What You Should Know about the Missed Miscarriage? (Updated 2018)


One might be surprised at how many pregnancies end in miscarriage. Sometimes, the signs of miscarriage are absent when a miscarriage occurs. Missed miscarriages (missed abortion) are also known as silent miscarriages.

In a missed miscarriage, the body does not recognize the end of a pregnancy and will keep the embryo from being expelled. Since pregnancy symptoms do not cease, it can be difficult to know whether or not a missed miscarriage has occurred.

It is very common not to know that you are having a missed abortion. That is where the name comes from, after all. The silent nature of this type of miscarriage can be devastating, especially if you did not find out for a while.

1. Missed Miscarriage Symptoms

The signs of a missed miscarriage are very similar to the signs of an actual miscarriage. They include the absence of fetal heart tones on an ultrasound, vaginal discharge that turns from brown to bright red, and a reduction of pregnancy symptoms.

Most of the time, however, there is little evidence that you are going through a missed miscarriage. What can you do to know what causes a missed miscarriage to know how to avoid one?

Unfortunately, there are no known causes of missed miscarriage. They are usually attributed to a chromosomal abnormality in the fetus. The only treatment is to let the miscarriage happen naturally or to remove the tissue surgically in a dilation and curettage procedure.

2. Missed Miscarriage Treatment and Complications

Picture showing how Dilation and curettage surgery process
Source: http://rnspeak.com/

A missed miscarriage may be delayed in reacting to the miscarriage. That does not mean that it will not get the picture eventually. However, some might not want to wait. There is a procedure that can be done to remove the tissue and placenta.

Dilation and curettage is that procedure. This surgical intervention can be used to remove the contents of the uterus for faster recovery. However, there are complications that can arise in this method.

Some other complications that come along with this procedure are:

  • Medication reaction
  • Hemorrhage or heavy bleeding
  • Laceration or weakening of the uterus
    • This can cause preterm births in the future. The opening of the cervix and keeping it open can cause a developing baby to become too heavy for a weak cervix.
  • Scarring of the uterus or cervix
    • This will need further treatment and may contribute to infertility.
  • Perforation or puncture of the uterus
    • This can cause uterine rupture which is deadly to mother and baby.
  • Incomplete procedure
    • This may cause another surgery to have to be performed. Sometimes they cannot get it all or miss some, and it can be possible for an infection to form.

Signs of infection after a missed miscarriage are yellowy discharge and foul odor. If you notice this, call your doctor right away. The longer you let it go, the more serious the infection may get.

[Read more about Foul Odor]

Another option might be a medication that induces labor. It has a few side effects of its own but works well. Prepare for bleeding and diarrhea among other things.

3. Missed Miscarriage Statistics

Mother sending her unborn child to heaven
Source: http://www.lifewithgremlins.com/

How common is a missed miscarriage? Missed miscarriage rates and studies show that they are not very common, only about one percent. Here are some more statistics about missed miscarriages and miscarriages in general:

  • Up to one percent of all pregnancies will end in a missed miscarriage.
  • The risk of miscarriage goes up 12 percent after age 30. At age 35, it can increase up to as much as 39 percent. At 40, that doubles to about 78 percent.
  • The overall risk of miscarriage is 17 to 22 percent.
  • The risk of miscarriage doubles after one year of unsuccessful completion of pregnancy.
  • People with partners over 40 years old have an increased risk up to as much as 60 percent.
  • The miscarriage risk increases to 88 percent when the father is over 50.
  • At least 20 percent of pregnancies will end in miscarriage.

4. Pregnancy After Missed Miscarriage

Getting pregnant after a missed miscarriage might be an emotional experience. Your doctor will let you know what is best for your situation when it comes to conception. It is usually safe when the bleeding stops, but it is best to ensure your health and safety before going at it.

Safe sex is okay, but waiting three to six months might be recommended depending on your situation. You will not be increasing your risk of recurrent miscarriage, either. It is possible to try again right away, but miscarriage is more likely the less you wait.

Waiting for three to four cycles is another way you can measure when you can try again.

[Read more about Pregnancy]

5. Other Types of Miscarriage

  • Threatened miscarriage

    Different types of miscarriages
    Source: https://hu.pinterest.com
    • Early pregnancy bleeding and cramping that are not connected to a miscarriage.
    • 1/3 of all women will have some bleeding in the first trimester, and only half will result in miscarriage.
  • Complete miscarriage

    • A miscarriage in which all of the uterine contents are naturally expelled through the vagina.
    • There are not usually any complications due to the body naturally getting rid of the uterine contents.
  • Incomplete miscarriage

    • A miscarriage where not all of the tissue is expelled from the body and needs intervention in the form of dilation and curettage or medications.
  • Recurrent miscarriage

    • When someone has two or more back-to-back miscarriages, they are called recurrent.
  • Ectopic pregnancy

    • When a fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus, it is considered ectopic. This most commonly happens in the fallopian tube. This kind of pregnancy needs to be addressed immediately to stop further complications.
  • Blighted ovum

    • This type of pregnancy is where the fertilized egg implants into the uterine wall without ever beginning development. There is often a gestational sac without or with a yolk sac with an absence of fetal growth.
    • Also referred to as anembryonic gestation.
  • Molar pregnancy

    • A genetic error causes an error during fertilization that causes abnormal growth of tissue in the uterus. These pregnancies rarely result in an embryo, but often cause positive pregnancy tests, severe nausea, a missed period, and more.
  • Fetal or embryonic demise

    • The early embryo or fetus will stop growing and developing in this type of miscarriage.
    • About one percent of healthy pregnancies end in fetal demise.
    • This term is also used to describe pregnancy losses that occur 20 weeks or more during gestation.

