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

  • Story

    Missed miscarriage, pregnancy after loss and why Never Fully Dressed chose to support our charity

    Jemma, Marketing Manager from Never Fully Dressed has shared the heartbreaking story about losing her second baby, the deep pain that was felt by both her and her partner and how daunting pregnancy after loss can be. She talks about the importance of charities like ours, and why Never Fully Dressed chose to support our charity via the sale of their Love Love Love t-shirts.

  • Miscarriage blog writer Alice with her family


    Why I'm not being silent about 'silent miscarriage'

    After a smooth pregnancy and labour with her son, Alice and her husband Brian hoped to give Frankie a sibling but were heartbroken by the shock of a missed miscarriage. In this blog, Alice reflects on the complex feelings of grief and guilt, and the support that has helped her to cope with the loss.

  • Story

    Men's mental health and miscarriage

    In this blog James opens up about how losing 4 babies has impacted his mental health. James shares his coping strategies and what worked for him to get through the grief - and hopes to open up conversations with other men and partners who are going through the same pain in silence.


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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