How Early Can You Miscarry?

Miscarriage (also termed as spontaneous abortion) is defined as loss of pregnancy before 20 weeks of pregnancy or before fetus becomes viable to maintain its existence outside maternal body. According to a study, approximately 10-20 percent of the pregnancies result in miscarriages, and about 80percent of these pregnancies are lost in the initial 12 weeks of gestation.

Different researches have concluded that 40-50 percent of fertilized ovum are lost before implantation and the women experience their periods just like the regular ones on time. If you want to learn how early can a miscarriage happen, this article is for you!

How Early Can You Miscarry?

As mentioned above, early loss of pregnancies is common and in many cases the fertilized ovum is lost long before the woman realizes that she is pregnant, or before running any pregnancy test. Miscarriages can happen even during the first week of pregnancy. Here are the chances of miscarriage in early pregnancy weeks:

The process of ovulation starts when the female ovary releases an egg which then travels toward the fallopian tube and to the uterus. Here this egg gets fertilized by a sperm. After being fertilized this zygote starts to grow. After five days this fertilized egg divides to form blastocyst, which is a ball like structure. After 10 days this formed blastocyst embeds itself in the lining of uterus which settles the pregnancy and completes conception.

After conception is achieved implantation of blastocyst starts, in which this mass of cells begins to grow, requiring nutrition for multiplication. If blastocyst does not get enough nutrients to grow and multiply then miscarriage happens. In the initial weeks, miscarriage is identified by heavy bleeding in the menstrual flow.

How early can you miscarry? Here’s what some pregnant women have experienced:

“I started spotting when I was 5 weeks pregnant; at that time my HCG levels were quite low. The next week my periods were started like regular periods and my HCG was down to zero. My physician told me that I was experiencing chemical pregnancy (early miscarriage before you can see anything on an ultrasound scan) and almost 15 percent pregnancies results in miscarriage. Women assume that they are having late periods as they occur so early.”

“I miscarried when I was 4 weeks, and just after two days of knowing that I am pregnant. Spotting started with some clots and tissues, so I went to the hospital where my test showed low levels of pregnancy hormone, after a day a pregnancy test was performed which came out negative so I lost my baby but as soon as I feel fine, I will try again.”

“I had my miscarriage after 10 weeks of my pregnancy. Then I waited for a year and now I am 13 weeks pregnant. My doctor has informed me that it’s a high risk pregnancy but I am enjoying it. Having a miscarriage earlier does not cause serious complications just follow the doctor’s instructions and don’t let the miscarriage bring you down.”

Symptoms of Early Miscarriage

Still wondering how early can you miscarry? Learn the classic symptoms for early identification. In almost all cases of early miscarriage the symptoms remains the same including,

Heavy bleeding, this can appear as,

  • Appearance of brownish to bright red color blood
  • Bleeding with or without cramps
  • Heavy bleeding which soaks more than 1 pad in one hour
  • Appearance of blood clots or tissues in the blood
  • Sudden bleeding
  • Bleeding which worsens with the passage of time

Cramps, which can appear as,

  • Painful cramps which are worse than regular menstrual cramps
  • Cramping pain which radiates to the back
  • Cramps accompanied by bleeding


  • Mucus ranging from white to pink color discharges from vagina
  • Clear transparent fluid may also appear

Some other symptoms include:

  • Quick weight loss
  • No distinguishable heartbeat of fetus on the ultrasound

What Happens Later?

In most cases of early miscarriage, the body of female recovers naturally; hence no medical treatment is generally needed. The natural method of recovery includes bleeding which stops after 10 days or maximum three weeks after miscarriage. However physicians recommend strict bed rest for at least a week and use of painkillers in case of cramps. Hot water bag is also one of the common and effective methods used for reducing pain and ease the lower abdominal muscles after miscarriage. For further care a pregnancy test is recommended after a week to confirm that the pregnancy has been ended.

In case the symptoms of miscarriage does not resolve, medical treatment is required. On a follow-up visit, a physician may use any of the three approaches to control the symptoms,

  • Expectant management: Expectant management, a type of management approach in which the physician wait for a maximum period of one week so that the bleeding is settled on its own. If the bleeding continues then following approaches are provided.
  • Medical management: Painkillers and other medications are prescribed to relieve the pain and control symptoms.
  • Surgical management: A minor surgical operation or surgery is performed to complete the process of miscarriage.

Types of Miscarriages

If you are looking to learn more about how early can you miscarry, you should learn about the types of miscarriage that are generally categorized into five different types. These are differentiated on the basis of symptoms:

  1. Threatened Miscarriage: This type is characterized by a closed cervix with uterine bleeding and severe cramps in lower back region.
  2. Incomplete miscarriage: It is characterized by open cervix with heavy bleeding and pain in abdomen. Open cervix reflect that the miscarriage is incomplete due to which bleeding and cramps occur.
  3. Complete miscarriage: This is a type in which the conception products of pregnancy are completely eliminated from the uterus and body. The bleeding in complete miscarriage subsides earlier than in any other type.Confirmation is made by performing an ultrasound.
  4. Missed miscarriage: In this type the women is not aware of her miscarriage. This happens because the embryo has not been expelled out from the body. The exact known is still not known but the type is confirmed by performing an ultrasound in which there is absence of fetal heartbeat.
  5. Recurrent miscarriage: It is defined as consecutive three miscarriages mainly in first trimester of pregnancy. Complications may occur in one percent of couples who wants to conceive.
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