6. Preventing Miscarriage

Man kissing a sad woman
Source: http://familytreeacupuncture.com.au/

Your likelihood of miscarriage depends on a lot of things. Ensure that you are doing everything that you can to take care of your body and to prepare for pregnancy. When you are finally ready to try again, you should keep the following things in mind to help you have an easier time.

  • Exercise

    • With moderate exercise, you are staying active and allowing your body maintain a healthy balance.
  • Diet

    • Make sure that you are eating well and not eating or drinking harmful substances. There are tons of foods that you can eat to help your body to get the nutrients it needs to sustain another life.
  • Weight

    • There is an ideal weight for every woman trying to conceive. Find out what yours is and get there. Stay at that weight and when you are pregnant, allow for adjustments.
    • Being overweight or underweight is not where you want to be when you are trying to get pregnant.
  • Folic acid

    • Folic acid has been shown to lessen the possibility of miscarriage with higher doses. It also helps to help prevent neural defects like spina bifida.
  • Lifestyle

    • Drinking, drugs and cigarettes are things you should definitely give up if you are trying to get pregnant. You will have to eventually, anyway, so it is good practice. Continuing to use will cause complications during pregnancy, and may end up seriously harming your growing baby.
  • Environmental hazards

    • There are hazards that can affect your pregnancy on your end and your partner’s. Either of you being exposed to toxic things can have an effect on your reproductive ability.
  • Medications

    • Ensure that you tell your doctor about everything that you are taking, even herbal supplements. This is important so he knows what your exact circumstances are and what you will need.
  • Emotions

    • Tending to your feelings about the loss is very important. It is a painful experience, and it is okay to feel whatever you are feeling.
    • Getting counseling or just talking to s0meone can help.
  • Sex life

    • Having sex regularly will clearly increase the possibility of getting pregnant. Having intercourse at least three times a week will ensure that you are getting some days of ovulation in no matter what.
    • You should wait however long your doctor says that you should, but it should not be very long depending on your circumstances.

Missed miscarriage is not very common, but it used to be more so. There is nothing telling us why, but it should only be a minor worry. The majority of miscarriages happen in the first trimester, so after that, you are most likely good on that end. Making sure you take care of your growing baby is the next step.

When you finally do get pregnant and are past the first couple weeks, there are some things that you can do to take care of both you and your growing fetus.Woman hand holding a positive home pregnancy test

  • Keep the abdomen safe
    • Try to avoid strenuous activity as much as possible. You may want to be super mom, but that can wait until you have your baby. Relaxing and letting your body grow a future child is an amazing experience that is hard to describe. Ensure that no trauma happens to the abdomen and that your baby is safe.
  • Check all medications and supplements with your doctor
    • You should not be taking anything that can harm you or your fetus and some medications or supplements can have consequences if you are not aware of the interaction it will have with your pregnancy.
  • Do not drink alcohol
    • Drinking alcohol can not only harm your baby, but it can cause him to have a dependency when born.
  • Avoid being around smoke and smoking
    • This can harm your baby as well, and he will be addicted to nicotine when born. This is unhealthy in the first place so why do it to your baby, too?
  • Stay away from radiation, diseases, and x rays
    • These can mess with the pregnancy and cause harm to your baby or even to yourself.

As long as you do all of these things, your pregnancy will be safe from outside factors. There is still no way to stop a miscarriage from happening, but doing the best you can might be all it takes.

A missed miscarriage can be hard to come back from. Having to go through the experience is unimaginable to those who have not gone through it. However, it is not the fault of the mother that the pregnancy has failed. It is not a prediction of what is going to happen in the future.

Depending on your circumstances, resolving a missed abortion should not be too difficult. It will normally take care of itself. In the case that it does not, it is important to know your options and what the outcomes of them will be.

You might prefer to let the miscarriage happen naturally. Alternatively, you can opt for surgery or a labor inducing medication with minor side effects. Either way, it is important that all of the uterine contents are expelled, and getting an ultrasound will help confirm.

No matter what happens, remember that a missed miscarriage is not a bad omen for the future. There is no harm in trying again as long as you wait the appropriate amount of time for your body to heal. Taking care of yourself and avoiding potentially dangerous situations is super important, even if you are not pregnant yet. It will never hurt to get yourself in shape and eat right when you are trying to conceive.


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