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What are the Most Common Miscarriage Signs?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2016
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The most common miscarriage signs include reduction in symptoms of being pregnant, bleeding of different types, cramping in the back, or evidence of contractions occurring at regular intervals, which is usually more common in the second trimester. Other miscarriage signs are noted by doctors and include no evidence of a fetus, fetal death in utero, and strong decline in pregnancy hormone blood levels. It’s important to note that the first group of symptoms, which may present alone or together doesn’t always indicate miscarriage will occur, and some miscarriages are stopped or don’t proceed with medical intervention.

Any woman receiving prenatal care or reading pregnancy books probably gets familiar with common miscarriage signs early in pregnancy. This is because most medical practitioners and reputable books ask women to check in with their doctors immediately if they begin to note signs of a miscarriage.

The idea of reduced symptoms of being pregnant is a little challenging. What this tends to mean is less evidence of a pregnancy progressing, such as reduced belly size or disappearance of brownish coloration of the vulva and nipples. Hormone levels might drop, and a pregnancy test could even indicate a negative response. This doesn’t mean that all symptoms of pregnancy are connected to miscarriage, if they go away. For example nausea is expected in the first trimester, but tends to cease in the second, and this isn’t usually symptom of a miscarriage.

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It’s not that uncommon for women to have a tiny amount of bleeding in the first and second trimester, and while this should be mentioned to doctors, miscarriage signs involving bleeding usually mean heavier bleeding. This could be as heavy as a period, or be several subsequent days of light bleeding. Women may pass blood clots or have sudden bright red or brown bleeding. While miscarriage might not occur, any bleeding symptoms of this type mean women should get care right away.

Bleeding is sometimes associated with cramping or back pain, or these types of miscarriage signs may present alone. Pains should be reported immediately. Women should also contact doctors if they have contractions, which are moderate to severe pains that may be felt in the back and/or abdomen and pelvis, and usually occur regularly (every few minutes).

The other miscarriage signs may not be noted. A fetus may die in the womb and the body fails to miscarry. This is called a missed miscarriage and is usually diagnosed when doctors can’t find a heartbeat through Doppler or ultrasound. Alternately, some women miscarry very early in pregnancy and may mistake small miscarriage signs for a heavy period. In the second instance, little usually needs to be done medically, but when a miscarriage is missed, if it doesn’t progress, doctors may need to perform a dilation and curettage (D & C) to prevent uterine infection from retained fetal tissue.

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