Pregnancy is a remarkable journey, but it’s important to be informed about the potential challenges that might arise. Miscarriage is a distressing event that affects many women. Recognizing the early signs and symptoms of a miscarriage is crucial for seeking timely medical care and support.
In this article on PregnancyBoss, we’ll delve into the topic of “What are the Miscarriage Symptoms?” to help you understand and identify these indications.
What is Miscarriage?
Miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy in the first 20 weeks. About 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, and more than 80 percent of these losses happen before 12 weeks.
It is not always easy to understand that a miscarriage is taking place. It can last several days, and one woman’s symptoms can be very different from another’s.
What are the different types of Miscarriage?
There are several types of miscarriage, and the symptoms and treatments will depend on the type of miscarriage. Here are the different types of miscarriage:
- Threatened miscarriage: This type of miscarriage occurs when the body shows signs that a miscarriage might happen, such as light vaginal bleeding or lower abdominal pain. However, the cervix is still closed, and the pregnancy may continue.
- Inevitable miscarriage: In this type of miscarriage, the cervix has begun to dilate, and the pregnancy cannot continue. Symptoms may include vaginal bleeding, cramping, and the passing of fluid or tissue.
- Incomplete miscarriage: Incomplete miscarriage occurs when only some of the pregnancy tissue has been passed from the body. Symptoms may include vaginal bleeding, cramping, and the passing of fluid or tissue.
- Complete miscarriage: This type of miscarriage occurs when all of the pregnancy tissue has been passed from the body. Symptoms may include vaginal bleeding, cramping, and the passing of fluid or tissue.
- Missed miscarriage: In a missed miscarriage, the pregnancy has ended, but the body has not yet recognized it. There may be no symptoms, or the symptoms may be mild, such as a loss of pregnancy symptoms.
- Chemical pregnancy: A chemical pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants in the uterus but does not develop properly. This type of miscarriage often occurs before a missed period and may not be noticed.
- Blighted ovum: A blighted ovum occurs when a fertilized egg implants in the uterus but does not develop into an embryo. This type of miscarriage often occurs before a missed period and may not be noticed.
- Ectopic pregnancy: An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. This type of pregnancy is not viable and requires medical intervention.
- Molar pregnancy: A molar pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg develops into a tumor instead of a fetus. This type of pregnancy is not viable and requires medical intervention.
What are Miscarriage Symptoms?
Common Miscarriage Symptoms
Often, the first sign of a miscarriage is vaginal bleeding. It may be light or heavy, constant or irregular. Vaginal bleeding may also occur during the first trimester with a normal pregnancy. In most cases, women who experience light bleeding in the first trimester go on to have successful pregnancies. Sometimes even heavier bleeding doesn’t result in miscarriage. However, painful bleeding is a sign that miscarriage is more likely.
Pain may start a few hours to several days after bleeding has begun. It may be pelvic cramps, belly pain, or a persistent, dull ache in your lower back.
It’s very important to be aware that vaginal bleeding, spotting, or pain in early pregnancy can also signal an ectopic or a molar pregnancy. If you have any of these symptoms, call your caregiver or midwife right away, so they can determine whether you have a problem that needs to be dealt with immediately.
Tissue or Fluid Passing
Blood clots or grayish tissue (fetal tissue) or fluid passing from the vagina. If you can, save this tissue in a clean container. Your caregiver may want to examine it or send it to a laboratory for testing to try to find out the reasons for the miscarriage. In any case, your caregiver will want to see you again at this point, so call her/him to let her/him know what’s happened.
Less Common Miscarriage Symptoms
Back Pain and Discomfort
Some women might experience lower back pain or pressure as a symptom of miscarriage. It’s important to differentiate between normal pregnancy-related backache and potential miscarriage-related pain.
Sudden Decrease in Pregnancy Symptoms
If you notice a sudden and significant decrease in typical pregnancy symptoms such as breast tenderness, nausea, or fatigue, it could signal a miscarriage. However, it’s important to note that the absence of symptoms does not always indicate a miscarriage.
What are the reasons for Miscarriage?
