Is Loss of Pregnancy Symptoms a Sign of Miscarriage?

Symptoms of pregnancy can disappear or fluctuate

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It's understandable when your usual symptoms of pregnancy – sore breasts, nausea, and maybe some food aversions – begin to vanish, and you wonder if this indicates you are having a miscarriage.

While a sudden decrease in your usual pregnancy symptoms may be an indication of a miscarriage, it's not a hard and fast rule. This is why reaching out to your doctor is important, so you can talk it through with her and be evaluated.

In addition, it's important to note that some symptoms of pregnancy will naturally disappear or fluctuate, so it's tricky to go solely by how you feel. This is why your doctor will inquire about whether you are having other signs of a miscarriage, like vaginal bleeding or cramping. 

Overall, by understanding what to expect during pregnancy (and a miscarriage), you may feel at ease knowing what is likely OK, and what is a signal that it's time to call your doctor. 

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy?

The signs and symptoms of pregnancy are quite variable and depend on the individual. Nevertheless, in addition to missed periods, here are some things that you might experience during pregnancy:

    Of note, morning sickness usually begins shortly after a pregnancy starts and can extend through the fifth month of pregnancy before eventually going away. Morning sickness may involve nausea and/or vomiting, but do not get perplexed by the term "morning," as nausea can last all day long for some women.

    Some women fear that after their morning sickness stops, they may no longer be pregnant. Keep in mind that morning sickness usually abates mid-pregnancy, and this cessation is normal, so is not necessarily a sign of miscarriage.

    In addition, as breast soreness is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy, not every woman experiences the same degree of soreness. So having no or fleeting breast soreness in early pregnancy does not mean anything. In other words, it should not be interpreted as a sign of miscarriage.

    What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Miscarriage?

    Most miscarriages occur during the first trimester of pregnancy with the most common cause being a chromosomal abnormality in the embryo. 

    There are two key signs and symptoms of miscarriage:

    Vaginal Bleeding

    Bleeding is a big sign of a miscarriage. However, the type of bleeding that occurs varies, as some people experiencing miscarriage bleed more continuously while others bleed irregularly. Likewise, some women may experience heavy bleeding while others experience light bleeding.

    In addition, it can be confusing because bleeding during pregnancy may occur in the absence of a miscarriage. In fact, some women who are pregnant experience a small amount of bleeding during pregnancy and go on to have healthy babies and otherwise normal pregnancies.

    Nevertheless, if you're experiencing any bleeding during pregnancy, you must immediately inform your OB-GYN—this should not be ignored.

    Cramping

    Women who are experiencing a miscarriage may complain of abdominal or pelvic cramping or dull and achy pain that radiates from the back. Typically pain occurs at around the same time as bleeding does. In general, the pain of a miscarriage is often worse than that experienced during a normal period. 

    Other signs and symptoms of a miscarriage may include:

    • Passing clots: An embryo and later a fetus are made up of cells and tissue. Clots passing through the vagina can be made up of such products of conception.
    • Whitish-pink mucous discharge
    • True contractions
    • Sudden loss of pregnancy signs

    When Should I Call My Doctor?

    While it's true that a loss of pregnancy symptoms can happen with a miscarriage, it's also true that symptoms can fluctuate in a normal pregnancy. 

    If your symptoms disappear entirely in early pregnancy, before the end of the first trimester, mention it to your physician to be on the safe side, but it isn't necessarily a sign of miscarriage.

    If loss of pregnancy symptoms happens alongside other possible symptoms of miscarriage, especially spotting or vaginal bleeding, the combination might present a greater cause for concern. Your physician should be able to determine if you are really having a miscarriage, so be sure to call if you are concerned.

    A Word From Verywell

    Every woman responds to pregnancy differently. Some will have every symptom in the book, others will have a few, and still others may have fluctuating symptoms or no symptoms at all in the early stages. Try not to worry too much about your early pregnancy symptoms.

    However, if you're experiencing any pain or vaginal bleeding while pregnant, please call your doctor right away. Signs and symptoms of miscarriage should never be ignored with the hope that they will simply go away.

    Sources:

    American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (August 2015). Early Pregnancy Loss

    American Pregnancy Association. Miscarriage.

    Sapra KJ, Buck Louis GM, Sundaram R, Joseph KS, Bates LM, Galea S, Ananth CV. Signs and Symptoms Associated With Early Pregnancy Loss: Findings From a Population-Based Preconception Cohort. Hum Reprod. 2016 Apr;31(4):887-96.

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