Signs of miscarriage that you should be aware of during pregnancy
Pregnancy is an exciting period in life, but it can also be stressful1. You need to listen your body and should try to be aware of all the warning signs that can lead to trouble during pregnancy1-4. For example, the signs that may occur during miscarriage2-4.
Miscarriage, or pregnancy loss can happen during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy2. For most women, a miscarriage is an individual event and will be followed by a successful pregnancy2. Only around 0.5–1% of women may experience three or more miscarriages2.
Miscarriage can be described as2:
- Early – less than 12 weeks of pregnancy. This occurs in up to one in five pregnancies2.
- Late – between 12–24 weeks of pregnancy. This is less common and occurs in 1–2% of pregnancies2.
The causes of miscarriage are often unknown2. Nevertheless, near half of early miscarriages could be due to a chromosomal anomaly of fetus2. There are several factors that have been associated with increased risk of pregnancy loss, including age, psychological state of the mother, very low or very high pre-pregnancy weight, stress, smoking and alcohol use2.
Warning Signs of Miscarriage
Uncomplicated bleeding and cramping are the most common symptoms of miscarriage3. But you should remember that not all individuals with bleeding or cramping will experience pregnancy loss3.
- Bleeding: Bleeding during pregnancy is common3. The volume of vaginal bleeding with pregnancy loss varies depending on the stage of pregnancy and may include clots or tissue3. Generally, neither the volume of bleeding nor self-reported passage are enough to confirm a miscarriage3. You should contact your physician immediately for further evaluation, which typically includes a pelvic ultrasound3.
- Cramping and pain: The pain that is associated with pregnancy loss is often crampy and can be mild to severe3. It is typically located in your abdomen or lower back4. The pain can be constant or intermittent and is often associated with vaginal bleeding3.
- Loss or reduction of symptoms associated with being pregnant, such as decreased breast tenderness, nausea and vomiting3.
If you experience any or all of these symptoms or signs, it is important that you contact your physician or other medical facility3.
It is difficult to prevent a miscarriage4. Nevertheless you should focus on taking good care of yourself and your baby4:
- Do not miss your prenatal care appointments 4
- Avoid risk factors — such as smoking and drinking alcohol4
- Follow the advice of your physician4
- Keep any chronic conditions you may have under control4
- Limit your caffeine intake4. Based on medical research, two caffeinated beverages a day is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage4.
- During Pregnancy https://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/during.html Last access 16.06.2022
- Sevi Giakoumelou, Nick Wheelhouse, Kate Cuschieri, Gary Entrican, Sarah E.M. Howie, Andrew W. Horne. The role of infection in miscarriage, Human Reproduction Update, Volume 22, Issue 1, January/February 2016, Pages 116–133, https://doi.org/10.1093/humupd/dmv041
- Pregnancy loss (miscarriage): Clinical presentations, diagnosis, and initial evaluation https://www.uptodate.com/contents/pregnancy-loss-miscarriage-clinical-presentations-diagnosis-and-initial-evaluation Last access 16.06.2022
- Miscarriage https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pregnancy-loss-miscarriage/symptoms-causes/syc-20354298 Last access 16.06.2022