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After Miscarriage Questions
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Anon_183567 posted:
I had a miscarriage 2 weeks ago, natural. I bled out for 3 days (I wasn't that far along in the pregnancy). Although no bleeding anymore, I'm still cramping some (not incredibly painful but cramping still) with some low back pain also. On Sunday I was doing Spring cleaning and the cramping really got painful. I have been taking Ibuprophen for the pain. After I noticed a clear, sticky vaginal discharge which I've heard is a sign that I'm ovulating already. This is strange to me becuase I don't have vaginal discharge when I'm ovulating and I have 3 kids. Is this something new? It is not a yeast infection and I only had it the one day. IS it too early for us to have sex? I'm not bleeding but do have mild cramping. How long after miscarriage should I be cramping? I know it varies from woman to woman. How long after should I have sex with my husband? I've heard anywhere from 2-3 weeks. Is sex different the first time after the miscarriage (physically and mentally)?
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Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
Dear Anon: We are sorry for your recent loss. It sounds like this is your first documented miscarriage. If you are trying to conceive the data suggests that the majority of women are able to have a successful conception and pregnancy following one miscarriage.

Let's take each one of your questions one at a time, OK?

1. Physical exertion can make uterine cramping/contractions more pronounced. This is why women with preterm labor are put on bedrest, and why laboring women are often sent out to walk. It should be OK to use the ibuprofen for the cramping. If cramping persists you should contact your OB/GYN as there is a very remote chance that a tiny fragment of placental tissue has been retained. This can prompt continued cramping and spotting. Cramping can also arise from an ovarian cyst.

2. Usually after first trimester pregnancy loss we tell women to expect their next "real period" in 4-8 weeks. There is a possibility that one might ovulate as early as two weeks after a miscarriage. However, in my clinical experience more women have a "real period" at about 6 weeks. Thus ovulation would be about 4 weeks from the pregnancy loss.

Is the current discharge ovulatory cervical mucus? It might be, but it is also possible to have that type of secretion when estrogen levels are high--even without an ovulation.

3. You can resume intercourse after the cervical canal is no longer dilated. This should be the case at two weeks after a first trimester loss. If sex is uncomfortable after this time see your GYN.

4. Sex should not feel physically different. How it feels emotionally could really vary from woman to women. If the pregnancy was really a big loss one might feel sadness or even some depression. Hopefully your spouse has been supportive through out this time. If you do note persisting depression be sure to tell your OB/GYN. They can refer you to a pregnancy loss group or specialty counselor.

In Support,
Jane


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