Many pregnancies end in miscarriage before a women even knows she's pregnant. A full-term pregnancy is measured as 40 weeks, starting with the first day of the last menstrual period. At five weeks of pregnancy, a woman is one week past her first missed period. Many women think they're having a late period rather than a miscarriage if bleeding occurs at this time. There are signs, however, that indicate a pregnancy loss rather than a late period, even at this early date. See you doctor right away if you experience heavy bleeding, fever, chills or severe pain with your miscarriage.
Bleeding caused by a miscarriage at five weeks is likely to be heavier than a normal period. Pregnancy tissue will be passed along with the normal shedding of the uterine lining. At five weeks, no recognizable fetus is passed -- the embryo is still microscopic and undeveloped. Clots may also be passed. This bleeding may resolve within one week. Some women also have cramping with their periods, but the cramping of an early miscarriage is typically more intense. This pain in the lower abdomen may come and go, and may be accompanied by a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen.
Cessation of Pregnancy Symptoms
During a miscarriage, you may notice the sudden cessation of pregnancy symptoms, such as sore breasts, fatigue or frequent urination. Levels of hormones responsible for these side effects, such as estrogen and progesterone, drop abruptly during a miscarriage. On ultrasound, no gestional sac -- the earliest sign of pregnancy -- will be present.
During pregnancy, there is a rise in the human chorionic gonadoptropin (hCG) level. In a normal pregnancy, hCG levels double every two to three days; a deviation from the norm usually indicates an abnormal pregnancy. A home pregnancy test might still register positive for a few days or a week following a miscarriage while these hormone levels decrease.