Symptoms of miscarriage

Miscarriage is more common than you may realise. The majority of miscarriages happen before others are aware of the pregnancy.

Symptoms of a miscarriage

The most common symptom of miscarriage is bleeding.  This can vary from a light spotting to brown discharge, or a heavy bleed, which may be worse than a normal period.  Some women are shocked by the amount of bleeding.

Pains are another sign.  This cramping or tummy pain may accompany the bleeding, or come alone. It may be mild or severe, a dull ache or sharp pain or feel like backache.

A discharge of fluid from the vagina can also indicate a miscarriage.

You may simply feel that you are not pregnant any more.  Your pregnancy symptoms such as tender breasts or sickness may have gone.

Some women have no signs at all that their baby has died and sadly only discover the loss when they attend a routine antenatal appointment for an ultrasound scan.

This is called a missed miscarriage.

Every woman’s experience of miscarriage is different, but common symptoms include the following:

These symptoms don’t always mean miscarriage

It’s important to know that light vaginal bleeding, or spotting, is common during the first trimester (first 12 weeks of pregnancy) and doesn’t  always mean you are having a miscarriage.  Some pain can also be felt in early pregnancy towards the end of the first trimester as ligaments of your body stretch. Some women can also experience some cramps due to the implantation of the fertilised egg or during or after sex.

Similarly, pregnancy symptoms can vary and may reduce as time goes on.  If you have any concerns about anything you may be feeling, speak to your GP or midwife. If you can’t speak to your GP or midwife call the NHS emergency number 111 at any time of day.

When to seek urgent help

Some miscarriages are caused by a pregnancy which develops outside of the womb.  This is called an ectopic pregnancy. This is a potentially serious situation as there is a risk of internal bleeding.

It’s important to visit your GP or the nearest A&E department if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • severe and persistent abdominal pain, often on one side
  • vaginal bleeding or spotting, most often after the pain has started
  • pains in your shoulder tip
  • diarrhoea and vomiting
  • feeling very faint and light-headed, or fainting

Symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy usually appear between weeks 5 and 14 of the pregnancy.

More about miscarriage


Last reviewed on August 1st, 2016. Next review date August 1st, 2019.

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Please note that these comments are monitored but not answered by Tommy’s. Please call your GP or maternity unit if you have concerns about your health or your baby’s health.
  • By Misty (not verified) on 24 May 2019 - 11:50

    I am 12 weeks and 2 days pregant last night i had a line of oai. Going up my right side of my belly then strated to bleed lightly. But pain did not last long nor the bleeding is that a miscarragie

  • By charity (not verified) on 15 May 2019 - 15:57

    hi ,i spoted a light brown discharge on the 3rd of this month ,which later went away the following day,since then i have not seen it again,untill yesterday i did some hard work at home ,i started having discharge like white mucus and also back pains ,i want to know i nef to see a mid wife ,will it later turn to bleeding ?am i going to miscarry again am afraid


  • By Sophie (not verified) on 15 May 2019 - 10:40

    I had a silent miscarriage at the end of last year, I had zero symptoms still felt pregnant and found out there was no heart beat at my 12 wk scan. I had no bleed at all and had to have a surgical removal as even the tablets did not work for me. I am now pregnant again, I think 6 weeks and I have had constant lower left abdomen pain, stabbing feeling that is always there but increases or decreases at different times, no bleeding or any other signs. My breasts also do not feel sore and I remember from last time they were very sore. I just don't know what to do, I don't know if I can go through waiting for the scan again to find out if the heart is beating again, as for some reason I don't bleed. Advice please.

