There is nothing you can do to prevent
miscarriage. It is usually the body's way of ending a
pregnancy that has had a bad start, often at the earliest stage of cell
It is important to be alert to the symptoms of a
miscarriage so that you can seek medical evaluation. If you are having symptoms
of a miscarriage, avoid sexual activity (called pelvic rest) and strenuous
activity until your symptoms have been evaluated by a doctor.
Call911or other emergency services immediately if you are pregnant
and you have
severe vaginal bleeding AND signs of shock. Early signs of shock include:
- Lightheadedness or a feeling that you are about
to pass out.
- Restlessness, confusion, or signs of
- Shallow, rapid breathing.
- Moist, cool skin or
possibly profuse sweating.
- Thirst, nausea, or
- Abnormal increase in heart rate.
Call your doctor immediately if you
are pregnant and you have anyvaginal bleeding or
cramping pain in your abdomen, pelvis, or lower back.
may ask you to collect any expelled clots or tissue, if possible, in a clean
container. The clots may be examined to see if you have passed fetal
After a miscarriage
The most common miscarriage
complications are excessive bleeding and infection.
It is normal to have mild or moderate vaginal bleeding for 1 to 2 weeks. It may be similar to or slightly heavier than a normal period. The bleeding should get lighter after a week.
Call911or other emergency services immediately if you have recently been treated for a
miscarriage and you have severe vaginal bleeding AND signs of shock.
Call your doctor immediately if you have recently been treated for a miscarriage
and you are experiencing:
- Severe vaginal bleeding without signs of
shock. If your doctor does not respond immediately, or if you do not have a
doctor, have someone drive you to the nearest emergency
- Symptoms of infection. These symptoms include:
- Fever of
100.4°F (38°C) or
- Moderate to severe abdominal (belly) pain or
- Vaginal discharge that smells bad.
Coping with a miscarriage
It is normal to go
through a grieving process after a miscarriage, regardless of the length of
your pregnancy. Guilt, anxiety, and sadness are common and normal reactions
after a miscarriage. It is also normal to want to know why a miscarriage has
happened. In most cases a miscarriage is a natural event that could not have
To help you and your family cope with your loss,
consider meeting with a support group, reading about the experiences of other
mothers, and talking to friends or a counselor or member of the clergy. For
more information, see the topic
Grief and Grieving.
Your local bookstore
or library may have books on coping with miscarriage. Also, your doctor will be
able to address your questions and concerns about the miscarriage.