Pregnancy: Miscarriage

Miscarriages are classified as threatened, inevitable or missed. Although the cause of miscarriage is not always known, chromosomal or genetic abnormalities in the embryo, hormonal deficiencies (such as low progesterone), an immune reaction or an infection are thought to be responsible in the majority of early miscarriages. An incompetent cervix, hormonal insufficiency and infection are often cited as factors in late miscarriages.

Acupuncture is used to counter a threatened miscarriage, by addressing any underlying disharmonies. Experience has shown relief of lower abdominal and lumbar pain, as well as reducing stress and anxiety. If you have a history of miscarriages, then pre-conception acupuncture will be beneficial. Acupuncture can be very effective but certainly offers no guarantees that a pregnancy will continue. Given that it has been estimated that chromosomal abnormalities account for up to 70% of miscarriages, the question of whether acupuncture can interfere in a natural process to terminate a pregnancy is asked. My opinion is that acupuncture is not a powerful enough intervention to cause the body to hold on to a pregnancy that is not viable. It does, however, offer much in terms of ensuring the woman’s mind and body is in the best possible state to avoid a threatened miscarriage where chromosomal abnormality is not the cause.

If the foetus is not viable, then acupuncture here is aimed at enhancing the body’s ability to expel the dead foetus naturally and aid the mother physically and emotionally through the experience. Each case will be different but sometimes acupuncture may be necessary daily over a period of several days to enable the woman to expel the foetus. Acupuncture offers women a proactive option, rather than just waiting to see if the miscarriage occurs efficiently or whether medical intervention will be necessary. Women report that they appreciate the calming effects of acupuncture during such a stressful time.