Miscarriage: Causes, Signs, and What to Expect

signs-of-a-miscarriage
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There are many things that women must worry about when they are pregnant; eating the right things, taking care of themselves and watching for signs of trouble. Of those things, signs of a miscarriage can be the scariest, but unfortunately they occur in about 15 to 20 percent of pregnancies.

Although, there is no way to prevent a miscarriage, there are certain things that you can watch for that are considered warning signs when it comes to having a miscarriage. If you are pregnant and are experiencing any of the symptoms below, be sure you get in contact with your doctor quickly.

1. Pain and Bleeding

This is a common sign of a miscarriage and one that you should immediately call your doctor about. Typically, the blood will be brown or bright red in coloration. However, according to the American Pregnancy Association 20 to 30 percent of all pregnancies see some bleeding during the early parts of their pregnancies and about half go on to have a normal, healthy pregnancy.

pain-and-bleeding-is-the-most-common-signs-of-miscarriage

Some women also experience some bleeding when the egg implants on the uterine wall, but this is not always the case. This usually occurs about two weeks after conception and is not a sign of a miscarriage. Pain is also associated with a miscarriage and many women experience mild to severe back pain during one as well. It is best to report any bleeding or pain to your doctor so that you can make sure that everything is normal with your pregnancy.

2. Fluid Leakage

Another sign of a miscarriage may be fluid leaking from your vagina. If you experience a gush of fluid, this may be your amniotic sac breaking and you should contact your doctor. This can happen with or without pain, so even if you do not experience pain with the fluid, you still need to talk to your doctor. You may also pass fetal tissue at this time as well.

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3. Passing Tissue

If you pass tissue from your vagina, this may be a sign that you are passing fetal tissue and thus experiencing a miscarriage. If you do notice that you are passing tissue, you should place it in a container and take it to your doctor for examination. They will be able to determine if it is indeed fetal tissue.

passing-tissue-during-pregnancy

Your doctor will probably also want to do a pelvic examine at this time in order to determine if your cervix has dilated. The combination of a dilated cervix and a passage of tissue usually indicate that a miscarriage has occurred.

4. Change of Symptoms

If you have been having pregnancy related symptoms and they changed drastically in a short period of time or cease to exist altogether, there is a chance that you have experienced, or may be on the verge of experiencing, a miscarriage. You should keep in mind that every pregnancy is different and you may not experience all the same symptoms as someone else.

signs-of-miscarriage

However, some of the most common signs are nausea, vomiting, fatigue and many more. You may even experience different symptoms from one pregnancy to the next.

It is important that if your symptoms change or disappear suddenly that you consult your doctor. Most symptoms have a gradual process of dissipating and drastic changes could be a sign of a miscarriage. This could be a sign that your hormones have changed due to the miscarriage.

5. Conclusion

Although there is nothing that you or your doctor can do in order to prevent a miscarriage, there are certain things that you can look out for. The most important thing to do is to take care of yourself while you are pregnant.

Doctor with laptop and pregnant woman in doctor's office

Be sure to follow the advice that your doctor gives you and that you eat the right things. You should maintain a lifestyle that will help promote excellent health and work hard to keep your pregnancy healthy.

If you do experience any major changes or symptoms that are not typically related to a pregnancy, you should talk to your doctor immediately. It is probably advisable to go to the emergency room and have them check you out immediately. When you are pregnant, there are certain things that you must do to keep your pregnancy healthy and watching for signs of a miscarriage is just one of those things.

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Valerie Wisniewski, RN

Ms. Wisniewski has over 15 years experience as a labor and delivery nurse, having also worked previously as a nurse midwife in the Philippines and India. She enjoys empowering women and providing family centered care to women from all cultural and educational backgrounds.