Miscarriage Symptoms in Different Stages

Many women are no strangers to miscarriages. Most often, a woman may have probably experienced a miscarriage once, whether or not being aware of it. Miscarriages are usually the results of a genetic issue or a problem with the fetus when it is developing inside you. Despite the maturity of the pregnancy and even if there is no physical pain associated with it, a miscarriage can be a devastating experience for the woman resulting in feelings of pain, loss, grief, longing and disappointment.

Miscarriage Overview

The loss of the fetus before the 20th week of the pregnancy is referred to as a miscarriage. In medical terminology, a miscarriage is called a “spontaneous abortion.”If a miscarriage takes place after the 20th week of pregnancy, it is called a late miscarriage. About 50% of pregnancies result in a miscarriage according to data produced by the March of Dimes. 80% occur before the third trimester of pregnancy. Many women don’t even miss a period or recognize that a miscarriage has taken place.  

Miscarriage Symptoms During Different Stages

1. Early Miscarriage Symptoms

  • Vaginal bleeding: Bleeding is common during implantation when the newly fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the wall of the uterus. You may notice some spotting, either with or without cramping. When this occurs with an open cervix, there is a great possibility that you’re having a miscarriage. Some forms of bleeding to look out for include a sudden heavy flow of bright red blood, containing clots, and with or without cramps.
  • Sudden fluid or mucus discharge: A sudden gush or gradual passing of pinkish white fluid or really firm tissue can indicate a miscarriage as this may be the placenta or amniotic liquid. Experts suggest taking a sample to your doctor in order to run tests to find out whether you miscarried.
  • Severe cramping: Some cramping is not unusual during early pregnancy. These are usually mild and are commonly felt when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of the uterus, which is also known as implantation. You should be concerned, however, if cramping is more severe and persistent in any of the following ways: locating mainly in your back, lasting for longer than a few minutes, feeling worse than menstrual cramps, and being accompanied by some amount of bleeding.
  • Loss of pregnancy symptoms: The disappearance of some of the more profound symptoms of pregnancy may be one sign of a miscarriage but is not usually spotted early on. The fact that you are feeling less sore with no nausea will not always be a sign that you are losing the baby. It is common for these symptoms to ebb and flow as your hormones fluctuate.
  • A positive, then negative pregnancy test: If you take a pregnancy test that is positive, then another later in the day that turns out to be negative, this may be telling of an ectopic pregnancy which needs to be taken care of immediately. You should retest and then consult your doctor if you keep getting inconsistent results.
  • Severe abdominal pain: Severe abdominal pain, especially when it is centered on one side of the abdomen is often also a sign of an ectopic pregnancy. This is a potentially risky and life threatening condition in which the embryo implants outside of the uterus. However, mild pain or cramping is common with many normal pregnancies and is not usually a cause for concern.

2. Late Miscarriage Symptoms

  • Severe cramping and bleeding: Severe cramping and bleeding is the most common and obvious sign of a miscarriage.
  • No movement in your uterus: Later miscarriages that take place in the second trimester can be signified by no sensations of movements from the fetus. You should be able to feel the baby moving around and even kicking by this time in your pregnancy. If you sense no movement from your baby, you should call or visit your doctor immediately who is likely to make arrangements for a check of your fetal heart rate.

In this video, Jennifer Stewart, a midwife at Living Well, discusses some of the more common symptoms and signs of a miscarriage. Check it out:

What to Do When You Experience Miscarriage Symptoms

1.      During Doctor's Regular Working Hours

If you experience questionable symptoms during your doctor’s business hours, then you should definitely call or drop in for a check-up. If your doctor is unavailable, then go and see an alternate professional at the nearest health center or hospital who is qualified to advise you.

2.      At Night or Weekend

If it is a night or weekend, you should first call your doctor’s on-call number which may be directed to an answering service or an associate. Follow the instructions of the nurse or doctor who you speak with. You may very likely be asked to go to the nearest clinic or hospital for an examination.

While you may prefer to wait for the familiarity of your OBGYN, but if you want to determine what exactly is going on, it is best to go right away to see another doctor. If you are in your first trimester, then a miscarriage will basically run its course. There is not much that can or will be done to stop it. However, if you are further along in your pregnancy, you may be in early labor and definitely need the care and attention of professionals.

3.      Passing Tissue at Home

If you are having a miscarriage at home and are passing tissue, you may collect a sample and store it in a Ziploc bag in your freezer before bringing it for testing. However, if it is your first miscarriage, then it is likely that it will not be tested as the assumption is that it was the result of a genetic defect with the fetus.

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