As many as 10 to 25 percent of clinically recognized pregnancies result in miscarriage, according to the American Pregnancy Association. A miscarriage is the most common reason for a pregnancy loss. Not every woman who suffers through this devastating event has difficultly with weight loss, but there are some reasons why you may have a hard time losing weight after a miscarriage, even if you are exercising.
Depression is a normal response to a miscarriage and is part of the grieving process. How depression manifests may be different for you than other people, but weight gain is a possible side effect. Depression can cause weight gain by contributing to overeating. Even if you work out hard, you may still not lose weight if you are eating for comfort. You may not even be aware of emotional eating. Lethargy is also common with depression. Your workouts may feel hard even though you're not exercising at a high intensity, because you lack your usual energy.
You may not lose weight even with exercise because of a thyroid deficiency. Hypothyroidism is a condition characterized by an underactive thyroid gland, which is a small gland in your neck responsible for making hormones that control metabolism and other functions. It is the most common thyroid disorder that occurs during or around pregnancy. Hypothyroidism can cause weight gain and fatigue. Pregnant women can easily mistake hypothyroidism symptoms for normal pregnancy symptoms. Therefore you may not even know that you have this problem. Your doctor can determine if you have hypothyroidism with a blood test and then prescribe medication.
Eating as if you are still pregnant — even if you exercise — can make it hard to lose weight. You must return to your pre-pregnancy diet following a miscarriage. It may take your body some time to realize you're no longer pregnant and to crave less food. This realization takes approximately 10 days. The pregnancy hormone hCG must first leave your system, which happens after a miscarriage or a dilation and curettage procedure that removes any remaining tissue from your uterus. You may also experience pregnancy symptoms such as bloating and tender breasts until the hCG is completely gone.
A possible reason you are not losing weight is that you could be pregnant again. After a miscarriage, you must begin ovulating again before you become pregnant. You may think that you must have your period again before this is possible. However, you can resume ovulation and get pregnant even before your first period. A home pregnancy test may not be accurate, because it uses the presence of hCG to determine pregnancy. You could have hCG in your system from your recent pregnancy and not a new one. Consult your doctor to determine if you could be pregnant again.REFERENCES & RESOURCES What to Expect Before You're Expecting; Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel Surviving Miscarriage: You Are Not Alone; Stacey J. McLaughlin, Ph.D. Endocrine Web: Thyroid Problems and Pregnancy American Pregnancy Association: D&C Procedure After a Miscarriage