A miscarriage is a loss of an embryo or fetus within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Most miscarriages occur in the first 3 months of pregnancy.
Signs of a miscarriage include:
- Vaginal spotting or bleeding
- Pain or cramping in your lower back or abdomen
- Fluid or tissue passing from vagina
People with lupus may be at a higher risk for miscarriage if they have high lupus inflammation or due to an associated medical condition called Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS). This is a blood disorder that can cause blood clots and other complications during pregnancy.
People with lupus may also experience miscarriages for reasons other than their lupus. The most common cause of early miscarriages is due to genetic abnormalities in the embryo. Other common causes of miscarriages include thyroid disorders or structural problems in the uterus, such as fibroids or endometriosis.
If you have experienced a miscarriage, know that you are not alone. This loss is not your fault, and it is important to take time to heal both physically and emotionally.
Talking to your Doctor
If you think you are experiencing a health emergency, seek immediate emergency care.
If you have experienced a miscarriage, seeking care from a health physician may be an appropriate next step. There can be multiple causes of miscarriages, of which lupus could be one. Your doctor can provide you with support and insight as you heal from the miscarriage.
If you have APS and are pregnant, your doctor can prescribe you blood-thinning medication called Heparin injections to prevent blood clots and lower the chance of a miscarriage. Your doctor might also recommend that you take low-dose (baby) aspirin. Another common blood-thinner is called Warfarin (Coumadin®), but this is not a safe medication to take while pregnant.