What Does a Miscarriage Look Like?


A miscarriage is a pregnancy loss before the fetus reaches 20 or a few weeks. Most miscarriages happen in the first trimester, and the most common sign is chromosomal abnormalities.

What does a Miscarriage Look Like?

A miscarriage or a spontaneous abortion is an unexpected pregnancy loss during the first 20 weeks of gestation. Just because it contains the terms miscarriage and abortion does not mean you did something wrong. Most miscarriages occur due to the stoppage of fetal growth and are beyond anyone’s control, as it is a spontaneous loss.

Also read: Prenatal Care: A Quick Guide for Every Mother

5 Types of Miscarriages

When you miscarry, your medical provider may classify it as:

1. Threatened miscarriage

When your cervix is closed, you find miscarriage blood and experience pelvic cramps. Typically, the pregnancy continues without any further issues, but your medical provider will have to monitor you closely for the rest of the pregnancy.

2. Incomplete miscarriage

When you start bleeding and cramping, your cervix is dilated. You also start leaking amniotic fluids.

3. Complete miscarriage

When pregnancy loss happens, and your uterus is empty. You experience bleeding and pass pregnancy tissue.

4. Missed miscarriage

When pregnancy loss occurs but are not aware that it occurred, there are no symptoms or warning signs of missed miscarriage, but the fetal heartbeat is not present.

5. Recurrent miscarriage

When you have three or more miscarriages, repeated miscarriages affect about 1% of couples.

Some other types of miscarriages occur in a chemical and ectopic pregnancy, where the embryo is not viable.

Some other Signs and Symptoms of a Miscarriage

The common symptoms of later miscarriage vary depending on the stage of pregnancy. Some women do not even understand they have singleton pregnancies before the miscarriage.

Some signs of miscarriage include:

  • Cramping pain: A severe cramping pain in the lower abdomen
  •  Fluid discharge: Amniotic fluid discharge
  •  Miscarriage Blood clots discharge: When you start vaginal bleeding and pass fetal tissue. 
  •  In addition to bleeding and cramping, Some people may notice larger blood clots. Also, the bleeding can be heavy, and you can pass large blood clots up to the size of a lemon.

Other common miscarriage signs:

1. Heavy period or spotting

2. Vaginal bleeding

3. Mild to severe back pain

4. Belly ache

5. Fever with other symptoms

6. Weight loss

7. White-pink mucus

8. Contractions

9. Fewer signs of pregnancy

If you have one or more symptoms, contact your medical practitioner immediately.

Causes of Miscarriage in Different Trimester

Some reasons can increase the risk factors of a miscarriage, such as smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and injecting drugs, but generally, it is not the result of something you did.

Causes of miscarriage in the first trimester

1. Hormonal problems

A mother’s health condition can sometimes lead to miscarriages. These include:

  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Thyroid

2. Placenta problems

Problems with the placenta are among the most common causes of a miscarriage, especially in the first trimester. Some reasons why placenta problems can cause miscarriage includes:

  • Passing of toxins
  • Passing harmful cells from infections
  • Insufficient placenta

3. Chromosome problems

Chromosomes hold genes, and in a miscarriage, some abnormalities include:

  • Intrauterine fetal demise
  • Molar pregnancy
  • Blighted ovum
  • Partial molar pregnancy

4. Smoke, Drug & Drinking

Smoking cigarettes (even secondhand), drinking alcohol, and taking illicit drugs have been linked to a decrease in fertility and an increase in the risk of miscarriage loss shortly.


Women who suffer from PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome have recurrent miscarriages due to the high level of testosterone in the body. PCOS-related insulin resistance can also affect the uterine lining, making it difficult to get pregnant.

Heavy bleeding starts light and gets heavier, passing blood clots or tissue cramping, which may come in waves, a gush of fluid from the vagina. Suppose a person takes a pregnancy test after experiencing a pregnancy loss during the first trimester. In that case, the result may be negative, or the test may have a positive line that gets fainter.

