cramping.
Ectopic pregnancies sometimes also have warning signs such as a light vaginal bleed or pelvic pain. Sometimes shoulder pain or the urge to pass a bowel motion might accompany these symptoms.
It is really important to contact your doctor if you are concerned you might be having an ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage.
There are so many reasons and causes of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies, but it is important to know that they are rarely caused by anything you did or didn’t do.
Having said this, a preconception period of at least 3 months, whereby both prospective parents follow a healthy diet and lifestyle, has been proven to be helpful in the outcome of a healthy embryo and hence, preventing possible miscarriage.
Couples are often quick to blame themselves and then feel guilty for whatever it was they thought was ‘the cause’.
It’s so important for me to emphasise here that this can only make you feel worse.
Some common causes that are completely out of your control may include:
There are so many reasons for miscarriage and it’s not always possible to work them out. However, when couples seek my help for miscarriage, I will always do whatever I can to work our the reasons behind their individual susceptibility.
I will do whatever Functional testing I think might be appropriate, as well as suggest a specific DNA/Genomic test so that I have the opportunity to analyse the results and work out how their genes are expressed. With this information, I will provide them with an appropriate, personalised programme that’s specific to their needs.
When couples see me after experiencing miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies, whether or not they know the cause, I always address their individual needs from a holistic perspective and discuss the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Depending on their needs, I will also incorporate evidence-based nutrients as well as herbs and supplements traditionally and specifically used for miscarriage.
Many couples are surprised to learn that sperm quality, morphology and DNA makeup play as big a role as egg health.
In fact, in the last 10 years, I’ve noticed a trend towards more issues regarding sperm health and miscarriage, especially within the 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Optimal thyroid and adrenal function are essential factors in the susceptibility to miscarriage. I always make sure I address these areas to ensure they are working in perfect balance to support and encourage hormonal stability.
Inflammation (especially in the pelvic area) is important to consider especially regarding ectopic pregnancies. I will usually advise an anti-inflammatory diet as well as suggesting herbs and nutrients that have been scientifically proven to decrease inflammation in the area.
It can be an empowering feeling to have this knowledge!
Many couples tell me it gives them a sense of strength in being able to take back some control over their situation.
I will also advise them both on what they can do to help themselves prepare for their next pregnancy, so that their journey is as enjoyable and healthy as possible!
Joanne Lipinski – Fertility Naturopath Melbourne
Joanne is a certified FitGenes practitioner and uses only those accredited, secure TGA registered DNA testing companies that produce accurate testing panels with sound research and evidence-based ratings.