If you're like most pregnant women, you may worry about having a miscarriage. A miscarriage is the sudden loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks. You may not know when you have a miscarriage because many happen before you even miss a period or know you're pregnant. Most happen before week 13, within the first trimester.
You usually can’t prevent a miscarriage. So if it happens, try not to heap guilt onto yourself. You've done nothing to cause this.
Signs and Symptoms of Miscarriage
These may also be signs of something else. To be safe, call your doctor if you have any of these signs or symptoms:
Ectopic Pregnancy and Miscarriage
Another problem that can happen with pregnancy and causes symptoms of miscarriage is an ectopic pregnancy. This is when the embryo attaches somewhere other than your womb (uterus), most of the time in one of your fallopian tubes. This is an emergency, and you should call your doctor right away if you have:
Bleeding or spotting
Shoulder pain or the urge to poop (the sign of blood leaking from the fallopian tube)
Lightheadedness or fainting
Signs of Infection
A miscarriage can also cause an infection. If you have any of these signs, contact your doctor right away. You may need to go to the doctor's office or to the emergency room.
Heavy vaginal bleeding
Diagnosing and Treating Miscarriage
Your doctor will confirm a miscarriage with a pelvic exam and an ultrasound. If the miscarriage is complete and your uterus is clear, you may not need more treatment.
If the uterus isn’t clear, you may need one of these treatments:
If you need treatment after a miscarriage, talk with your doctor which option might be better for you. For example, treating a miscarriage with medicine isn’t an option if you have an infection.