Causes of miscarriage in the second trimester

1. Infections

Generally, a pregnant woman contracts an infection, creating a cascade of events within the body. This eventually reaches the fetus, which potentially causes a miscarriage. Some infections that cause a miscarriage are:

  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Syphilis
  • Rubella
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Genital Herpes
  • HIV
  • Dengue
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Malaria

2. Long term health conditions

Long-term or chronic health conditions associated with spontaneous pregnancy loss can potentially cause miscarriages in the second trimester. These include:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Endometriosis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Thyroid disease (hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism)
  • PCOS
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Obesity

3. Food poisoning

Eating food contaminated by chemicals like lead, bacteria, parasites, and viruses can infect the fetus during the pregnancy and increase the risk of a miscarriage. Some common food poisoning infections that can lead to miscarriage are:

  • Listeriosis
  • Salmonella

4. Medicines

Women with ongoing health conditions requiring continual treatment using prescription medications or over-the-counter medicines can become susceptible to miscarriage or pregnancy loss due to the medications. Medicines commonly linked to miscarriages are:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Isotretinoin
  • Excess vitamins and herbal supplements

5. Undeveloped womb

Problems with the womb can increase the chance of a miscarriage. Many dysfunctions in the womb or cervix can increase the chances of miscarrying, particularly in the second trimester.

Causes of miscarriage in the third trimester

1. Baby is not moving

In some cases, there is a drop in the baby’s movement or a decrease in fetal movement. This can be caused due to less amniotic fluid or if the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck.

2. A weak cervix

One of the most common causes of a late miscarriage, a weak cervix or an incompetent cervix can cause the baby to be born prematurely. Some known causes of this are:

  • Trauma to the cervix
  • Congenital conditions
  • Race

3. Other genetic conditions

Congenital birth defects are inherited but can also occur due to exposure to toxins, medicines, or chemicals during the pregnancy. A congenital birth defect can also result in fetal infection. If the fetus develops heart, brain, or lung defects, it can become non-viable and die in-utero.

Related: Midwives Brew: The Ultimate Guide for Induce Labor

What is the Process for Treating Miscarriage?

When you experience a miscarriage, the developing embryo must be completely removed from the uterus to reduce infections or complications. But the road to recovery is still not complete.

1. Medical treatment

Your provider must perform surgical procedures such as dilation, curettage, or evacuation if you continue bleeding heavily or the uterus has not passed the pregnancy. Surgery may be the best option if the fetus is beyond ten weeks gestation. The cervix is dilated, and any remaining tissues are suctioned or scraped from the uterus.

2. Emotional recovery

Most women will experience a normal period of intense emotional distress during the time and post-miscarriage. This starts improving at six weeks and will slowly ebb after a few months. You must give yourself time to grieve over losing a child, so talk to your loved ones and partner. Also, let go of any guilt you may have. A miscarriage is not somewhat that can explicitly be controlled.

3. Physical recovery

In some women’s miscarriages, the physical recovery can take a few hours to a few days. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you start developing heavier bleeding, abdominal pain, or a fever. You will start ovulating two weeks post the miscarriage, and your menstrual period will return within 4-6 weeks. Avoid intercourse for two weeks post-miscarriage to give yourself time to heal.

How to Prevent Miscarriage?

Sadly, nothing can be done to prevent miscarriages due to genetic abnormalities. Here are some ways to help prevent future miscarriages in known pregnancies:

  1. Take 400 mcg of folic acid each day
  2. Exercise regularly
  3. Eat healthy meals
  4. Reduce stress
  5. Do not smoke
  6. Keep your weight within the normal range
  7. Do not drink alcohol or more than two cups of caffeinated beverage a day
  8. Make sure all your vaccines are updated
  9. Avoid any illicit drugs

How to Deal with Miscarriage?

Immediately after a miscarriage, take care of yourself and allow time to grieve. Here are some steps you can better take to assist and for coping with a miscarriage:

  1. Allow yourself time to grieve
  2. Rely on friends and loved ones to help you
  3. Find a support group
  4. Talk to a therapist
  5. Seek spiritual guidance
  6. Take care of your health

FAQs on Miscarriage

How to confirm a miscarriage at home?

