ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Early Miscarriage

Updated on May 28, 2018
jlpark profile image

Jacqui is an RCompN in NZ, with 16+ years of experience. She writes on a number of health topics that she has experience in.

You Are Not Alone

Miscarriage is a lonely experience, yet it is an experience shared by many many women. As many as one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. Yet, it is very rarely spoken of aloud. Many women who have experienced a miscarriage often find out that a colleague or two have also had the same experience, through discussion after the fact. Unfortunately, it is during the miscarriage and the immediate aftermath, that the support would be more beneficial.

What is a miscarriage? Why do they happen? What happens during the miscarriage? Are there different types? What should you do? What about afterward? Next pregnancy? Is it weird to be grieving for a life you hadn't had the chance to meet? You are in the right place for answers and will be answered below.

I write this as a woman who has had a miscarriage, April 2013. Information in this Hub is not designed or recommended to replace the medical care of a professional.

What is a Miscarriage?

A miscarriage is a pregnancy that has ended before 20 weeks spontaneously as the baby has died. Many of these occur in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy and are known as Early Miscarriages.

An interesting piece of information to note is this: In your first pregnancy, the chance of miscarrying is greater than later pregnancies. Whilst it isn't a comforting thought, it can also let you know you aren't alone.

An early miscarriage can happen by chance, but age does have a small role in increasing the risk:

In women under 30 - 1 in 10 pregnancies may end in miscarriage

In women aged 35-39 - it is up to 2 in 10

In women over 45 the risk is more than half

Why Do They Happen?

There are many reasons for miscarriage, from chromosomal problems to medication effects. Many women, unfortunately, never find out why they miscarried.

It is hypothesized that from half to two-thirds of miscarriages are due to chromosomal problems - too many or not enough. This usually means that the fetus cannot develop normally, and is lost.

Other reasons include the embryo implanting in the wrong place, placental problems, exposure to environmental pollution, alcohol and caffeine as well as drugs and cigarettes increase the risk, and the mother's immune system may play a role.

Risk factors for miscarriage include obesity, smoking during pregnancy, drug use during pregnancy, more than 200mg of caffeine a day, more than two units of alcohol a week - however alcohol is not recommended during pregnancy at all.

The biggest thing to understand, as hard as it may seem, is that when you have a pregnancy that is non-viable (not surviving), there is nothing that you can do to save it. It hurts, and it's heartbreaking, but it's not your fault, nor can you do anything to save them.

What Happens?

During a miscarriage, the fetus, placenta, and blood from the uterus leave the body through the vagina.

This may happen over a longer period of time, or it may happen quickly. The stage you were at of your pregnancy when the miscarriage occurred, and the cause of your miscarriage will affect the types of symptoms you will experience. .

By the time you begin to bleed, your baby may have already died. Sometimes, you may find out that the baby has passed at an ultrasound scan - where the baby is of a size that is weeks smaller than where you thought you were - a 'missed miscarriage'.

Types of Miscarriage?

There are approximately 5 types of miscarriage

Missed Miscarriage - This miscarriage is often discovered at a scan, where there is found to be no heartbeat, and often a smaller than weeks gestation fetus. You may have had no symptoms and be expecting to see a little flutter of a heartbeat in the scan.

Threatening Miscarriage - This is light bleeding, pain similar to period pain, nausea and tender breasts of pregnancy have disappeared, and you may have a sense of 'no longer being pregnant". You may experience these symptoms for days or weeks prior to losing the baby.
HOWEVER - if there is no pain, and only light bleeding - it may be normal spotting around the time your period is due. Your pregnancy may continue as normal.

Inevitable Miscarriage - This is when the cervix opens and the placenta comes away from the uterine wall. Symptoms include heavy bleeding, pain like contractions or bad period pain, faintness and nausea, passing pieces of the placenta that look like clots, feeling shivery or unwell. This type of miscarriage may occur after 16wks and may happen very quickly

Incomplete Miscarriage - This occurs when some of the pregnancy tissue remains in the uterus - commonly between 6-12 weeks. There are several ways this can be dealt with - a dilatation and curettage (also known as a "D+C"), tablets to induce normal delivery, or a 'wait and see'.

