A pregnancy that ends on its own before the 20th week is considered a miscarriage. About 10 to 25 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Most miscarriages happen during the first 13 weeks. Despite having a miscarriage, however, many women go on to have a future successful pregnancy.
Most Common Sign
Bleeding is the most common first sign of a miscarriage, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, or ACOG. However, even if you have vaginal spotting, you can have a healthy baby. Twenty to 30 percent of women bleed in early pregnancy, and about half the time, normal pregnancies ensue. But, your doctor should still be made aware of the situation so that she can monitor you and, perhaps, give you an ultrasound.
Tissue with clot-like material coming from your vagina can be a sign of a miscarriage. If that happens, place the material you passed in a clear container and let your doctor examine it. Your doctor may conduct a pelvic exam at this time to determine if your cervix has dilated. If so, and you lost fetal tissue, that is a miscarriage.
Another sign of a miscarriage is back pain, either mild or severe. Weight loss could signal a miscarriage. A discharge of whitish, pink mucus is a sign. You could also have true contractions with a miscarriage. These contractions are very painful, according to the American Pregnancy Association, and happen every five to 20 minutes. If you don’t feel pregnant anymore, that could signal a miscarriage, too. It is important to go to your doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms.
Some lifestyle choices can increase your chances of having a miscarriage. If you smoke, drink alcohol or use illegal drugs while you are pregnant, you increase the risk of miscarrying, according to the ACOG. On the other hand, some lifestyle choices do not increase the risk of a miscarriage, such as working, exercising or having sex. A fall or a scare usually does not cause a miscarriage, either.
If you miscarry, you should not blame yourself. Most of the time, you could not have prevented the miscarriage, according to the ACOG. Also, keep in mind that most women who have a miscarriage can have a healthy pregnancy later on. In fact, the emotional healing often takes longer than the physical healing. If you are having a difficult time, you may want to ask your doctor to recommend a counselor.