Symptoms of a include:
- Vaginal bleeding that may be light or heavy, constant or irregular. Although bleeding is often the first sign of a miscarriage, first-trimester bleeding may also occur with a normal pregnancy. But bleeding with pain is a sign that miscarriage is more likely.
- Pain. You may have pelvic cramps, abdominal pain, or a persistent, dull ache in your lower back. Pain may start a few hours to several days after bleeding has begun.
- Blood clots or grayish (fetal) tissue passing from the vagina.
It is not always easy to tell whether a miscarriage is taking place. A miscarriage often does not occur as a single event but as a chain of events over several days. One woman's physical experience of a miscarriage can be very different from another woman's experience.
Risk factors for miscarriage
Factors that may increase your risk of miscarriage include:
- , especially at age 35 and older.
- A history of recurrentmiscarriage (three or more).
- , which can cause ovulation problems, obesity, increased malehormone levels, and an increased risk of diabetes.
- Certainbacterial or viral infections during pregnancy.
- A blood-clotting disorder such asantiphospholipid antibody syndrome.
- Problems with the structure of the uterus (such as a T-shapeduterus).
- A physical injury.
- Exposure to dangerous chemicals, such as benzene, arsenic, or formaldehyde, before or duringpregnancy.
- The father's age, especially beyond age 35.2
Other factors that may slightly raise miscarriage risk include:
- use (such as ibuprofen or naproxen) atthe time of conception or during early pregnancy.3
- Alcohol use, cigarette smoking, or cocaine use duringpregnancy.
- A snakebite.4
- Caffeine use during pregnancy.
- A or to test for birth defects or geneticproblems. When done by a highly trained provider, one study showed that thesetests have a risk of miscarriage of about 1 out of 400.5 Some studies have shown higher risks, between 2 and4 out of 400.6 This greater risk may be more likelyin medical centers with less experienced providers, especially for CVS.
It is normal to wonder whether you did something to cause your miscarriage. It may help to know that most miscarriages happen because the fertilized egg in the uterus does not develop normally, not because of something you did. A miscarriage is not caused by stress, exercise, or sex.