Complete Miscarriage - If you have passed the fetus, you will only need monitoring until the cervix closes, which is when the bleeding will slow and stop, the physical pain will disappear.

I'm Miscarrying, What should I do?

You need to look after yourself. Whilst nothing can, unfortunately, be done to save the pregnancy, you may still need medical help.

It is recommended that:

  • You take your usual pain relief when needed, and place a hot water bottle on your stomach whilst lying down to ease the discomfort
  • If you have no bleeding or only a small amount, see a Medical professional within 24hrs
  • If bleeding becomes heavy - eg soaking a pad every 30mins - save everything you pass in a clean container as testing may help find a cause for your miscarriage. If you wish to bury your baby or products of conception, they will be returned to you if you request it.
  • Don't use tampons -use a towel or sanitary pads. This helps prevent infection, and you should keep a count of how many you use as the doctor may need to know
  • If you are likely to need a D+C, do not eat prior to going to the hospital. Not all women need a D+C and may complete the miscarriage naturally.
  • Pack a hospital bag, in case it is needed.
  • Have someone drive you to Emergency.
  • If you are alone - call for an ambulance - DO NOT drive if you are having a miscarriage

What happens After?

Bleeding normally lasts for about 10 days, and slows as your uterus heals. Again, during this time, do not use tampons - these increase the risk of infection. It is also important to avoid sex and bathing (shower instead).

If your pregnancy was more than 13 weeks along, your breasts may produce milk temporarily. Whilst this feels like a cruel twist of fate - it is normal.

It pays to use contraception when you resume sex after a miscarriage, as conception can occur from 14 days after a miscarriage - your body might be ready to do it again, but you most likely won't be emotionally ready for that yet.

When the bleeding stops - see a medical professional for a check-up.

If at ANY TIME during your miscarriage you have the following symptoms - see your Midwife or Emergency clinic:

  • Bleeding for longer than two weeks
  • Pain increases
  • Temperature increases

This may mean you have an infection or an incomplete miscarriage. This is particularly if you have a natural miscarriage - no D+C, or medication. If you have had a D+C or medication, there will be instructions on the signs you should look for.

How Long Will I Feel Like This?

It is perfectly normal to feel grief after a miscarriage. It is often referred to as both the birth and the death of a baby. As it is with any death, not everyone will react the same way. Not everyone HAS to react the same way.

If your experience differs from that of a friend or colleague - you are still both completely normal. You react in a way that is personal to you. It is the bond with the baby, not the length of the pregnancy, that will determine how intense your grief may be.

Accept the feelings you have regardless of what they are. It is normal to feel a mixture of anger, denial, sadness, acceptance. It is also normal to feel guilty - even though it is NOT YOUR FAULT.

Moods may be all over the place for a while - you may feel fine and suddenly be in tears. You may find yourself crying at the weirdest things - I used to cry all the way to work, and most of the way home the first week or so afterward. Why? We think about things subconsciously when we are pregnant, about what will need to happen in the future, what we need for our child, etcetc....suddenly the 'need' for this thought is not there, and it's a sad reminder. I used to think about the future with the baby in it, on my way to work! Once I was told that was normal, I let myself do it, until...I no longer needed to.

Hormones are also dropping which doesn't help but is temporary.

Using drugs or alcohol is not a recommended way to deal with your feelings. It slows the process down. Better ways are to talk with others, cry, writing down your thoughts.

Anniversaries - particularly of due dates - can stir up old feelings of grief as well. Even if you have conceived again. I was 24wks pregnant with my now 4yr old daughter when the due date of the first pregnancy rolled around - I had a healthy baby growing inside me, and I was upset over the one I had lost? It seemed weird, but its about those things you had planned. I still think of "Peanut" on the 12 Dec. Its also normal not to think of it again - it's all about how you deal with grief.


