If you suspect that you are having a miscarriage, there are steps you will want to take right away. The choice of visiting the nearest emergency room or your obstetrician’s office comes down to the symptoms you are experiencing.
When to visit the emergency room
- If you experience…
- Heavy bleeding
When to visit your obstetrician
- If you experience…
- Bleeding that is similar to a light period
- Bleeding with bright red blood
Are there other miscarriage symptoms I need to know?
Yes. Women who have had a miscarriage have also reported the following symptoms:
- Lower abdominal pain/cramping
- A white/light pink vaginal discharge
- Weight loss
- Contractions (premature labor)
- Loss of pregnancy symptoms (end of breast tenderness, morning sickness, etc.)
What will a miscarriage feel like?
The pain/discomfort during a miscarriage can vary from one woman to another. For some women, the experience is intense and closely resembles pain from labor. Others might not even realize that their pregnancy is no longer viable. This is why it is so important for symptoms to be monitored as closely as possible, so medical treatment can be applied if needed.
What if it’s not a miscarriage?
The difficulty for women trying to determine on their own whether they are miscarrying is that some symptoms can mimic those of first-trimester pregnancy. Light bleeding or spotting is common during early pregnancy, as is dizziness and even discharge. It is very important that women carefully track their symptoms, especially if they seem to increase in severity. Again, heavy bleeding, clotting, dizziness and fainting all warrant a visit to the ER.
PGOMG encourages patients with questions to contact our team directly. It can be tempting to put off or ignore symptoms, but a miscarriage requires medical treatment.
Why do miscarriages happen?
There are a few different reasons for pregnancy loss, including the presence of an infection, hormonal imbalances, a female anatomical abnormality or a genetic condition; or the cause may simply be unknown. For many women, having a miscarriage does not mean they cannot conceive again or carry a healthy pregnancy in the future. There are treatment and testing options available.
It’s important for women who have had a miscarriage to know that the event was not their fault. Miscarriages are far more common than you’d ever expect, as women tend to not report/reveal their pregnancy losses. Barring a blatant disregard for your health or the health or your child, it is highly unlikely that the miscarriage could have been prevented. This knowledge may not provide the emotional relief women seek from the pain of pregnancy loss, but it remains true that few miscarriages can be prevented or predicted.
Also, patients can read about ectopic pregnancy symptoms here.