What Does a Miscarriage Look Like?


Miscarriages are becoming quite common off late. If you are an expecting mother, it is but natural to worry about a miscarriage. So, what does a miscarriage look like? Why does it happen, and what are its signs? Read on to know more.

What does a miscarriage look like?

Discussing about miscarriage is a very touchy thing. Since this is a mishap in the life of an expecting mother, miscarriage takes a toll on the physical as well as mental health of the individual. Women who have faced miscarriage often don’t want to speak regarding the same and even think about it; the whole experience is extremely traumatic.

However, if someone is planning to conceive, it is important to know about the various things, which are integrally related to pregnancy. Miscarriage is an accident, but any pregnant woman can face the same. Therefore, having some knowledge on miscarriage is crucial.

What is a miscarriage?

Miscarriage is when the body terminates the pregnancy. Usually miscarriages take place within the first trimester only; though miscarriages in advanced stages of pregnancy have also been reported. After the initial 12 weeks of pregnancy, rates of miscarriages drop significantly. Though there are many reasons for early miscarriages, but early pregnancy failure is the main cause. This means that the pregnancy was not able to develop normally. Usually chromosomal abnormality can lead to such problems in the first trimester of pregnancy. Another reason for miscarriage in the first trimester is deficiency of the hormone progesterone. Popularly known as the ‘hormone of pregnancy’, without progesterone the uterus is not able to properly accept and survive the embryo during the period of gestation.

Signs and symptoms of miscarriage

miscarriage signs

While experiencing miscarriage, most of the women face these common signs and symptoms. Some of the most prominent ones among them include:



Extremely light cramping can be felt in early pregnancy and it is very normal. However, if you find that the extent of cramping has increased and there is heavy blooding along with it, you might be facing miscarriage. Sometimes blood clots are also seen with heavy bleeding giving clear indications of a miscarriage.


Light bleeding is experienced by many women in early pregnancy and this is considered as normal. However, this can also be a symptom of miscarriage. If you see that the blood is brown is color and looks similar to coffee grounds, you should be worried. This is actually old tissue, which the uterus is expelling. This means that a miscarriage has already taken place.

Feeling of dizziness and faintness

Some women also complain of feeling dizzy and faint before a miscarriage happens. If you are expecting and you feel unusually dizzy, you must visit your midwife or doctor without delay.

Pink or clear vaginal discharge/fluid

Yet another clear sign of a miscarriage is pink discharge from the vagina. Sometimes this discharge can be clear too. This can be alongside spotting and can sometimes have a bad odor too. This discharge could be the leakage of pregnancy tissue and other fluids from the uterus and happens in the first trimester. At times you may pass tissue and clots through your vagina too. Do not ignore these symptoms as timely medical intervention can help save your pregnancy.

Reasons why early miscarriages take place

It is quite sad that in spite of taking full care and precautions, women do tend to experience early miscarriages. Heavy work or avoiding sex does not have any effect on early pregnancy. Basically during the initial stages of pregnancy, lots of changes take place in the body. Hormonal levels change drastically and cells and genes start functioning in a different manner in developing pregnancy. These changes that happen might not happen in the right manner and this leads to early miscarriage. However, there are things that can aggravate the chances of early miscarriage and these should be avoided by all means. Some of the most prominent conditions include:

  • Diabetes, which is poorly controlled
  • Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
  • Heavy smoking
  • Physical problems in uterus, which include fibroids
  • Abnormalities in uterine development
  • Use of illegal drugs like cocaine during pregnancy

Read more: Gestational Diabetes


What does a miscarriage look like?

This is a very difficult thing to explain as how a miscarriage looks like. Basically how a miscarriage looks like depends on the kind of miscarriage one has as well as on the gestation of the fetus. If there was no development of the fetus (anembryonic gestation), many women do not even realize that they are pregnant. During the expulsion of the fetus, it looks like normal menstruation. The only thing is that there might be slightly heavy bleeding, more blood clots in the bleeding and more cramping.

However, if the miscarriage takes place post development of the fetus (fetal or embryonic demise), heavy expulsion and bleeding is experienced. The expelled thing looks like a small sac kind of thing. The sacs have length of few inches and are quite thick due to presence of tissues in them. Seeing a real fetus in a miscarriage is rare. Only larger sac can be seen when miscarriage takes place during advanced pregnancy stages. Late miscarriage have almost the same symptoms and signs; they are only severe.

Read more: Common Causes for Miscarriage