What Are Missed Miscarriage Symptoms?

Worrying When You Don't Have Symptoms of Pregnancy or Miscarriage

Question: What Are Missed Miscarriage Symptoms?

I'm freaking out because I just don't feel pregnant. Are there any missed miscarriage symptoms? Could I have had a miscarriage and just not know it yet?

Symptoms of a Missed Miscarriage

Answer: Unfortunately, by its very definition a missed miscarriage usually means there are no symptoms before diagnosis. Some women may notice a loss of pregnancy symptoms, but this is a really unreliable sign of miscarriage.

Loss of pregnancy symptoms can occur in normal pregnancies also, especially in the later part of the first trimester.

To be simply "not feeling pregnant" should not be a cause for alarm. Even if you have had prior pregnancies, each one will be different. You won't experience the same symptoms at the same time for each pregnancy. You also can't compare your symptoms to those of your friends, your mother, or sisters. Don't let them upset you by suggesting something may be going wrong because this pregnancy isn't following the same pattern of symptoms as others.

If this is your first pregnancy, especially if you have been eager to have a child, you may be very sensitive to any fear that you might have a miscarriage. Your friends and family may inadvertently feed into this stress and fear.

Pregnancy can result in mood swings in any case as your hormones are in flux. Now you find yourself worrying about a lack of symptoms, let alone worrying about actual symptoms.

It can become a negative feedback loop, a spiral of fear over what you are feeling and what you aren't feeling.

If you are distressed and need reassurance, call your health care provider and discuss it with them on the phone. You may be brought in for a check-up to help reassure you that you don't have a missed miscarriage.


Diagnosing a Missed Miscarriage

What leads to a missed miscarriage being diagnosed is usually when the fetal heartbeat is not detected on an ultrasound or handheld doppler when the pregnancy has reached a point that it should be detected. A follow-up ultrasound may then reveal that the pregnancy has stopped developing and is no longer viable. A D&C may then be recommended, especially if there is no sign that the miscarriage is about to happen on its own.

It is possible that the term missed miscarriage might also be used if you have developed signs of miscarriage, such as bleeding during pregnancy, and an ultrasound reveals that your baby had stopped growing days or weeks before your miscarriage symptoms started. In this case, the signs of missed miscarriage would be the standard warning signs of miscarriage, such as bleeding and cramping during pregnancy.

Once you have visited your doctor and been reassured that your pregnancy is still viable, take the opportunity to discuss what signs you should look for in the coming months.

Your doctor may be able to give you information that will prevent continued stress that you have a missed miscarriage.


American Pregnancy Association. Miscarriage: Signs, symptoms, treatment and prevention. Updated 08/2016.http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/miscarriage.html

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