The loss of a baby (embryo) in early pregnancy is one of the commonest reasons for a woman to seek medical help – one in four pregnancies end in a spontaneous miscarriage.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF A MISCARRIAGE
- Uterine or lower abdominal cramps
- Brown discharge
- The passage of slimy tissue with mucus
- Heavy bleeding and clots
- The cessation of early pregnancy sickness
- No symptoms – a quiet miscarriage
Pain and bleeding in early pregnancy needs further investigation to assess if the pregnancy is alive or viable. This is done with an ultrasound scan to detect a heartbeat in the fetus.
If the sac and the embryo are not viable or living the woman can leave things ‘up to nature’ to see if it will spontaneously come away – usually within 7-10 days or she may wish to have the uterus cleaned out. Some clinics offer a medical ‘clean out’ with drugs but this may still be incomplete. She may wish to have an evacuation or scrape out as a day case under a light anaesthetic to remove the dead tissue.
Some women bleed in early pregnancy and progress on without the loss of the baby so bleeding does not mean a miscarriage is inevitable.
Some women may have the signs of a miscarriage but the pregnancy is in the fallopian tube – an ectopic pregnancy. This needs to be diagnosed and dealt with early to prevent internal bleeding. An ultrasound scan should be done to exclude an ectopic pregnancy.
Most hospitals now run an early pregnancy assessment clinic to diagnose and guide women on the viability of the pregnancy.
At our clinic we can offer the same help. If you require help and advice you may call: The Wellington Women’s Clinic in London NW8 9SP. We are a private clinic in London and our telephone number is 020 7722 8328.