Is Loss of Pregnancy Symptoms a Sign of Miscarriage?

Symptoms of Pregnancy Can Disapper or Fluctuate

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PeopleImages/Getty Images, let's say you've recently learned you're pregnant, and then you notice that you're feeling the usual symptoms of pregnancy--sore breasts, little nausea, maybe some food aversions and so forth. Then, one day, you wake up in the morning and you feel fine and have completely lost your pregnancy symptoms. Does that mean you're having a miscarriage?

Is Loss of Pregnancy Symptoms a Sign of Miscarriage?

It is true that loss of pregnancy symptoms can happen with a miscarriage, especially a missed miscarriage, but it is also true that symptoms can fluctuate in a normal pregnancy. Women have a great deal of individual variation in how they respond to pregnancy, and fluctuation in pregnancy symptoms does not necessarily mean anything. You can feel morning sickness and then have it vanish suddenly, and everything can still be fine in your pregnancy.

In most normal pregnancies, the common early symptoms (sore breasts and morning sickness, in particular) do tend to fade at the end of the first trimester--and the disappearance can indeed be sudden. 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 of concern.

Your physician should be able to determine if you are really having a miscarriage, so be sure to call if you are concerned.

Does Lack or Sudden Loss of Breast Soreness Mean Miscarriage?

Breast soreness is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. If your breasts are not sore, however, and you're concerned about miscarriage, it's also something that's very easy to over-analyze.

Having no or fleeting breast soreness in early pregnancy does not mean anything; it should not be interpreted as a sign of miscarriage or any other complication.

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; neither breast soreness nor any other early pregnancy symptom is a reliable indicator of how your pregnancy is progressing.

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 is commonly experienced by pregnant women. Morning sickness usually begins shortly after the pregnancy starts and can extend through the fifth month of pregnancy before eventually going away. Morning sickness involves nausea and vomiting. Sometimes nausea can last all day long and waxes and wanes.

Most women don't need to receive specific treatment for morning sickness; however, prescription antiemetics ("anti vomiting") can be prescribed by your physician. As a general rule, it's a good idea to limit your exposure to medications during pregnancy. Furthermore, some herbal remedies, as well as vitamin B6 shots, may help relieve some of the symptoms of morning sickness.

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

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Miscarriage?

Most miscarriages occur during the first trimester of pregnancy. The most common cause of miscarriage is chromosome problems in the embryo.

Signs and symptoms of miscarriage depend on the person and the timing of the loss. Of note, a sign is something that is evident to an observer. A sign is objective. However, a symptom is subjective and described by the person experiencing the phenomenon. For example, bleeding is a sign because a physician--or anybody for that matter--can see a person is bleeding. On the other hand, pain is subjective and is thus a symptom. A physician will only truly understand the quality of your pain once you describe the pain in words.

There are 3 basic signs and symptoms of miscarriage:

  • Vaginal bleeding. Bleeding is a big sign of a miscarriage; however, the type of bleeding that occurs varies. Some people experiencing miscarriage bleed more continuously while others bleed irregularly. Furthermore, some people may experience heavy bleeding while others experience light bleeding. Please note that bleeding during pregnancy often happens in the absence of miscarriage. Many women who are pregnant experience some 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. Bleeding during pregnancy should not be ignored.
  • Pain. People who are experiencing miscarriage can complain of different types of pain, including belly pain, pelvic cramping or dull and achy pain that radiates from the back. Typically pain occurs at around the same time as bleeding does.
  • Blood clots. An embryo and later a fetus are made up of cells and tissue. Clots passing from the vagina can be made up of such products of conception.

Please understand that there's no tell-tale progression for a miscarriage. Instead, a miscarriage can occur gradually during the course of several days. Different women experience a miscarriage in different ways. In other words, miscarriage is usually a sequence of events. Please note once again that if you're experiencing any pain, bleeding or clotting, it's important to identify these problems as early as possible and inform your physician. If needed, go into the emergency room for immediate evaluation. The health of you and your baby are always most important and should be taken very seriously. Signs and symptoms of miscarriage should never be ignored with the hope that they will simply "go away."


American Pregnancy Association, "Miscarriage." July 2007. 

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