Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Understanding Miscarriage -- Diagnosis & Treatment

What Are the Warning Signs of a Miscarriage?

Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy may be the first warning sign of a miscarriage. However, about 20% of women have vaginal bleeding during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and less than half of them miscarry. And, 75% of women who have had three or four miscarriages will go on to have a successful pregnancy.

If you are pregnant and bleeding vaginally, your health care provider will probably use an ultrasound to help assess whether your pregnancy is healthy. An ultrasound can help determine whether there is a fetal heartbeat and whether the amniotic sac that surrounds the fetus is normal. It can also tell whether the placenta is separating. An ultrasound will also help determine whether the pregnancy is ectopic (occurring outside the uterus, such as in one of the fallopian tubes) or whether you may have spontaneously aborted one fetus in a twins or triplets pregnancy.

A blood test can determine whether pregnancy hormones are being produced. A complete blood count (CBC) may be done to determine the degree of blood loss, and several other tests may be done to rule out potential infection. Your health care provider may also perform a pelvic exam, looking for signs of miscarriage, including changes to the cervix and ruptured membranes. Your blood type will also be checked. If you are Rh negative and have miscarried, an injection of rho (D) immune globulin will be given to help prevent problems associated with incompatible blood types in future pregnancies.

Because chromosomal abnormalities of the embryo are identified in more than half of miscarriages occurring in the first 13 weeks, doctors don't usually recommend special testing to look for a cause. The chances are excellent that the next pregnancy will be healthy. After three or more miscarriages, consider consulting an OB/GYN who specializes in or has extensive experience with miscarriage. Testing for clotting and bleeding disorders may be performed. Special hormone tests and exams looking for connective tissue disorders in the mother may also be given. You and your partner should also discuss undergoing genetic testing with your health care provider.

An X-ray or ultrasound of your reproductive organs may be recommended to look for structural differences that may have played a role in your miscarriages.

1 | 2 | 3

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
healthtool pregnancy calendar
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy