Miscarriage can happen early in a pregnancy and it’s important for women to know signs and symptoms. Pregnancy is a beautiful and transformative experience and comes with some health risks for Mom and baby. Miscarriage is losing a pregnancy before the 20th week, which occurs in about 10-20% of pregnancies. Early detection of miscarriage and timely medical attention can help manage this emergency medical event and provide parents with emotional support.
Signs & Symptoms
Recognizing signs and symptoms is crucial for understanding what our bodies might tell us. These cues can provide valuable insights into our health and well-being, whether it’s a subtle change or a noticeable shift. Here are various signs and symptoms that can indicate different conditions, helping you become more attuned to your body’s messages.
- Vaginal Bleeding: The most common sign of a miscarriage is vaginal bleeding. While some spots can be expected during early pregnancy, significant bleeding, similar to a period or even heavier, may indicate a miscarriage. The color of the blood can range from bright red to brownish, depending on the stage of pregnancy and other factors.
- Tissue or Clots Passed from Vagina: During a miscarriage, women may pass tissue or clots from the vagina. These tissues could be fetal tissue or the placenta. If you notice this, collecting the material and bringing it to your healthcare provider for examination and proper diagnosis is essential.
- Cramping and Abdominal Pain: Experiencing cramps and abdominal pain can also indicate a possible miscarriage. These pains may feel similar to menstrual cramps, ranging from mild to severe. The pain might be accompanied by back aches as well.
- Decreased Pregnancy Symptoms: In some cases, a woman might notice a sudden decrease in the typical pregnancy symptoms she has been experiencing, such as breast tenderness, morning sickness, or fatigue. However, it’s important to note that the absence of these symptoms does not necessarily confirm a miscarriage, as pregnancy symptoms can vary widely from person to person.
- White-Pink Mucus Discharge: Passing a white-pink mucus discharge from the vagina may be an early sign of miscarriage. It might indicate that the cervix is starting to dilate or that the body is preparing for the miscarriage.
Causes of Miscarriage
Around half of early pregnancy miscarriages (up to 13 weeks) happen because of chromosomal issues. Chromosomes are tiny guides in our cells that determine our physical development, how we look and who we are. When an egg and sperm meet, they combine two sets of chromosomes. Suppose there’s a mistake in the number or make-up of these chromosomes. In that case, the growing baby might not develop properly, leading to a miscarriage. As the fertilized egg grows, if there are problems with how its cells multiply, it can also cause a miscarriage. These factors play a significant role in why miscarriages occur. (Cleveland Clinic)
When to Go to the ER
Miscarriage can be a heartbreaking experience for anyone who has been through it. It is essential to remember that it is not the fault of the expectant mother, as most miscarriages occur due to genetic abnormalities during embryo development. However, recognizing the signs and symptoms of a miscarriage can help get timely medical attention and support.
When to Go to the ER
Contact your healthcare provider or emergency room immediately if you experience any of the mentioned signs or symptoms. They can conduct tests, ultrasounds, and examinations to determine your pregnancy status. Remember that you are not alone, and seeking emotional support from your partner, family, friends, or support groups can be invaluable during this difficult time. (Healthline)
Taking care of yourself physically and emotionally is crucial after a miscarriage. Give yourself time to heal and grieve, and don’t hesitate to seek professional counseling if needed. Miscarriages are undoubtedly challenging, but with support and care, many women go on to have successful pregnancies.
Mayo Clinic. “Miscarriage.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 16 Oct. 2021, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pregnancy-loss-miscarriage/symptoms-causes/syc-20354298.
professional, Cleveland Clinic medical. “Miscarriage: Causes, Symptoms, Risks, Treatment & Prevention.” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9688-miscarriage.
Healthline. “Everything You Need to Know about Miscarriage.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 2 May 2019, www.healthline.com/health/miscarriage#treatment.