Since most health care practitioners won’t do a full-scale workup of a healthy woman after a single miscarriage, it’s usually impossible to know the reasons for the miscarriage. And even when a detailed evaluation is performed (in case you’ve had two or three consecutive miscarriages, for instance), the reason may still remain unknown half the time. However, there are several possible causes of miscarriage. These include:
The mother’s age (35 and older) and/or the father’s age (35.2 and older)
A history of miscarriages (three or more).
Polycystic ovary syndrome.
A blood-clotting disorder (such as antiphospholipid antibody syndrome).
Uterine or cervical problems: A problematic structure of the uterus (such as a T-shaped uterus), severe uterine adhesions (bands of scar tissue), or cervical insufficiency (a weak or abnormally short cervix).
Alcohol use, smoking, cocaine use or heavy consumption of caffeine during pregnancy.
Exposure to certain chemicals (such as lead, arsenic and certain other chemicals) or medicines.
A history of birth defects or genetic problems: If you, your partner, your child or family members have a genetic abnormality or have had one identified in a previous pregnancy.
Certain viral or bacterial infections during pregnancy: Research has shown a somewhat higher risk for miscarriage if you have HIV, gonorrhea, listeria, mumps, measles, rubella, cytomegalovirus, parvovirus and certain other infections.
Diagnostic procedures: There’s a small increased risk of miscarriage after amniocentesis chorionic villus sampling (both of which are performed for diagnostic genetic testing).
Your risk of miscarriage rises with each child you bear.
Your risk of miscarriage is also higher if you get pregnant within three months after giving birth.
When to see a doctor?
What should I do if I suspect I’m having a miscarriage?
Call your caregiver or midwife immediately if you ever notice unusual symptoms such as bleeding or cramping during your pregnancy. Your caregiver will examine you to see if the bleeding is coming from your cervix and check your uterus. She/he may also want to do a blood test to check for the pregnancy hormone hCG and repeat it in two to three days to see if your levels are rising as they should be with a normal pregnancy.
In case you’re having bleeding or cramping, and your caregiver has even the slightest suspicion that you have an ectopic pregnancy, you’ll have an ultrasound right away. If there’s no sign of a problem, but you continue to spot, you will have another ultrasound at about 7 weeks.
Is there a risk of recurrent Miscarriage?
It’s normal to be worried about the possibility of another miscarriage. However, fertility experts don’t consider a single miscarriage in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to be a sign that there’s anything wrong with the mother or the father.
In certain situations, such as if you had a miscarriage during the second-trimester or premature birth during the early-third-trimester from a weakened cervix, you might be referred to a high-risk specialist even after a single loss, so your pregnancy can be carefully managed.
What about getting Pregnant after Miscarriage?
You may have to wait a bit. In most cases, physical recovery from miscarriage will take only a few hours to a couple of days. Your periods will likely return within four to six weeks, and it’s possible to become pregnant during the menstrual cycle immediately after a miscarriage. However, though you may be physically ready to get pregnant, there’s no need to rush. Give yourself and your partner some tome to grieve over the loss. If you want to wait a bit, you’ll need to use contraceptives to prevent pregnancy during this time Once you feel emotionally ready to conceive again, ask your caregiver for guidance.
Related: When Can a Woman Get Pregnant?
Understanding “What are the Miscarriage Symptoms?” is crucial for any woman in early pregnancy. While these symptoms can be distressing, it’s important to remember that not every instance of bleeding or discomfort leads to a miscarriage. If you experience any concerning symptoms, seeking prompt medical advice can help ensure the best possible outcome for both you and your baby. Remember, your healthcare provider is your best source of guidance and support during this sensitive time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What should I do if I experience vaginal bleeding during pregnancy?
Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy should always be taken seriously. Contact your healthcare provider immediately to discuss your symptoms and determine the appropriate course of action.
Can abdominal pain in early pregnancy be normal?
Mild abdominal discomfort can be normal in early pregnancy due to hormonal changes and the uterus expanding. However, severe or persistent pain should be evaluated by a medical professional.
Are backaches common during miscarriage?
While backaches can be a symptom, they are not always indicative of a miscarriage. If you experience persistent or severe back pain, it’s recommended to consult your doctor.