What Are the Signs of Miscarriage?

About 1 in every 3 to 5 known pregnancies ends in miscarriage. This can happen a variety of different ways. Some women will have some of the signs of miscarriage below, while others have no problems whatsoever and find out at a later prenatal appointment that their baby has died (missed miscarriage). 

Falling hCG Levels

Syringe being used to take blood sample from patient's arm, close-up.
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If you are having blood work done, your practitioner is looking at your hCG levels. While there are ranges to look at which can give you some basic information about a pregnancy. Repeated numbers give a better look at what is going on inside. When the hCG levels begin to fall, you may be having a miscarriage or other pregnancy complication, including an ectopic pregnancy.

Vaginal Bleeding


Bleeding in pregnancy can be quite worrisome. While there are some instances when bleeding might not indicate a problem, you should always report any spotting or bleeding to your midwife or doctor. They may recommend various tests to check on the health of your pregnancy. Sometimes bleeding is not a problem, but that is not something that you can determine at home, you need the help of your practitioner.

Ultrasound Results

5 Week Ultrasound
Photo © D. Vargas

Early in pregnancy, there are so many things that cannot be seen depending on the dating of your pregnancy. A few days can make all the difference in the world. But ultrasound results can help show if you're more likely to have a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or blighted ovum.


Cramping can be another symptom of early pregnancy that leaves you feeling worried. When you do not experience bleeding with the cramping, the chances are good that it is simply normal cramping from the uterus stretching and growing. Though sometimes cramping can precede bleeding.

Passing Tissue from the Vagina

Nothing is as scary as passing clumps of tissue from your vagina in pregnancy. Be sure to report any tissue to your practitioner immediately. While it may only be related to a cyst or other condition that is not associated with your pregnancy, you will need to be evaluated.

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