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Signs of a First Trimester Miscarriage

| By Doug Hewitt
Signs of a First Trimester Miscarriage
Signs of a First Trimester Miscarriage Photo Credit Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

A miscarriage is the loss of a fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy. If the pregnancy ends after the 20th week, it is called a preterm delivery. A miscarriage can also be referred to as a spontaneous abortion, but it happens from natural causes and not from a medical or surgical procedure. When a miscarriage occurs, it is usually before the 12th week of pregnancy, which puts in in the first trimester. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, about 15 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. But women who have had miscarriages can go on to have subsequent successful pregnancies. Only 1 percent of women who have miscarried have a second miscarriage. There are often signs of a first trimester miscarriage.

Bleeding

Vaginal bleeding is a sign of a first trimester miscarriage. This bleeding can be spotting or it can be more voluminous and red or brown in color. It is important to note that it is fairly common for there to be light vaginal bleeding or spotting early in a pregnancy, and it does not mean that a miscarriage will definitely occur. However, in the event of spotting or bleeding, seek medical attention.

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Discharge

A vaginal discharge of fluid that is pink or clear is a sign of a first trimester miscarriage. This fluid may contain clots or other tissue. This discharge could be pregnancy tissue and fluids from the uterus.

End of Pregnancy Symptoms

Many pregnant women experience symptoms of pregnancy in the first trimester. These symptoms include tenderness and swelling of the breasts and morning sickness. These symptoms typically subside by the start of the second trimester, but if they end earlier or abruptly, it could be a sign of a miscarriage.

Abdominal Pain

A first trimester miscarriage can be accompanied by abdominal pain and cramping. The pain can be severe and persistent and occurs in the lower back or pelvis.

Lightheadedness

There also can be a feeling of lightheadedness accompanying a miscarriage in the first trimester. This can include a feeling of dizziness or feeling faint.

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author image Doug Hewitt
Doug Hewitt has been writing for over 20 years and has a Master of Arts from University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He authored the book "The Practical Guide to Weekend Parenting," which includes health and fitness hints for parents. He and his wife, Robin, are coauthors of the "Free College Resource Book."
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