Every person’s experience after a loss is different, physically and emotionally. This means that there’s no “one size fits all” explanation for your loss or for what comes afterwards, but we can tell you what you’re most likely to expect, mentally and physically, and how it will impact your Ovia account.
What happens to my Ovia account after a loss?
The experience is slightly different if you let us know in Ovia Pregnancy or Ovia Fertility.
If you’ve reported a loss in Ovia Pregnancy, you will have the option to reset your account or start a new pregnancy. If you choose neither and tap the back arrow in the top left corner, your “Home” timeline will remain frozen on the day that you reported the loss, until you reset it. You will no longer receive updates or emails for this pregnancy.
If you’ve reported a loss in Ovia Fertility, Ovia uses a combination of data logged in the past few months and new data to make future period projections — though you may or may not see a prediction for the next cycle depending on when you logged your last period. When you’re ready to start logging cycle data again, Ovia will use this information to make more accurate predictions. While past data will not be erased from your calendar, it will not be used to create future predictions.
In addition to reporting loss through the app (found in the “More” menu), you can add a Note to your Timeline with as much additional information as you’d like.
What happens to my body after a loss?
Some of the most common and normal physical changes you might experience include:
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting lasting for 1-3 weeks
- Brown or yellow cervical mucus
- Abdominal cramps and pain
- A decline in your hCG hormones (determined via lab work)
Normal physical changes you may experience a week or more afterwards include:
- A continued drop in your hCG hormones
- A delayed first period (you won’t menstruate until your hCG levels return to almost zero, which takes about 4-8 weeks depending on how far along you were). You won’t ovulation during the first cycle following a miscarriage, even if you get a false reading with an ovulation test.
- An irregular period for up to 3 months
- Lingering pregnancy symptoms
- A partially dilated cervix, which can make you more susceptible to infection. Wait until after your first period to have sex, put anything in your vagina or go swimming.
Which symptoms are dangerous?
Any of the following post-miscarriage symptoms are considered serious. Contact your healthcare provider if you’re experiencing:
- Bleeding on and off for several weeks without fully stopping
- Heavy, severe bleeding, especially if it contains clots (i.e. ie soaking through a pad in an hour or less)
- Fever of 100.4F or higher, or other signs of infection
Most complications that arise after a loss are the result of tissue that hasn’t cleared your body yet and can cause infections or hemorrhaging.
Medical procedures associated with miscarriages
Many people who experience a miscarriage don’t have symptoms like heavy bleeding or cramping, and only find out they’re experiencing a loss at an appointment to check on their pregnancy. It can be shocking and difficult to process a silent miscarriage. Whether you had miscarriage symptoms or not, in addition to the emotion surrounding loss, you’ll be given options about how to proceed medically and physically. These options may include waiting until your body begins to miscarry on its own, taking medication to cause your body to miscarry without waiting, or having a surgical procedure to remove all pregnancy tissue. There are risks and benefits to each choice, and it is a highly personal medical decision.
About half of those who experience pregnancy loss end up having one of two common procedures called a dilation and curettage (D&C) or a dilation and evacuation (D&E). Performed to stop bleeding and prevent infection, these procedures dilate your cervix and remove all of the pregnancy tissue from your uterus. The difference between them is typically the timing. A D&C is common in the first trimester, while a D&E is often needed for second trimester losses.
Either procedure typically takes about 20-30 minutes. You’ll receive pain medication or general anesthesia beforehand. If you need a D&E you may have medication placed in your cervix or given to you to take by mouth the night before. During the procedure, your doctor will remove the retained tissue from your uterus by passing through your dilated cervix with either a curette instrument or a suction tool. Most people are able to leave the hospital or surgery center the same day they receive the procedure.
Afterwards, you can expect cramps, spotting, and bleeding for up to two weeks. Avoid any vaginal penetration, including sex and tampons, or swimming during your recovery.
Can I get pregnant again?
A majority of those who suffer a miscarriage go on to have healthy pregnancies. Although some people may have hormonal imbalances or other conditions that heighten the likelihood of miscarriage, it appears that most miscarriages are independent events that happen randomly. According to the Mayo Clinic, less than 5% of pregnant people will experience two consecutive miscarriages, and only about 1% will suffer three. If you believe you’re prone to miscarriages, your doctor can perform genetic tests, blood tests, or ultrasounds that can help determine whether your miscarriage was the result of a specific condition.
Though some people may want to give it some time in between attempts because of the physical or emotional toll of miscarriage, there is no evidence that any waiting period is necessary before trying to conceive again. It’s really up to you, your partner, and your healthcare provider to decide if you’re ready.
- “Dilation and Curettage (D&C).” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 2/15/2014. Web.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Micarriage.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 7/9/2013. Web.
- Leann Mikesh, PhD. “hCG Levels After a Miscarriage.” Livestrong. Livestrong, 4/16/2015. Web.
- “Miscarriage.” Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood, n.d. Web.