When a pregnancy ends spontaneously or naturally before 24 weeks it is known as miscarriage (or early pregnancy loss or spontaneous abortion).
A woman with miscarriage or spontaneous abortion will probably have vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, and cramping. Read to know more on signs and symptoms of miscarriage.
Bleeding is often the first sign of a miscarriage; it may be like slight spotting or quite severe, constant or irregular. The bleeding may come and go over several days. Some women can have slight bleeding in the first-trimester with a normal pregnancy. To confirm if you are having a miscarriage your health care provider may ask you questions such as how much you have bled, the number of pads that are soaked in a day, if there are only blood clots or whether you saw any tissue.
When bleeding occurs with pain and cramps it is a sign that it is most likely miscarriage. Pain and cramping is localised in the lower abdomen and may occur on only one side, both sides, or in the middle. The pain may radiate (go into) to your lower back, buttocks, and genitals.
When blood clots are being passed, this is usually an indication that foetal matter is being passed from the body, especially if greyish tissue is present in the clots.
Falling hCG Levels
When doctor suspects a miscarriage, he/will order blood work to check the hCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, levels. These levels are present in a healthy pregnancy approximately seven to eight days after conception. If the levels of hCG in the blood fall off dramatically over a period of days, it could be a case of miscarriage.
Loss of signs of pregnancy
You may have loss of signs of pregnancy such as nausea or breast swelling/tenderness after miscarriage.
- Mild to severe back pain (more than you have during a regular period).
- Weight loss.
- White-pink mucus discharge from the vagina.
- True contractions (that is painful uterine contractions that come every 5-20 minutes).
- Brown or bright red bleeding which may or may not be associated with cramps (about 20-30% of pregnant women have some bleeding in early pregnancy, however about 50% of them continue as normal pregnancy).
- Passing blood clots or grayish (fetal) tissue like material from the vagina.
- Sudden decrease or cessation of signs of pregnancy.
If you have any or all of these symptoms, consult your doctor right away to confirm if you could be having a miscarriage. Diagnosing miscarriage can be challenging as every woman's symptoms of a miscarriage vary. Most miscarriages do not occur as a single event but as a sequence of events over a period of several days.
Read more articles on Miscarriage.
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