How to Know the Signs of a Miscarriage

Although many pregnancies end in miscarriage, it can be heartbreaking.

A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy before the 20th gestational month. An estimated 40 percent of all pregnancies end in a miscarriage, most before the mother even knows she is pregnant. The majority of miscarriages occur prior to the 13th gestational week.

Learn the symptoms of a miscarriage. Miscarriage symptoms include heavy to light bleeding, abdominal pain, pelvic cramps, dull pain in your lower back, and the vaginal passage of blood clots or grayish tissue.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms (even light spotting), see your health care provider. He may perform a cervical exam to see if your cervix is dilated, an ultrasound, or blood tests.

Unfortunately, a miscarriage cannot be stopped; however, you may need to seek treatment after the miscarriage. Most miscarriages that occur early on will not require further medical treatment since the body will likely expel all the fetal tissue on its own. If your body does not expel all the tissue, you may have to have a procedure called a dilation and curettage (D&C) to stop bleeding and prevent infection.

A miscarriage can be heartbreaking for the parents. If you miscarry, you may consider joining a support group or seeking therapy for guidance and reassurance. Your health care provider is also available to answer any questions.


Most women who experience a miscarriage can go on to have normal, healthy pregnancies.