Symptoms of a Missed Miscarriage

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

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Early in pregnancy, you may be worried that you could have had a miscarriage and just not know it yet. Alternatively, you may face the startling diagnosis of a miscarriage when you have had no signs there was something wrong. A missed miscarriage or silent miscarriage is one that has no clear symptoms of miscarriage such as vaginal bleeding, cramping, or passage of tissue through the vagina.

Symptoms of a Missed Miscarriage

Unfortunately, by its very definition, a missed miscarriage usually means there are no symptoms before the diagnosis. You may have had some minor spotting, but this sign can be absent.

In some cases of missed miscarriage, pregnancy symptoms continue. Although the pregnancy is not viable, the placenta may still be producing hormones, causing you to still have breast tenderness, morning sickness, and fatigue.

Some women may notice a loss of pregnancy symptoms, but this is an unreliable sign of miscarriage. Loss of pregnancy symptoms can also occur in normal pregnancies, especially in the latter part of the first trimester when morning sickness and fatigue often begin to resolve.

Note that 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 exact same symptoms at the same time for each pregnancy. You also shouldn't compare your symptoms to those of your friends, your mother, or sisters, as each pregnancy truly is unique.

Common Concerns

It's totally normal to have concerns and be upset by the prospect of having a miscarriage. Honor your feelings, but aim to focus on finding out for sure what's going on before you let yourself get too deep in this fear, as everything might be just fine. Your friends and family may inadvertently feed into this stress and worry, too.

Pregnancy can also result in mood swings, as your hormones are in flux. You may 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 see what's going on and to help reassure you that you don't have a missed miscarriage.

Once you have visited your doctor and been reassured that your pregnancy is still viable, take the opportunity to discuss what signs and symptoms you should look for in the coming months. Your doctor may be able to give you information that will help you manage any stress you may have that you might experience a missed miscarriage.

Diagnosis

What usually leads to a missed miscarriage being diagnosed is 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. This will be repeated because there is often some doubt as to how far into gestation you may be and whether a fetal heartbeat should be detectable at this point.

Your blood hCG levels will be checked as they should show increasing numbers, doubling every two to three days, during a viable pregnancy. A follow-up ultrasound may then reveal that the pregnancy has stopped developing and is no longer viable.

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 ultrasound reveals that your baby had stopped growing days or weeks before your miscarriage symptoms started.

Treatment

After diagnosis, your doctor will discuss your options for treatment. One option is to wait for a natural miscarriage to occur without intervention. This can take days to weeks to occur.

A procedure called dilation and curettage (D&C) or a medication called misoprostol may be recommended, especially if there is no sign that the miscarriage is about to happen on its own. A D&C is is a surgical intervention in which your doctor dilates your cervix and uses suction or a curette to remove the contents of the uterus.

A Word From Verywell

Pregnancy loss is common and can be a traumatic experience. So, it is understandable to be worried about the possibility. If you have had a missed miscarriage or you are experiencing anxiety that this will occur, ask your healthcare provider about emotional support and counseling options that can help.

Additionally, reach out to your partner, family, and friends for some extra love and care, too. If you do have a miscarriage, give yourself the grace and space you need to grieve and heal—emotionally and physically.

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8 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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Additional Reading
  • Miscarriage. American Pregnancy Association. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/miscarriage/.