  • By odion Jennifer (not verified) on 13 May 2019 - 13:15

    pls doctor, I was 5wks and 3days pregnant, d following day I started spotting, later it started feeling much blood coming out, my midwife gave me injection to stop it, it was stop a little, later it began little again, I did scan doctor told me am trying to miscarriage, he gave me injection and drugs to stop it it work when I got home d spotting continue he gave me injection again, it stop, later d spotting continue I went for scan again he said he should do evacuation for me, my husband refused, I went to another hospital for scan d doctor said he is seeing everything about pregnancy, but he is not seeing my baby for now dat if my spotting able to stop my baby will grow but if it did not stop it's flowing heavily it's wil be etopic pregnancy this morning now d blood has stop, he said I should come back in 1wk time for scan am scared Wat do u think doctor

  • By odion Jennifer (not verified) on 13 May 2019 - 13:14

    pls doctor, I was 5wks and 3days pregnant, d following day I started spotting, later it started feeling much blood coming out, my midwife gave me injection to stop it, it was stop a little, later it began little again, I did scan doctor told me am trying to miscarriage, he gave me injection and drugs to stop it it work when I got home d spotting continue he gave me injection again, it stop, later d spotting continue I went for scan again he said he should do evacuation for me, my husband refused, I went to another hospital for scan d doctor said he is seeing everything about pregnancy, but he is not seeing my baby for now dat if my spotting able to stop my baby will grow but if it did not stop it's flowing heavily it's wil be etopic pregnancy this morning now d blood has stop, he said I should come back in 1wk time for scan am scared Wat do u think doctor

  • By Kimuli (not verified) on 13 May 2019 - 11:16

    i had a normal miscarriage ,ihad my first period after 30days and my second period came after 35 days but it was so light for three days and stopped im i pregnant or

  • By Kimuli (not verified) on 13 May 2019 - 11:14


  • By Maryann (not verified) on 10 May 2019 - 17:04

    Am having pain in my lower abnormal and bleeding, when to see a widwife he gave me drug but I still bleed and have pain.can it be that I have lost the pregnant

  • By Shannon (not verified) on 9 May 2019 - 15:56

    I am very worried and so scared. I am 12 weeks 4days pregnant and last night I got very bad pains in my lower belly, right in the middle, it felt like ripping or nipping and also burning all at the same time. This lasted for 2 hours before I finally got to sleep. They must have stopped otherwise I wouldn't have been able to sleep. I was on holidays 2 weeks ago and stupidly had a few drinks one night, big regret. I fear I've hurt the baby or worse. Iv been getting small pains and cramp's here and there but last night was something else. I will be seeing my GP tomorrow. ☹️

  • By Tara (not verified) on 7 May 2019 - 03:00

    Hi i done a pregnancy test in February/March which came back saying i was pregnant. I would of been about 3/4 months pregnant but then not long after doing the test i started getting really bad stomach cramps which felt like i was in labour and then i started bleeding and was bleeding for about 2 weeks. All the symptoms of pregnancy went but now nearly 2 months on I'm getting moments in my stomach,my stomach is getting bigger but gets nearly twice the size after I've eaten. I havnt had sex since i first started bleeding in February/March time. I was just wondering if anybody else has had this happen and possibly knows what it could be.

  • By Char (not verified) on 17 May 2019 - 07:47

    Have you done another pregnancy test? I would see a Dr to be honest

  • By Nonkululeko (not verified) on 5 May 2019 - 09:04

    I am 9 weeks pregnant I experienced a plot of blood for a week now n I consult my doctor and go to sonar plus he confirmed that we are fine is it normal

  • By Beth (not verified) on 30 Apr 2019 - 18:06

    I'm about 3 weeks pregnant and had pregnancy symptoms but in about 2 days now, they 've completely fade. What could be the problem pliz putting in mind I 've no back pain neither have I spotted

  • By Elizabet (not verified) on 28 Apr 2019 - 20:29

    Constant Cramping until today just ache. Worried as I had a miscarriage in Feb

  • By Nobuhle (not verified) on 27 Apr 2019 - 19:04

    I was 2 months pregnant few days ago I had pain and stated to be in period lot of blood and more clot blood Like liver what going on I'm I losing my twins