To confirm a miscarriage at home, check for the following signs:

  • Pink, red, or brown, lighter bleeding or light spotting
  • Cramps, severe discomfort, or pain in the lower abdomen
  • Passing clots or miscarriage tissue with bleeding

Miscarriage how do I know if I passed everything?

When you have a miscarriage, you can wait 7-14 days for the tissue to pass naturally. If the pain and bleeding stop completely or is less, the tissue has been expelled from your body. Otherwise, talk to your medical provider.

How long after miscarriage can you have sex?

Doctors recommend waiting for at least two weeks after a miscarriage to have intercourse or to insert anything into the vagina, such as a tampon.

When to stop taking progesterone during pregnancy?

You can take progesterone until 24 weeks of pregnancy and continue until just before 37 weeks. But talk to your health care provider before continuing any medication.

How to clean the uterus after suffering from a miscarriage naturally at home?

You can clean your uterus naturally at home after a miscarriage by eating healthy food items such as gYou can clean your uterus naturally at home after a miscarriage by eating healthy food items such as green leafy vegetables, beets, beans, chicken, or turkey. Another way is to ingest herbs such as angelica, black cohosh root, yarrow leaf, cramp bark, motherwort, and chaste tree berry.

How early can you have a miscarriage?

An early miscarriage can happen in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Many women have a miscarriage even before they know they are pregnant.

Infection after miscarriage?

About 3% of women will get an infection related to miscarriages. This can be caused due to the retention of fetal tissue in the uterus. So, ensure you contact your doctor if you have any symptoms of an infection, such as intense cramping or bleeding that lasts more than two weeks.

Can you get pregnant right after a miscarriage?

You can ovulate and get pregnant as quickly as two weeks after miscarriage.

Can stress cause miscarriage?

Excessive stress is not good for a person’s overall health, but no evidence suggests that stress can lead to a miscarriage.

What to do with the fetus after miscarriage at home?

If you miscarry at home, you will pass the remaining fetal tissue into the toilet, so there is no real need to clean up.

Which food can cause miscarriage?

Food items such as raw meat and fish, unpasteurized milk and cheese, and deli meat contain food-borne illnesses linked to miscarriages.

What does a miscarriage feel like?

Most women describe having miscarriages as equal to a heavy menstrual period. If this happens, the symptoms to check for are cramping, heavy miscarriage bleeding, pain in the pelvis, back, and stomach, and feeling very weak.

What are some early miscarriage symptoms?

Some early miscarriage symptoms are:

  • Cramping and pain in the lower stomach
  • Vaginal discharge of fluids
  • Discharge of tissue
  • No pregnancy symptoms
  • Heavy period
  • breast tenderness

How long does a miscarriage last?

The length of the miscarriage depends on the trimester. If a woman miscarries in her early pregnancy loss, she only experiences cramping and bleeding for a few hours.

What is the best sleeping position to avoid miscarriage?

Try to get into the routine and practice sleeping on your side. The best and most comfortable position to sleep in during pregnancy is on your side with your knees bent.

Natural home remedies to prevent miscarriage?

The best remedy to prevent miscarriages is taking folic acid daily, eating a healthy balanced diet, exercising, and reducing stress levels.

What is the most common reason to miscarry?

The most common reason to miscarry is chromosome problems.

What Is a Chemical Pregnancy?

While as many as one in five known pregnancies will result in a miscarriage, research suggests that the rate may be as high as 50% when including people unaware of their pregnancy. Very early miscarriage (chemical pregnancy) occurs when a pregnancy is lost shortly after implantation.

What do miscarriage clots look like?

Miscarriage blood clots can vary from a fraction of an inch to a few inches wide.

Key Takeaways

The loss of a child can be devastating, especially when pregnant. But things will slowly start getting better. It would help if you gave yourself time to recover.

Seek out help and support from others who have gone through a miscarriage. Pregnancy loss can create a sense of loneliness, but remember that you are not alone. There is always help available. We hope this article helps you understand what a miscarriage looks like.


I am Charlotte Garcia, Passionate and experienced content writer specializing in parenting and family-related topics. With a deep love for children and a keen interest in helping parents navigate the beautiful journey of parenthood, I dedicated my career to creating valuable and insightful content.