What are the signs of a miscarriage?

Our experts answer your pregnancy questions

Woman lying on the couch
It can be a bit hard for a woman to distinguish between what’s normal and what’s not during pregnancy.

Cramping, for example, is a fairly worrisome sign. It would feel like menstrual cramps. It could be mild cramping or more significant, but sometimes a woman has no cramping at all.

Spotting is fairly common in early pregnancy and is less worrisome. If it’s a miscarriage, you may see some white-ish tissue and blood, with clots. But quite often it looks just like a heavy period.

If you have cramping or bleeding, you should report it to your doctor and they will likely want to see you. We’ll probably have to do an exam or possibly an ultrasound to determine whether it’s a miscarriage or not.

I would definitely advise someone to come in, because there are other causes of bleeding that should be ruled out, like an ectopic pregnancy – when the baby isn’t even in the uterus.

If you feel like something’s not right, contact your doctor and see if you can get an exam that day.

Richard Mayerchak, MD, family medicine provider specializing in OB
Fairview Clinics – Princeton

To learn more:
Make an appointment with an OB doctor or midwife or book a tour at The Birthplace.

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