Why Was Bleeding Different in Recent Miscarriage Than in Prior One?

A week ago I found out that I was pregnant (second time) We have been trying for a year, I just recently miscarried, I have had a miscarriage before my son was born, but this time it was different, There is not a lot of bleeding but passing of large tissue, I figured I was about 7 weeks, I go to my doctor for a ultrasound this week, I just don't understand why there isn't as much blood this time, in fact it tends to stop completely at time, last time I bled for about a week and a half , and this time it's almost over in a couple of days. Any ideas?

Thanks for your time


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

It does seem reasonable to expect and anticipate the same type of signs and symptoms with one event as you experienced with a similar event in the past. But actually miscarriages are different from each other in much the same way that pregnancies are different.

I have never experienced a miscarriage myself but I have taken care of many women who have. Even among a broad population of clients, what they all experience is very different.

Variables that impact those differences are such things as the location of the implantation within the uterus. Some experts believe that many embryos implant too low in the uterus and soon outgrow the blood supply because this is not a very vascular area. The same might hold true for implantation sites very close to the tube. How deeply the embryo has taken hold would also influence bleeding. The condition of the endometrium, the lining of the uterus would matter as well. The muscle tone of the uterus changes with each pregnancy, becoming more relaxed. This determines how hard the uterus must contract to expel the products of conception. Indeed, you may well have more spasmodic bleeding with this miscarriage - it may appear to stop but restart several times. This can get confusing because you do not really know if it is the menses or not.

Your own nutrient stores of iron, calcium and electrolytes can determine the amount and characteristics of bleeding as well. It takes about a year after a first trimester loss to regain appropriate amounts of nutrients.

In addition, not every pregnancy involves a successful fertilization, and without the development of the unique structures that allow implantation, the ovum is often reabsorbed or leaves the body quietly perhaps during an especially heavy or late menses.

Some quote a rate of about 1 out of 3 lost pregnancies for every successful one. It is important to talk to someone about your experiences. Despite the happy outcome you have experienced once, pregnancy loss still represents the loss of a life event and can cause you to doubt your body's ability to carry a baby to term.

I would encourage you to pick up several excellent books:

How to Prevent Miscarriage and Other Crises of Pregnancy
By Stefan Semchyshyn and Carol Colman New York : Macmillan, c1989.

Miscarriage: A Shattered Dream.
By Sherokee Ilse and Linda Hammer Burns Wintergreen Press, copyright 1985.

Preventing Miscarriage: The Good News
By Jonathan Scher and Carol Dix. New York : Harper & Row, 1990.

Hope this has helped and best of luck in your future pregnancies.

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