What Does a Miscarriage Look Like? 9 Things Women Today Must Know About Their Reproductive Health

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what does a miscarriage look like
Author Name: Lucas Cook
Date: Monday April 8, 2024

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What does a miscarriage look like? If you are sexually active, you may have already had one without knowing it. Female reproductive health is incredibly complex. Unfortunately, it’s rarely received the attention it deserves — you know, considering it affects the entire continuation of the human race. The result of this ignorance is unnecessary suffering, often due to misinformed political decisions that have nothing to do with medical reality. 

It’s more imperative than ever that you know the facts. Misinformation can change your entire life’s trajectory, imperil your future reproductive ability and endanger your long-term health. Become mindful and curious about “certainties.” As a former educator, I’ve witnessed countless young people who were utterly convinced of blatant lies. Cross-check your information against scientific journals and learn to evaluate sources when making reproductive decisions.

You are ultimately the master of your reproductive future, but protecting it can feel like crossing a minefield. Learn the facts of what a miscarriage looks like and get answers to eight other female reproductive health facts that you might not know — but need to — here. 

1. What Activities Can Get You Pregnant?

If you reply, “Sex, duh,” slow down there, nitro. Sex is many things to many people, and not all forms result in pregnancy. 

For example, you should know that the following activities may result in unplanned pregnancy: 

  • Having sex on your period, especially if you are an adolescent, in perimenopause or have a disorder that affects your hormones. You can’t always predict ovulation, and all it takes is one egg and one sperm. You run roughly a 2% chance of being within your fertile window. 
  • Pulling out: Any ejaculatory fluids, including those released before ejaculation (precum), can cause pregnancy. Therefore, pulling out is not a reliable way to prevent pregnancy. Nor is ejaculating anywhere the fluids may come in contact with your vagina. 
  • Using the rhythm method: Some religious groups advocate for using the rhythm method as “natural” birth control. However, 24 out of 100 women who use this method become pregnant within the first year — those aren’t good enough odds for someone with a health condition that pregnancy could worsen. 

2. What Does It Really Mean to Be 6 Weeks Pregnant?

Did you think six weeks meant “from the date of conception?” Think again. It’s six weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period, not halfway through your cycle. That’s why many oppose 6-week abortion bans — many women don’t even know they are pregnant. They may be only slightly late for their period, and those with irregular periods may have no clue. 

3. What Does a Miscarriage Look Like? Feel Like? 

What does a miscarriage look like? What does it feel like? 

When a woman miscarries on television, there’s a lot of fuss and fanfare, with her gripping her stomach in agony and blood streaming everywhere. Real life is much less dramatic. The signs of an early miscarriage mimic normal period pains, which is why many women likely have one without ever knowing it. Symptoms include:

  • Cramping
  • Spotting
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Back pain
  • Weakness

Sounds a lot like a typical period, doesn’t it? However, please note that fetal personhood laws may result in stricter punishments for women who miscarry. One such woman in Ohio recently faced felony charges despite seeking medical attention as any reasonable person would, and such incidents will likely increase as the abortion and now IVF battle rages. 

4. What Are the Most Common Female Reproductive Health Issues? 

Women often have more reproductive health issues than men. Some of the most common ones they face include: 

  • Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths inside and outside the uterus. They cause unusually heavy bleeding and cramping and may impact fertility. 
  • Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of it on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, rectum or other organs in the abdominal cavity. It causes pain, heavy bleeding, irregular periods and may impact fertility. 
  • PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, occurs when hormonal imbalances affect ovulation and can cause heavy, irregular periods, unwanted weight gain and hair growth and impact fertility. 
  • Sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, HPV, HIV and trich, can cause various symptoms, including pain, burning, discharge, menstrual irregularities and impaired fertility. 

5. Which Reproductive Health and Family Planning Options Remain Available to You

Laws concerning your reproductive health vary by state. Ever since Dobbs effectively overturned Roe v. Wade, controversy has swirled surrounding new regulations, and trying to keep up can boggle your mind. 

