Early Miscarriage Signs & Symptoms

Miscarriages occur in about 15 to 20 percent of pregnancies with most miscarriages occurring in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, reports the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG). In many cases the cause of miscarriage remains undetermined. Most are believed to be caused by chromosomal abnormalities. Miscarriage can result in feelings of grief and loss for expectant parents.

Bleeding and Pain

Brown or bright red bleeding with or without cramps are possible symptoms of miscarriage, reports the American Pregnancy Association. (Twenty to 30 percent of all pregnancies can experience some bleeding in early pregnancy, with about 50 percent of those resulting in normal pregnancies.) You may also experience mild to severe back pain during miscarriage.

There are other causes of bleeding in the first trimester, however: Bleeding can also occur at the time the embryo implants into the uterine wall, called implantation bleeding. Not all women experience implantation this It usually occurs about one to two weeks after conception and is not a sign of miscarriage. Only your physician can determine the cause of uterine bleeding in early pregnancy. Report any bleeding in the first trimester to your obstetrician.

Fluid Leakage

A gush of fluid from your vagina without pain or bleeding may be a sign of miscarriage. The fluid leakage may be caused by breakage of the amniotic sac, the sac that contains the fetus. Fluid leakage may be accompanied by the passage of fetal tissue.

Passage of Tissue

According to the American Pregnancy Association, tissue with clot-like material passing from the vagina may be a sign of miscarriage. If you expel tissue from your vagina, place it in a clean container and contact your obstetrician, who will examine the tissue to determine if it is fetal tissue. She will do a pelvic examination to determine if the cervix (opening to the uterus) has dilated. The presence of fetal tissue with a dilated cervix is an indicator of probable miscarriage.

Change or Loss in Symptoms

A change or loss of pregnancy symptoms may be an early sign of miscarriage. Pregnancy symptoms are caused by the rapid increase of estrogen and progesterone that occur in the first trimester. Common early symptoms of pregnancy include breast tenderness and swelling, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and urinary frequency. It is normal to experience fluctuations in symptoms. Not all women experience the same symptoms, and they may differ from those of a past pregnancy. In an early miscarriage pregnancy symptoms may decrease as hormone levels decline. If you are pregnant and notice a sudden change or loss in symptoms, contact your obstetrician.

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