A miscarriage can be an emotionally crushing experience for a woman to deal with no matter how early it takes place. According to the ACOG about 15% of pregnancies will end in miscarriage. There are some factors such as age or previous medical conditions that may increase a woman’s chance of miscarriage. Most miscarriages, however, are a result of a random genetic defect which would most likely not be something that could be prevented. Even if a woman has miscarried before she still has a good chance of going on to have a successful pregnancy. If a woman has had repeated miscarriages she will want to discuss this with her doctor and she would likely need to have tests run to determine what is causing her to have recurrent miscarriages. A miscarriage often starts with bleeding or spotting and may continue to get worse until the miscarriage occurs. Here are some of the symptoms that you might have if you have a miscarriage. Keep in mind that not all women will notice symptoms before they miscarry but if you experience any of these symptoms you should consult your doctor.
Bleeding or spotting- Any type of bleeding or spotting should be reported to your doctor or health care provider. About 20-25% of women will have bleeding during their pregnancy. Half of these women will go on to have healthy pregnancies. Bleeding does not always mean that there is something wrong with the pregnancy, but it is something that should be discussed with a doctor. A miscarriage is often preceded by spotting or bleeding. The bleeding can be bright red, pink or brown. Although brown spotting is usually less concerning than pink or red bleeding, a miscarriage can start with brown spotting that turns to pink or red over time. There are other reasons for bleeding or spotting during pregnancy. The spotting could be from implantation, ectopic pregnancy, spotting after sex, or placental problems.
Cramping- It is common for a woman to have some aches and cramps throughout her pregnancy. As the uterus stretches it can cause some mild cramping and pulling sensations. However, if you are having intense cramping or cramping accompanied with spotting or bleeding this could be a miscarriage symptom. You should consult your doctor if you have severe cramping or cramping with spotting.
Abdominal or lower back pain- A woman about to miscarry may experience abdominal pain or lower back pain. It may feel like cramps or a dull ache. If you are having severe pain this could be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy. Some of the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are similar to miscarriage symptoms. An ectopic pregnancy requires immediate medical attention. If you experience severe pain, particularly if it is located on one side of your abdomen, you should consult your doctor right away.
Pelvic Pressure- You may feel pressure in your pelvic area. This is not necessarily a symptom of miscarriage. It is common to feel some pelvic pressure in early pregnancy, but if you experience pelvic pressure along with bleeding or cramping this could be a miscarriage symptom.
Passing clots or tissue - If you have heavy bleeding with clots or tissue there is a strong chance that you are having a miscarriage. Passing clots or greyish or pinkish tissue may be a result of passing fetal tissue. If you pass tissue your doctor may advise you to collect the tissue for testing. Contact your doctor if this occurs.
Loss of pregnancy symptoms or not feeling pregnant- Not everyone will have pregnancy symptoms during early pregnancy. However, if you had symptoms like breast tenderness or nausea and these symptoms disappear, you may want to consult your doctor. Generally if you are just having a loss of pregnancy symptoms, it is not something to worry about, but if your symptoms diminish and you have spotting, bleeding, or any miscarriage symptoms you should consult your doctor.
Positive pregnancy test followed by a negative test- If you have had a positive test and then take another test that comes back negative, you should consult your doctor. Do not just assume that a miscarriage has taken place or that you had a false positive pregnancy test. A positive test followed by a negative could indicate that you are having an ectopic pregnancy. You should see your doctor. He may want to do an ultrasound or run bloodwork to be sure that all of the pregnancy tissue was passed.