Pregnancy loss is a heartbreaking event for every woman but it’s very, very common. Miscarriage is the loss of a baby in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy and is one of the most common pregnancy related issues. It is also called as spontaneous abortion. In a miscarriage, an embryo or fetus is spontaneously expelled from the uterus but can’t yet live in the outside world.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists it is considered that about 15 to 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. More than 80 percent of miscarriages occur in the first trimester which is why many women decide to wait before sharing the good news until the 13th week.
It is caused by –
- Chromosomal problems
- Hormone imbalance
- Uterine problems
- Chronic illness
- Immune system responses
- Medical conditions like diabetes or thyroid disease
- High fever
- Exposure to radiation or toxic chemicals
- Smoking, drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs
In this article:
All You Need to Know about Signs of Miscarriage at 8 Weeks
What are the First Signs of a Miscarriage?
Some women experience no signs and symptoms of miscarriage at all as it depends and vary in every woman. The first and major sign experienced is bleeding which progresses from light to heavy. Other possible miscarriage signs besides bleeding are –
- Mild to severe cramps
- Pain in the back or abdomen
- Loss of pregnancy symptoms like nausea and vomiting
- White pink mucus
- Weakness and weight loss
- Fluid discharge from the vagina
- Feeling faint or light headed
- Passing tissue or clot-like material
What Week is the Highest Risk of Miscarriage?
The first trimester of pregnancy is considered 0 to 13 weeks. About 80 percent of miscarriages generally happen in the first trimester. Losses after this time occur less often and reported as a miscarriage rate of only 1 to 5 percent in the second trimester.
Weeks 0 to 6 – these are early weeks marked as the highest risk of miscarriage. A woman can have a miscarriage in the first week or two without realizing the pregnancy and it may even seem like a late period. Age plays a role in woman’s risk factor. According to a study indicated that compared to women younger than 35 –
- Women with age of 35 to 39 have a 75 percent increase in risk
- Women with age of 40 and older are at 5 times the risk
Weeks 6 to 12 – once a pregnancy makes it to 6 weeks and is confirmed viability with a heartbeat, the risk of having a miscarriage drops to 10 percent. According to a 2008 study, it is stated that the risk for miscarriage falls quickly with further gestational age.
Weeks 13 to 20 – by week 12, it is seen the risk may fall to 5 percent.
What Does the Tissue Look Like When Having a Miscarriage?
The tissue from an early miscarriage may not be seen through the naked eye. Many early miscarriages simply look such as heavy menstrual periods with maybe a few tiny blood clots in the discharge. If the miscarriage happens beyond four or five weeks gestational age (which is based on the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period and also includes about two weeks during when not pregnant), it is possible that there may be small, transparent gestational sac with the rudimentary beginnings of a placenta on its edge.
In a miscarriage which happens beyond six weeks, the flow may contain an identifiable embryo or fetus in the early stages of development. Depending on the point at which the pregnancy stopped developing this could range in size from as small as a pea to as big as an orange. But sometimes in a first-trimester miscarriage, there may not be recognizable tissue if the pregnancy began to deteriorate before the onset of the miscarriage bleeding.
As stated by Maternal-fetal Medicine at the University of Washington that – ‘depending on the medical situation, the physical process of losing a pregnancy can vary from person to person’. Some women will start to have bleeding and cramping which is caused by contractions that are working to expel the contents of the uterus and may pass large blood clots and tissue. If it happens rapidly, the miscarriage is considered to usually completed by the body without any complications.
What is the Most Common Week for Miscarriage?
Early miscarriages occur in the first trimester and account for 80 percent of all miscarriages. Of these, a large number occur in the first weeks of pregnancy, often before a woman knows about the pregnancy. During the first trimester, a lot is happening in the pregnancy such as an embryo’s cells start dividing to form organs, the embryo implants into side of the uterus, the placenta must establish connections between the mother and the baby’s blood flow and the immune system needs to get used to the new fetus inside the mother. All of this means there are a lot of steps that can go wrong and lead to a miscarriage.
Late miscarriages and much less common, occurring in 1 in 1,000 pregnancies and happen between the end of the first trimester and week 20.
Miscarriage vary woman to woman and experience signs and symptoms. Major sign is bleeding which can be low ot heavy. Consult the doctor for treatment.