Early Signs of Miscarriage: When to Worry and When to Stay Calm


With very early losses, the question often comes up: miscarriage vs period? Which is it? Here, I’ll help you answer that question, plus figure out what to look for, when to worry, when NOT to worry, and when to call a doctor.

What is a miscarriage? 

While there are many different types of miscarriage, they all have one thing in common: the unexpected loss of a pregnancy. The word “miscarriage” (a word I hate, by the way) is typically used to refer to a pregnancy lost before 20 weeks gestation; after that point, the loss is considered a stillbirth.

1. A Loss is a Loss

It doesn’t matter if you find out you’re pregnant when you realize you’re miscarrying, or if you lose your pregnancy much later. Your experience is valid. If you feel grief, your grief is valid.

2. How to Determine Week of Pregnancy

When we count “week pregnant,” the standard is to count from the date of your last period. So, if you ovulate on day 14 of your cycle and find out you’re pregnant on Day 28, you’re 4 weeks pregnant.

Early Signs of Miscarriage

When we talk about early signs of miscarriage, we can mean two things: 1. The first signs that appear when you’re miscarrying 2. The signs of a miscarriage when you’re early in your pregnancy

(1) Uterine Cramping

These cramps can usually be felt in your lower abdomen or lower back, and they can be a common early pregnancy symptom.

(2) Bleeding

Bleeding is one of the scariest things that can happen in early pregnancy, and it often causes women to completely freak out. But there are a few things to consider when bleeding in early pregnancy to decide if you should worry or wait.

Early Pregnancy Symptoms or Miscarriage?

When you’re early in pregnancy but see some slight spotting or feel mild cramps, it’s easy to wonder if you’re experiencing typical pregnancy symptoms or the early signs of miscarriage.

When Should You Call Your Doctor?

Personally, I recommend contacting your doctor if you even suspect a miscarriage. You can also contact your doctor if you have concerns that aren’t necessarily signs of miscarriage, especially if you know you’re pregnant.

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