Missed miscarriage - information and support

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 if 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.

Find out more about support after a miscarriage.

Read more about miscarriage management

  • Woman having blood pressure checked.

    Tests and treatments after miscarriage

    It is sometimes possible to have tests to find out why you had a miscarriage and what this might mean for any future pregnancies.

  • Sad woman talking to health professional.

    Expectant management

    Expectant management is one of 3 treatment options you can have if you have a missed or incomplete miscarriage.

  • Woman being comforted by healthcare professional.

    Surgical management

    Surgical management is one of 3 treatment options you can have if you have a missed or incomplete miscarriage.

  • Woman's hand holding two pills.

    Medical management

    If you have a missed or incomplete miscarriage, you may be offered medicine to help the miscarriage move along.

Read some missed miscarriage stories

  • A rainbow in the sky over a field


    We’ve decided to stop trying for a baby until there is more certainty in the world

    Aoife and Shane from Northern Ireland reflect on the difficult and very personal decision to temporarily stop trying to conceive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • A man, woman, girl and baby sat smiling in a photo studio


    We will never stop being grateful to Tommy’s for giving us hope

    Roslyn and Paul from South Ayrshire in Scotland had an early miscarriage before getting pregnant with their first daughter Ava who is now 4 years old. They went on to lose another 3 babies before getting a referral to Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research at University Hospital in Coventry. Their second daughter, Ciara, was born in April 2019 and is now 7 months old.

  • A close up image of a woman holding a newborn baby


    Tommy’s midwives were my lifeline

    Holly and Peter, who experienced recurrent miscarriage, had a missed miscarriage before becoming pregnant with their daughter Millie, who is now 4 years old. In 2017, they found out they were expecting again but sadly lost their baby, Sophie, at 14 weeks. After another 2 missed miscarriages, their second rainbow baby Finley arrived.


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

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    Last reviewed on February 10th, 2020. Next review date February 10th, 2023.

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