A miscarriage is when the pregnancy ends in the first 16 weeks. And in fact that happens with about one in five pregnancies.
Miscarriage symptoms can vary, depending on which stage of pregnancy you are. For some women, it happens so quickly that they do not even come to know they were pregnant before they miscarry.
Here are some of the miscarriage symptoms:
- severe abdominal pain or cramping
- mild to severe back or pelvis pain
- heavy spotting
- vaginal discharge and bleeding
- Fluid discharge, sometimes accompanies with tissue discharge or clotting from vagina
- Fatigue and tiredness
It can be scary if you have bleeding from your vagina, or ‘spotting’ in your underwear, when you’re pregnant. You can easily fear the worst, and think it means you’re having a miscarriage. But often it’s nothing to worry about.
During pregnancy the blood vessels in your cervix can be delicate and bleed much more easily, so you can find blood in your underwear or on the sheets. You can compare it to a nosebleed! It can especially happen after sex, because the penis bumps into the cervix. But it won’t do the baby any harm at all.
Not all bleeding during pregnancy is harmless though. It can be the start of a miscarriage. What’s more, bleeding can also be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy, when the baby is growing outside the womb. So if you have bleeding during early pregnancy, perhaps everything is fine, but you should still go and see the doctor or midwife to get checked out.
What does it feel like to have a miscarriage?
A miscarriage starts with bleeding, and painful cramps like period pains. It can be very painful, because it’s like a mini-birth. The cervix has to open up to let the embryo and placenta out, and you have contractions just like in labour.
And it takes time. A hot-water bottle on your lower back or stomach, or a warm bath, can help you cope with the pain. You should expect to bleed more than a normal period. But if the bleeding is like a running tap, or carries on after the amniotic sac (the bag holding the embryo) has come out, you should get medical help.
If the pain carries on after the miscarriage has finished it could mean not everything has come out properly. Again you should get medical help. You might need an operation called a D&C (dilation and curettage) to suck out anything left in the womb.