What is a miscarriage?

A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy during the first 24 weeks. Most of the miscarriages happen in the first 12 weeks.

What causes a miscarriage?

There are probably many reasons why a miscarriage may happen, although the cause is not usually identified. Most miscarriages are caused by abnormal chromosomes in the baby. If a baby has too many or not enough chromosomes, it will not develop properly. For most women, a miscarriage is a one-off event and they go on to have a successful pregnancy in the future.

It’s nature’s mechanism to miscarry those embryos, which are not destined to develop into a healthy fetus. The risk for chromosomal abnormalities goes up as woman age. The quality of a man’s semen and man’s age also seems to play a role. There are many other medical factors can cause miscarriage. Sometimes it is not possible to find out the cause for a miscarriage.

How common are miscarriages?

Miscarriages are much more common than most people realise.Among women who know they're pregnant, it's estimated about 1 in 6 pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Risk increases with increasing women’s age.Losing 3 or more pregnancies (recurrent miscarriages) is uncommon and only affects around 1 in 100 women.

What are the symptoms of miscarriage? 

1) Light spotting / brownish discharge / heavy bleeding / bright red blood / clots.

2) Cramping and pain in your lower tummy

3) Discharge of fluid from your vagina

4) Discharge of tissue from your vagina

5) No longer experiencing the symptoms of pregnancy, such as feeling sick and breast tenderness

Vaginal bleeding is relatively common during the first trimester (first 3 months) of pregnancy and it does not necessarily mean you're having a miscarriage.

What to do if have symptoms of miscarriage?

If you have the symptoms of a miscarriage, you should see a doctor. Doctor will examine you and arrange for blood tests and internal scan. In most cases, an ultrasound scan can determine if you're having a miscarriage.

When a miscarriage is confirmed, doctor will discuss about the options for the management of the end of the pregnancy.Often the pregnancy tissue will pass out naturally in 1 or 2 weeks in half of the miscarried women.Sometimes medicine may be recommended to assist the passage of the tissue or you can choose to have minor surgery to remove it if you do not want to wait.

Will miscarriage happen again?

Miscarriages happen in 1 in 6 pregnancies. Miscarriages cannot be prevented. Having a miscarriage does not necessarily mean you will have another if you get pregnant again.Most women are able to have a healthy pregnancy after a miscarriage, even in cases of recurrent miscarriages.

When to seek urgent medical help?

On rare occasions, pregnancy develops outside the womb. This is known as an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies are potentially serious as there's a risk you could experience internal bleeding. Symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy usually appear between 5 and 6 weeks of the pregnancy.Symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy may include:Persistent and severe tummy pain, usually on one side, heavy vaginal bleeding, pain in your shoulder tip, diarrhoea and vomiting, feeling very faint and lightheaded, and possibly fainting

What are the tests done when suspecting miscarriage?

1) Ultrasound Scan: The first test used is usually an ultrasound scan to check the development of your baby and look for a heartbeat.Sometimes a miscarriage cannot be confirmed immediately using ultrasound or blood testing. If this is the case, you may be advised to have the tests again in 1 or 2 weeks.

2) Blood test (Serum B HCG): You may also be offered blood tests (serum B HCG) to measure hormones associated with pregnancy. You usually need to have 2 blood tests 48 hours apart to see if your hormone levels go up or down.

What are the treatment options for miscarriage?If there's no pregnancy tissue left in your womb, no treatment is required.However, if there's still some pregnancy tissue in your womb, your options are:

1) Expectant management:  Wait for the tissue to pass out of your womb naturally for up to 2 weeks.

2) Medical management – take medicine that causes the tissue to pass out of your womb.  In most cases, you'll be offered tablets called pessaries that are inserted directly into your vagina, where they dissolve.The tablets usually begin to work within a few hours. You'll experience symptoms similar to a heavy period, such as cramping and heavy vaginal bleeding.

3) Surgical management( D&C, Dilatation & Curettage) – have the tissue surgically removed. In some cases, surgery is used to remove any remaining pregnancy tissue. You may be advised to have immediate surgery if you experience continuous heavy bleeding, there's evidence the pregnancy tissue has become infected, medicine or waiting for the tissue to pass out naturally has been unsuccessful. Surgery involves removing any remaining tissue in your womb with a suction device is done under general anaesthesia.

Can bad sperm cause a miscarriage?

The quality of a man's semen may also play a role. Poor sperm quality can be the cause of miscarriage in few couples.

Can folic acid prevent miscarriage?

Folic acid is a vitamin (B9). If you’re planning to have a baby, you must take folic acid tablets for three months before you conceive to protect your future baby against conditions called neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. Few women may need a higher dose of folic acid.

Will there be any problems in future conception and in future pregnancy?The risk of complications is very small for all these options. These above treatment should not cause any problem for the future conception and pregnancy.                                                                                          

Is doing internal scan dangerous to the baby?

Will it increases the risk of miscarriage?No. Doing a scan is safe in pregnancy and scans do not increase your risk of miscarriage.

When will your periods happen again?

Your periods should return within 4 -6 weeks of your miscarriage.

When can you start having sex?

You can have sex as soon as your symptoms have settled and you are emotionally and physically ready.

When to start trying for the pregnancy?

You can try for another baby as soon as your symptoms have settled and you're emotionally and physically ready. There is no need to wait for 2 or 6 months before you plan for the next pregnancy

Do you need to do any extra investigations after first miscarriage?

Miscarriage is very common in women. No additional investigations are required before planning for the next pregnancy.

Can the risk of miscarriage be reduced?

In many cases, the cause of a miscarriage is not known and you would not have been able to prevent it.However, there are ways to lower your risk of miscarriage, including:

1) Not smoking during pregnancy.

2) Not drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs during pregnancy.

3) Eating a healthy, balanced diet with fruits and vegetables a day.

4) Making attempts to avoid certain infections during pregnancy, such as rubella.

5) Avoiding certain foods during pregnancy, which could make you ill or harm your baby.

6) Being a healthy weight before getting pregnant

As yet, there's no evidence to suggest losing weight during pregnancy lowers your risk of miscarriage, but eating healthily, and activities such as walking and swimming, are good for all pregnant women.

Do you need anti D injection?

If woman’s blood group is negative and husband’s is positive, she needs Anti D Immunoglobin injection within 72 hours of miscarriage.



  • being stressed or depressed

  • having a shock or fright during pregnancy
  • exercise during pregnancy, but discuss with doctor what type and amount of exercise is suitable for you during pregnancy
  • lifting or straining during pregnancy
  • working during pregnancy – or work that involves sitting or standing for long periods
  • having sex during pregnancy
  • travelling by air or on road
  • eating spicy food
  • Lifting and carrying a small child
  • Having sex during pregnancy