Pregnancy Loss Very rarely does anyone expect to experience a pregnancy loss, although pregnancy loss is not uncommon. In fact pregnancy loss occurs in up to 15% of women who are aware that they are pregnant. There are many more pregnancy losses that go undetected because it happens so early in the pregnancy that the pregnancy has not even been detected. Even though pregnancy loss is not a rare occurrence, it is still a very personal experience for each and every woman and along with the loss, there is some degree of grief and or trauma, depending upon the circumstances. And a pregnancy loss can, in some cases be devastating for the woman and her partner and family. Pregnancy loss due to natural causes, if it occurs in the first twenty weeks is called miscarriage. If the pregnancy loss, occurring naturally, happens after twenty weeks gestation, it is called a still birth. Either type of pregnancy loss can be devastating for all involved and sometimes professional counseling or at least involvement in a support group is called for. There are other forms of pregnancy loss as well. If a woman finds that she is experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and decides she does not want to carry the baby to term...that she is unprepared to have a family, then she may pursue a pregnancy termination. This type of pregnancy loss is not without its negative consequences. Although a woman may choose this option, she may not be prepared for the emotional aftermath of her decision. There is considerable research that shows that this type of pregnancy loss, although voluntary, can cause what has been identified as Post Abortion Trauma or Post Abortion Syndrome. There are many emotions activated by both the pregnancy and the pregnancy loss. Not only does a woman's body undergo all the hormonal changes when she first becomes pregnant, but after a pregnancy loss, she will undergo more hormonal changes no matter what the caused the pregnancy loss and these changes can create psychological issues for the woman. Even though pregnancy loss resulting from an intentional choice to terminate may seem to be a solution to an unplanned, undesired pregnancy, it will still effect the woman in ways she may not be expecting and she must cope with those feelings and seek professional help in order to resolve them. Statistics show that a huge percentage of women who experience a pregnancy loss due to termination will again become pregnant with a replacement pregnancy within one year. Finally, pregnancy loss can be an event that is again chosen, but not desired, really. There are some pre-natal diagnoses for either mother or unborn child that result in the difficult choice to terminate the pregnancy. Pregnancy loss in these cases is, at best, an event that is filled with ambivalence and unhappiness. There are many women and families who dearly want to keep the pregnancy and rejoice in the experience and happily anticipate their new baby, but because of health reasons or some serious birth anomaly, the family decides that their best option is termination of the pregnancy. This type of pregnancy loss can be very sad. Even if there is no reason why the woman couldn't go on to have one or more subsequent pregnancies and healthy children, this particular pregnancy loss is still traumatic and may resu lt in feelings of guilt and grief that must be resolved and may need the support of a professional health care provider or at least participation in a group that focuses on grief and loss.
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