Around 15% to 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. That includes known pregnancies. The number is likely higher due to early miscarriages that happen before a woman even knows she’s pregnant. Most occur between week 7 and week 12 after the last menstrual cycle.
Signs of Miscarriage
Vaginal bleeding is the most common sign of a miscarriage. It can be heavy or appear as light red or brown spotting. You may even mistake it for your period if it is early in the pregnancy. You may also experience:
- Fluid coming from the vagina
- Pain that can range from period cramps to strong contractions
- Pregnancy tissue or blood clots passing from the vagina
If you believe you may be miscarrying, you should contact your doctor right away. There is no official procedure for registering a miscarriage that happens before 24 weeks. Some hospitals may provide a certificate and/or offer funeral services.
What If I Miscarry at Home?
Some women have a miscarriage at home before they have the chance to talk to their OB/GYN or get to a hospital. If this happens, use pads to manage any bleeding. Try to save any pregnancy tissue you can. Your obstetrician can test it to sometimes figure out why you miscarried. You should get rest and contact your doctor as soon as you can to see follow up care.
You should be aware that while most of the time, the baby will be too small to identify, there may be situations if you are further along where you recognize it among the tissue that came out during miscarriage. It is normal to want to look at it, and what you decide to do should be left up to what is best for you.
It is best to understand what to do and what your options are before you become pregnant. It’s a situation no woman wants to face, but one that you should be prepared for in case the time comes. If you have questions about miscarriage, let us know. Schedule an appointment now to discuss risk factors that may apply to you.