The rules no longer confine themselves to abortion. Alabama recently ruled that embryos conceived through IVF are people, casting doubts about the future of the procedure. Furthermore, signs indicate that some Republicans want to ban birth control despite the fact that many women use it for reasons that have nothing to do with preventing pregnancy. 

Know what’s available — and what’s at risk. For example, some women have health conditions that could make an unplanned pregnancy potentially fatal. The time to talk to your insurer and gynecologist about your options is now, not when you face a crisis. For example, most policies today cover sterilization, a permanent solution to unwanted pregnancy for those certain they will not want kids in the future. 

6. Why Birth Control and Abortion Are Crucial Health Issues 

Why do women take birth control? It isn’t always to prevent pregnancy. Some of the other health conditions treated by these medications include:

  • Endometriosis 
  • PCOS
  • Fibroids
  • Migraines
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Anemia 
  • Bone loss 

Nor is abortion always a matter of convenience. Sometimes, it’s to save a woman’s life. For example, ectopic pregnancies are always nonviable, and a ruptured fallopian tube can result in internal hemorrhage that kills quickly. However, the laws in some states make seeking emergency care fraught with worry, as even women who present with severe symptoms may be told to wait until a doctor determines they won’t run afoul of the law — with terrifying risks to her health. 

7. What Emergency Contraception Is — and Isn’t 

In a female prepper’s ideal world, every woman would keep a stash of Plan B on hand. While the current legal landscape has created the SHTF scenario many feared, some women still fail to protect themselves due to misconceptions. 

Plan B, also called emergency contraception or the morning-after pill, isn’t the same as the drugs used to induce abortion. It works by putting a temporary halt on ovulation and preventing implantation but won’t stop a pregnancy that has already started. Women should understand the difference, as Plan B is still available over the counter without a prescription. 

8. Why Even Monogamous Couples Need STD Testing

Being a woman isn’t for wimps. They can miscarry without knowing it — or pass on an unwanted STD. Such transfers often occur when neither partner knows their status, as many with such diseases don’t show any symptoms or experience them so sporadically that they mistake them for something else. For example, those with HPV often show no signs, but they run a higher risk of cervical cancer. 

Therefore, you should get tested, even if you are in a monogamous relationship. Make the trip to the clinic together and mark it as a relationship milestone. 

9. How Sexual Assault Occurs and What to Do If It Happens 

Sexual assault is one of the most traumatic things anyone can face, and what makes it worse is the shame and stigma society often foists upon victims. Many choose not to report out of fear of repercussions. Those who do rarely find a compassionate Olivia Benson to hold their hands — and even on TV’s “Law and Order, SVU” victims often face retraumatization from the legal system. 

There are many reasons that people fail to report assault, from a valid fear that their attacker will retaliate by harming them worse or killing them to worries of how the societal stigma will impact their reputation. However, finding a lifeline is crucial, even if you prefer to avoid the cops. Hospitals can test you for STDs, recommend follow-up care and connect you with emergency contraception if you can’t afford it. You do not have to submit to a rape kit or report the crime. 

Prevention is better than recovery, and knowing the facts is key to safeguarding yourself. Most sexual assaults don’t occur thanks to strangers or dark alleyways. Most assailants are someone the victim knows, which can further murky the reporting waters. The following tips are not foolproof but can help keep you safer:

  • Use the buddy system, especially when socializing at bars and parties. Stay with the group or ensure at least one other person knows where you are going and with whom. 
  • Meet new people in public places and consider bringing a friend to initial meetings. 
  • Keep your drink in your hand, and don’t drink from open containers offered at parties. It takes a fraction of a second to slip a roofie into your beverage. Likewise, keep your wits about you — many assaults occur while one or both parties are drinking or using substances. 
  • Listen to your gut. If a situation or person gives you the wrong vibe, remove yourself. You can apologize for momentary rudeness much more readily than you can undo the physical and psychological effects of sexual assault.

What Women Today Must What a Miscarriage Looks Like 

If you don’t know what a miscarriage looks like, you may have already had one without knowing it. Female reproductive health is complex. 

However, today’s legal landscape makes knowing the facts more urgent for women of reproductive age than ever. Ensure you can answer the question of what a miscarriage looks like to protect yourself and share the information with others you know. 

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