What are the miscarriage signs and what should I do if I think I am having a miscarriage?

The first signs of a miscarriage are usually some spotting or bleeding and/or some cramps in the tummy or back. You may not experience any bleeding but simply feel that you are no longer pregnant.

If you are concerned, call your doctor or midwife right away and or if  you can’t contact them, you can call the NHS non-emergency number 111 at any time of day. If you are bleeding, put in a sanitary towel, and keep track of your symptoms, but don’t use tampons.

It would be helpful to take your sanitary towel with you when you attend your GP or hospital so that the nurse or doctor can have a better idea of the extent of bleeding.If your symptoms are severe, you may want to take someone with you to your appointment. It may be best to go directly to the A&E department..

In some cases, there may be no signs or symptoms. Sadly, some women are diagnosed with a miscarriage at a routine antenatal scan. In these cases the miscarriage is called a missed miscarriage. You will be referred to the early pregnancy or gynaecology department where a specialist team will explain the treatment options to you.

Read more about the signs and symptoms of miscarriage.

Find out more about what to do if you think you are having a miscarriage.


  1. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage: Diagnosis and initial management in early pregnancy. London NICE, 2012
  2. Macdonald S, Magill-Cuerden J, Mayes’ midwifery, Edinburgh Bailliere Tindall Elsevier, 2012
  3. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Early miscarriage: information for you, London RCOG, 2008. Also availabe at: http://www.rcog.org.uk/womens-health/clinical-guidance/early-miscarriage... (accessed 27 May 2014)
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    Last reviewed on August 1st, 2016. Next review date August 1st, 2019.

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