Gynaecology Conditions | Miscarriage

Miscarriage is common and occurs in 3 out of every 10 pregnancies. Most miscarriages occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.



The most common symptom of miscarriage is vaginal bleeding. The amount of bleeding can vary from spotting to the passage of clots. There may also be associated lower abdominal cramping and pain in your back or pelvis. In this situation it would be advisable to contact your GP. Another feature of miscarriage is that the symptoms of pregnancy may stop unexpectedly. It is possible to experience no symptoms of miscarriage and the miscarriage is only picked up during a routine ultrasound scan performed to date your pregnancy.


Causes of miscarriage

About 50% of all early miscarriages happen because of a problem in the way the genetic material (chromosomes) combined when your egg and your partner’s sperm joined during fertilisation. There are many other causes of miscarriage too numerous to mention however maternal age, smoking and alcohol consumption all do increase miscarriage risk.


Diagnosis of miscarriage

A miscarriage is usually confirmed following an early pregnancy ultrasound scan. If your pregnancy is early in development (less than 7 weeks) a further ultrasound scan may be required 7-10 days alter to confirm the diagnosis.


If your pregnancy at this time is suspected to be within your Fallopian tube (an ectopic pregnancy) then additional blood tests may be required in order to assist in the diagnosis.


Management of miscarriage

Unless your miscarriage is complete you may need treatment with either medicines or surgery to remove any pregnancy tissue from your womb. It is possible to let nature take its course (expectant management), however this can sometimes be associated with a higher chance of excessive bleeding. Your Doctor can discuss the options available to you so that an informed choice can be made.