Miscarriage: Possible Without Bleeding?

I am five weeks pregnant and had some light spotting of brown blood. I went to the hospital and the exam noted a normal closed cervix with no "active" bleeding. The doctor told me he wanted to do a routine followup. just to make sure all was well. After two ultrasounds (one abdominal, one vaginal) doctors have told me that they can't find a gestational sac and that it appears I had a complete miscarriage, possibly due to a blighted ovum. Is it possible to have a miscarriage with no bleeding and no cramping and to have a completely closed cervix? Is it possible that they may have missed the gestational sac at three weeks gestation? I have to wait three days to have a repeat hCG and my heart is breaking. Please give me any advice you can so that I can prepare myself for the possibility that the pregnancy is over.


Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

How sad for you. I am sorry that you have to experience this and I am also sorry that no one can give you any definitive answer.

Yes, it is possible to miscarry without much, if any, bleeding, as the embryo can be reabsorbed. More likely, however, is that there may not have been an embryo at all, or that you are yet to experience the bleeding. You may just have a heavier than normal or "different" period next time.

You are correct when you say that three weeks is very early. It depends upon the skill of the technician and the quality of the equipment but I have known women who were told there was no gestational sac who went on to deliver eight months later. Your provider could do hCG levels which would help to determine the viability of the pregnancy.

I am sorry that I cannot give you "the answer" and I feel for what you are going through. We will all be thinking about you during this difficult time.

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