Gesundheit

Recently my wife had a miscarriage. We both learnt a lot from the rather traumatic experience. There were many occasions though that information was lacking. We gained a lot of general knowledge on the topic through talking with friends and family. Mostly for the purposes of studying The Internet and Everyday Life, I am now using the Internet to find out more about early pregnancy miscarriage, and perhaps our particular case. I am interested to compare the information I can find on websites with what we received from doctors in the Emergency Department at Box Hill Hospital.

As usual, things often start with a plain (non-phrasal) Google search. http://www.google.com.au/search?q=early+pregnancy+miscarriage Inspecting the top 10 results, it is not surprising to see that most are from *.com.au and *.com domains. None of the sites have a high popularity rank, except the Wikipedia and miscarriage.about.com entries, which rank #7 and #71 respectively. Next I refined my search to include the terms gestational and sac, i.e. http://www.google.com.au/search?q=early+pregnancy+miscarriage+gestational+sac which yielded some concrete results. Carefully reading the description meta data in the search results, lead me to learn about blighted ova as the possible type of miscarriage.

Average Gestational Age and Milestone Visible on UltraSound


In the course of this research project, my knowledge of the topic has broadened, but mostly consolidated and confirmed what the doctors explained to us. However, given the lack of information given to us on basic pregnancy procedures from the general practitioners, who initially confirmed the pregnancy and gave a subsequent consultation, I would highly recommend first time pregnancy partners do their own homework on this, particularly through the first trimester and even before attempting to become pregnant. Things such as knowing exact dates can aid in diagnosis.


On the topic of early pregnancy miscarriage, I would recommend choosing sites which:

  • give factual information and not opinions,
  • detail relevant dates that the information was last updated / published,
  • contain information that is independently reviewed by a recognisable authority,
  • and contain articles sourced from credible sources.

There are several Q&A advice sites, but none I looked into contained the specific information I was after. Mamapedia™ appears a good community, sharing the wisdom of moms. This site does have a section on miscarriage, which provides useful links from around the web, such as Talking to Children About Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss at *.about.com, but the taxonomy is too limited for my search purposes.

Two most useful sites I explored are http://miscarriage.about.com/ (particularly the series of 7 pages titled Understanding Early Pregnancy / First Trimester Ultrasound Results), and http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/miscarriage.html. The former is great for giving accurate information on what to expect under normal circumstances and where the science and technology is at in determining diagnoses. Terminology is explained well and essential diagrams aid comprehension. The latter website, although recommending advice through intermediaries, also gives a good general overview with symptoms, causes and treatment options for miscarriage, as well as (in an apomediary role) refer helpful web sites that address miscarriage.

References

Blighted Ovum. (2006, December). American Pregnancy Association. Retrieved October 24, 2010, from http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/blightedovum.html

Danielsson, K. (2008, June 7). Early Ultrasound Results and Miscarriage – No Fetal Heartbeat or Empty Gestational Sac. About.com. Retrieved October 24, 2010, from http://miscarriage.about.com/od/diagnosingpregnancyloss/ss/ultrasound.htm

Danielsson, K. (2009, March 24). Miscarriage and Children – Talking to Your Children About a Pregnancy Loss. About.com. Retrieved October 24, 2010, from http://miscarriage.about.com/od/copingwithmiscarriages/qt/talktochildren.htm

Miscarriage. (2007, July). American Pregnancy Association. Retrieved October 24, 2010, from http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/miscarriage.html