Make sure you keep your lines of communication open. They may not experience the grief in the same way, but it does not mean they aren't feeling it.

Do not keep your emotions bottled up, it will cause friction, and more stress for you both. Talk with your partner about what you are feeling, and encourage them to do the same.

What about the Next Pregnancy?

The information I have been consulting to write this hub states that:

"Chances that your next pregnancy will be successful drop by only 5%"

However it is recommended to wait for at least one, if not 3 periods, for accurate dating and recovery.

The risk of miscarriage I read somewhere was - 1 in 5 miscarry ONCE, 1 in 25 miscarry TWICE, 1 in 250 miscarry three or more times. If you have RECURRENT miscarriages - please see a medical professional.

Hugs and Good Luck

You are NOT alone. And it WILL get better and easier to deal with. Remember it's okay to cry, and to talk about your feelings.

I'm sorry you've found this hub, because it means you or someone you love has suffered a loss. But I wish to leave you with HUGS, and a sprinkling of sticky baby dust for the next time!

Information gained from: "Understanding Miscarriage" - Miscarriage Support Auckland Inc.

This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2013 Jacqui


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Gracias nana 

      4 years ago

      Hi.. Was directed to this site after reading info on chemical pregnancies as for Im going thru one at this moment. I was 5wks into my pregnancy & was really looking forward to our bundle of joy. I had experienced implantational bleeding @2wks & believed all would be well from there on out. Hpt comfirmed pregnancy & symptoms such as breast tenderness did as well. I was scheduled for a checkup within the next 2wks. Sadly, i woke up 3days ago experiencing piercing lowerr back pains and slight cramping, then realized very light spotting was taking place. Thinking not much of it based on the statistics that say it can b a normal occurrence, i went on with my day. Only after realizing the cramps worsening and not subsiding did i think something may b wrong. I was so right!! During a trip to the bathroom, i realized the bleeding had also become heavier. As i arose from the toilet, not having yet flushed it, i looked in and observed a substance that appeared to resemble egg whites with streaks of blood! I was devastated!! At the moment I realized tht I was having a miscarriage. I was impulsed by my curiosity and reached in and picked up this substance & then it hit baby was gone! I am an emotional wreck !! See, I havent talked to anyone about it as for no-one new yet. My spouse is away on business & Ive been unable to bring it up on the phone and in all honesty dont want to put him thru that while he's at work. So, her I am typing it out on a forum that i came across coincidentally. I see that this is a more frequent occurrence than i imagined. And, with that being said, i wanna send out my condolences to all who have gone thru this ordeal, whether its happened once ormore times over. Im truly aorry that youve gone thru this and know that ur not alone and its not ur fault, as i too am not alone and bare no fault in this occurrence. I hope to deal w/it one day at a time & come to terms w/it all in given time! I will find comfort in knowing that even in that brief time i loved someone even more than i loved myself and found great joy in having had her/him in my life. And , that this luv i speak of will live forever in my heart!!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing. We recently went through a miscarriage at 7 weeks. I cannot stop thinking about "what could have been" and this article was very helpful.

    • jlpark profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from New Zealand

      Having been there myself, I still read over this hub, still think about 'Peanut" from time to time. Though, I did just want to add - a miscarriage is often only a once off for most people. Don't give up, unless you cannot cope with another lose - we tried again, and now have a beautiful baby girl.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 

      6 years ago from India

      Very informative hub

      Women usually go into sadness and depression after a miscarriage especially if they wanted the baby very badly..

    • phtech profile image

      Skyler Parker 

      6 years ago from Idaho Falls, ID

      My wife and I have miscarried twice with my previous wife also miscarrying twice. This is a great hub that I really appreciate. Thanks for this :). Useful, interesting, thumbs up.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)