A miscarriage refers to the end of pregnancy before 28 weeks of gestation. Miscarriage can happen at any point during the first half of pregnancy, but most commonly occurs in the first 13 weeks. Approximately 15 to 20% of pregnancies will end in miscarriage.
Signs of a Possible Miscarriage
- Vaginal bleeding.
- Abdominal pain or cramping, usually more intense than a period.
- Expelling of tissue from the vagina.
Vaginal bleeding may or may not be accompanied by abdominal cramping or pressure. Sometimes the bleeding will stop on its own and the pregnancy will continue. But bleeding that gets heavier and is accompanied by worsening pain is likely to signal a miscarriage. It is recommended that you collect any tissue that is expelled so it can be sent on to the laboratory for testing. If any tissue remains within the uterus, bleeding is likely to continue. Your doctor will recommend the most appropriate management, whether it is to wait and allow your body to complete the miscarriage, use medication to stimulate contractions, or surgery to remove the contents of your uterus. Sometimes a combination of methods may need to be used.
In most instances, miscarriage cannot be prevented as it is the body’s way of dealing with a pregnancy that may not be progressing normally. Miscarriage also does not mean you will not have a healthy pregnancy or that there is something wrong with your body. If you experience recurrent losses, your doctor may recommend additional testing.