Early Miscarriage Signs

Miscarriage is a devastating emotional event, and traumatic both mentally and physically to a woman. It is an event that no woman wants to experience, and to worry if a miscarriage is happening or not makes the entire process more difficult. There are some early signs of miscarriage a woman can look for, and should contact her doctor immediately if they occur. These early signs of a miscarriage include vaginal bleeding, abdominal and vaginal cramping, and no fetal heartbeat being found on an ultrasound.

Vaginal Bleeding

The first sign of miscarriage in most women is vaginal bleeding. In some pregnancies occasional light vaginal bleeding may occur for no reason, however most of the time vaginal bleeding is the first sign of a miscarriage. Bleeding may begin with spotting at first, and then progress into bleeding that resembles a heavy period. A key sign to look for is if bleeding continues increase, and is not just an isolated event.

Abdominal and Vaginal Cramping

Abdominal discomfort is common for pregnancy, however abdominal or vaginal cramping is a possible indicator of miscarriage. Moderate to painful cramping, often in combination with vaginal bleeding, is a clear warning sign something may be going wrong with the pregnancy. The later in the pregnancy the more painful the cramping may be. Toward the end of the first trimester the pain can feel like labor pains, as the body gets ready to miscarry.

Lack of Fetal Heartbeat

Approximately six week into gestation, a doctor of midwife can try and find a fetal heart beat by vaginal ultrasound. A heartbeat cannot always be found at this time, often as a result of the location of the fetus within the womb. However if a heartbeat is not found, it should be checked for again around 7 weeks. If there is still no heartbeat at this time, a doctor will try and determine if the fetus is viable. Also, in cases where a heartbeat has been found, and then later one cannot be detected, it is possible a miscarriage may occur in the future.

About this Author

Rose Marchick is based in Kansas City and has been writing and publishing within the field of health and psychology since 1997. Marchick has presented her own research within the field of psychology throughout the past decade, as well as writing for others publications. She has a Ph.D. in gender studies and two master’s degrees.