Helping You to Understand Your Body
Going through a miscarriage is very sad and a can be very traumatic. Knowing and understanding what your body is going through and the physical symptoms after miscarriage is important.
Miscarriage is hugely emotional, please refer to my other pages on healing after miscarriage.
Changes to your body after miscarriage can really vary, depending on the length of your pregnancy. As you can imagine, the further along you were, the more pregnancy hormones you would have.
Postpartum Symptoms After a Miscarriage
Remember you were carrying a baby and your body will go through many postpartum symptoms. Some of which can be surprising and unexpected. I experienced many postpartum symptoms after miscarriage, including hair loss, changes to my breasts and heavy sweating.
If you have had a miscarriage during the second trimester or a stillbirth, you may find that your breasts start to produce milk, you may have had stitches and you need to be aware of postpartum hemorrhoids. Refer to my postpartum section to see what kind of symptoms are normal after a pregnancy.
Cramping (After Pains)
You may experience mild abdominal cramping following your miscarriage. The cramping is your uterus contracting back to its normal size. It all depends on the type of miscarriage you have. If you were further along in your pregnancy, your womb would have started to grow more and after pains will be all the more intense.
Vaginal bleeding is to be expected after a miscarriage. It depends on how you miscarry. If your body starts to expel your baby, then more likely you will experience heavier bleeding and pass blood clots. If you have had surgery and a dilation & curettage procedure, the surgery normally removes most of the pregnancy tissues and you may only experience lighter bleeding.
How Long Does Vaginal Bleeding Last?
With a natural miscarriage, the bleeding may last between 1-2 weeks, until your body has expelled all of the pregnancy tissues. Bleeding shouldn’t be heavy for more than 2-3 days, after that bleeding should be lighter.
Always contact your doctor if you experience very heavy bleeding.
Hormone Stabilisation After Miscarriage
As soon as you become pregnant, your body starts to produce pregnancy hormones and your hCG levels rise. The two main hormones on the rise are estrogen and progesterone.
During early pregnancy, estrogen causes our blood volume to increase, our breasts to become tender and may cause sensitive skin and changes to skin colour (hyperpigmentation).
Estrogen releases endorphins which make us feel good. Progesterone is more calming.
After a miscarriage, hormone levels drop sharply. All of the bodily changes that started happening, have to be reversed whilst restoring your body to its pre-pregnancy state.
A sharp drop in pregnancy hormones can also mean a major dip in your mood. A low level of estrogen can cause us to feel tired and unmotivated. A low level of progesterone can cause anxiety and mood swings. The combination of a dip in your hormones and going through loss is very emotional and you need to take the time to care for yourself properly.
How Long Does it Take Hormones to Stabilise After Miscarriage
The restoration of hormone levels to their normal pre-pregnancy level can really vary from woman to woman. It can range from 2-3 days to 2-3 weeks. This also means that your next menstrual cycle may not return to normal straightaway.