Missed miscarriage

Missed miscarriage (also known as a delayed or a silent miscarriage) can come as a big shock as there are none of the usual signs of miscarriage, such as bleeding or pain.

A missed miscarriage is when a baby has died in the womb, but the mother hasn’t had any symptoms, such as bleeding or pain. Any type of miscarriage can cause shock, but a missed miscarriage can be particularly difficult because of the lack of symptoms.

This type of miscarriage is usually diagnosed during a routine ultrasound scan as part of antenatal care. The scan may show that the baby has no heartbeat or that the baby is too small for the date of your pregnancy. If there is still a heartbeat, then a second scan would be arranged in 10-14 days’ time to check your pregnancy.

How a missed miscarriage is treated

If you have a missed miscarriage you’ll need to have treatment and there are 3 options available:

Your doctor should talk with you about what may be the best option for you. You should be given some time for the diagnosis to sink in and think about what you want to do.

If you need to talk to someone you can speak to our midwives on our pregnancy line on 0800 014 7800 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm), or email us at [email protected].

Your emotional health

Miscarriage can be devastating. You may be struggling with grief, anxiety and shock, but you do not need to go through this alone. There are lots of organisations that can provide advice and support.

If you’re worried that you or your partner are struggling to cope after losing a baby, please talk to your GP. They will be able to help you get the support you need.

You can also talk to a Tommy’s midwife free of charge from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday on 0800 0147 800 or you can email them at [email protected]. Our midwives are trained in bereavement support.

Clinical Knowledge Summaries. Miscarriage https://cks.nice.org.uk/miscarriage (Last reviewed: May 2018 Next update due: December 2023)

Review dates
Reviewed: 10 February 2020
Next review: 10 February 2023

This content is currently being reviewed by our team. Updated information will be coming soon.