The Different Types of Miscarriage
Knowing the types of miscarriage may help to prevent recurrent miscarriage. Why miscarriage occurs can often remain a mystery. It feels sad to list them out and I’m sorry that you are here.
There are many different types of miscarriage. Knowing the different types of miscarriage may help you by understanding what happened. However, we do not always know the causes of miscarriage or why miscarriage happens to some of us.
The term miscarriage is used for pregnancies that end in loss up to the 24th week of pregnancy. Thereafter, pregnancy losses are termed as a stillbirth.
Going through a miscarriage is very sad and can be very traumatic. You don’t have to go through it alone. It really helps to talk about your feelings, emotions and experience with other women who understand because they have also miscarried.
You may feel like hiding away from the world and keeping your feelings to yourself. Please know that talking about your miscarriage is a healing in itself. As a mother of five angel babies myself, I went through different types of miscarriage and a long healing journey. I learnt healing techniques to help myself to live happily again.
Today I am here to help you and others, to support you and help you to heal. I have many supportive materials here on my website for your healing journey.
Come and join my private group on Facebook. A safe place for you on your healing from miscarriage journey.
An inevitable miscarriage generally happens in early pregnancy. It is called “inevitable” because, along with heavy vaginal bleeding and severe abdominal cramping, the cervix is dilated and ready to abort the pregnancy.
A threatened miscarriage occurs in early pregnancy. It is called “threatened” because the pregnancy may stay intact and grow to full term. During a threatened miscarriage, women experience vaginal bleeding and abdominal cramping. It is different to an inevitable miscarriage because the cervix remains closed. Women with symptoms of a threatened miscarriage will most likely be advised by their doctor to take bed rest.
A very early miscarriage which happens shortly after an egg is fertilised by sperm. A chemical miscarriage happens before the 5th week of pregnancy. It is possible to have a positive pregnancy test, but it is too soon before a pregnancy can be picked up on an ultrasound scan. Many women, therefore do not realise that they have experienced a chemical pregnancy, if they have not tested, just thinking that their period is late.
A miscarriage which occurs during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. An early miscarriage is also called a firsttrimester miscarriage. According to research, most miscarriages occur during the first trimester. A big reason as to why many women delay announcing their pregnancy until after the first trimester.
A missed miscarriage is when the foetus remains completely intact with no bleeding. The mother has probably not realised that she has miscarried, unless her pregnancy symptoms have become less. As the foetus and placenta are still in place, pregnancy symptoms may still be felt. A missed miscarriage is picked up on a scan, showing that the development of the baby is not far enough and their heart has stopped beating. Finding out about a missed miscarriage during a routine scan is often a big shock, unless the mother really felt that pregnancy symptoms were no longer as strong. A missed miscarriage requires medical intervention, known as Dilation and Curettage, to remove all of the pregnancy tissues.
Complete miscarriages are when the womb expels pregnancy tissue and the mother experiences heavy vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain. WIth any heavy bleeding, always contact your doctor to get yourself checked. Once bleeding has subsided, an ultrasound scan will be performed to check that all pregnancy tissues have been expelled from the womb. If this is not the case, most likely a Dilation and Curettage will need to be performed.
A late miscarriage happens after the end of the first trimester and before the baby reaches 24 weeks (in the UK) or 20 weeks (in the USA). Symptoms of a late miscarriage could be vaginal bleeding or unusual or severe abdominal pain. Always contact a doctor immediately if you start to experience any abnormal symptoms.
A stillbirth is a miscarriage which happens after your baby reaches 24 weeks (in the UK) or after 20 weeks (in the USA). The mother may notice that the movements of her baby have slowed down or stopped. There are many reasons behind the cause of stillbirths. Always consult your doctor immediately if you notice reduced movement. In most cases, as long as there are no risks, you will have time to decide how to go ahead – if you wait for a natural labour to happen or if you choose induction. In the case of any risks, a doctor may advise you that you need a caesarean or a Dilation and Evacuation surgery.
Blighted Ovum (embryonic pregnancy)
A blighted ovum is when a fertilised egg reaches the stage of implantation but doesn’t develop any further. A blighted ovum will show on an ultrasound scan as an empty gestational sac. A Dilation and Curettage procedure will need to be performed to remove all pregnancy tissues.
A molar pregnancy occurs when something goes wrong during fertilisation of the egg. The mother will most likely experience many pregnancy symptoms and the abnormal growth will only get picked up on during the first ultrasound scan. A molar pregnancy is when either the maternal chromosomes are completely missing from the egg, or a complete egg gets fertilised by two sperms. A molar pregnancy could potentially pose a risk for the mother as it is an abnormal development of cells. As the tissues and cells do not get expelled by the womb, a Dilation and Curettage will need to be performed.
When a woman is pregnant with twins or multiples and one of the foetuses either “disappears” or stops developing. Symptoms around a vanishing twin vary a lot. Some women experience some vaginal bleeding whereas others may only first realise at the next ultrasound scan which shows no more heartbeat or development. In some cases, the foetus may have completely been absorbed into the other foetus, making it disappear.
I have listed ectopic pregnancy here as it will end in a miscarriage. In come cases, unfortunately, a surgical procedure and forced abortion. An ectopic pregnancy happens when a fertilised egg stays in the fallopian tube and starts to develop there. It is very dangerous for the mother and therefore needs intervention to be removed, if a natural miscarriage does not occur.
Coping with Miscarriage
Miscarriage is very sad and traumatic experience. You may feel like no one in the world can understand how you are feeling. Miscarriage also effects other family members and close ones. Reaching out for support can feel like a very big step outside of your comfort zone. Know that you are supported and there are many other women who are going through the same feelings an emotions as you are. Miscarriage effects so many women and families, yet it remains a topic that many do not feel comfortable talking about.
Make use of the many helpful materials here on my website to help you. Come and join my private group on Facebook. A safe place for you on your healing from miscarriage journey.