  • By Kayleigh (not verified) on 27 Apr 2019 - 11:33

    In Feb 2019 I found I having beautiful baby and then I to march I start feel like I. Leaking. I started cry look at husband. And no no this can't be happing to me and I whent see doctor comfermed missedcarrge
    As time whent. On. It got worse for me I been collapsing. Been rush in hospital loads time and due fast pain that unbearable. I end up collapsing. I have fanatic pain threshold. But this. Hole new lvl for me. I was told my female surgon. So sorry but you lost you r baby I clospsed and. Crying and partner holding him and now still exstreaml sick I have massive operations. And. Pain still there but. They said. I had. Missed misscarge which mean it can become dangerous if you don't see medal help. Like me. I'm still going through it all. I'm suffering. Massively. It made me feel so low mood.
    I use. Go gym I not even allowed no I keep collapsing. Anywhere

  • By Joni (not verified) on 25 Apr 2019 - 19:58

    About 5 weeks pregnant. Started spotting a little this morning only when I wiped it has now stopped. Could I be having a miscarriage?

  • By Becca (not verified) on 11 May 2019 - 22:19

    What happened Joni? I am 5 weeks pregnant found out yesterday and now I am having some blood. It started with a spotting and now it's like a light period. I have no pain though?? Did you have pain?

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 13 May 2019 - 03:29

    That is likely implantation spotting

  • By Olayemi (not verified) on 23 Apr 2019 - 22:57

    Am 7 weeks pregnant until now am having a serious severe pain and a lot of in pains right now

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 21 May 2019 - 06:47

    That sounds like a tubal pregnancy. Did everything turn out okay or

  • By Lori (not verified) on 16 Apr 2019 - 21:24

    I was told I was a few weeks ago that I was pregnant , I have been spotting very little, pain in my lower stomach but comes and goes is this a miscarriage?

  • By Alli (not verified) on 31 Mar 2019 - 16:50

    I am approx 5 weeks pregnant. Have had minor cramps the whole time, no bleeding. Abdominal ultrasound showed yolk sack and no heartbeat and doctor was eager to schedule d and c but now I read that's fairly common and a vaginal scan is needed at this stage. Still no bleeding, breasts are super sore and pregnancy tests are very positive. Am I miscarrying? TiA

  • By Lauren (not verified) on 29 Apr 2019 - 11:29

    Please wait for a vaginal scan don’t do d and c straight away, dr should know better... I hope you are ok

  • By Chantele (not verified) on 3 May 2019 - 03:26

    I dont think personally that you are miscarrying . My doctor told me usually ultrsound scans wont pick up the heart beat of under 8 weeks of pregnanvy and can cause concern which is why they typically dont do ultrasounds that early. Though i vaginal scan would pick it up since its inserted right into your uterus

  • By Thelma (not verified) on 30 May 2019 - 03:48

    Did you get an answer or how are you doing now? I been exactly the same

  • By SSS (not verified) on 28 Mar 2019 - 21:14

    Hi, I am 6 weeks pregnant with twins. we saw the heartbeats on both and one was 93bpm and the other was 103bpm. My doctor was not very reassuring and I am feeling nervous and uncomfrtable waiting for my next us in 4 days. Ive had 3 MCs prior to this and 1 normal healthy baby. I am so nervous.

  • By Rosie (not verified) on 23 Mar 2019 - 01:05

    I found out Valentine's day i was pregnant. I had first sono the 4th nothing to be seen. The following week fetus was showing. The week after no growth. 3 days later i was offered a 4th sonogram and she now sees growth just no heartbeat OMG i cant much more of this. I have no symptoms for having a miscarriage as was reminded what to look out for. I have no dr appointment untill this coming friday. Am i being paranoid is it possible to have viable pregnancy after all of these off the wall sonograms. I just feel emotionally pulled up and down baby no baby? Uggh frustration to the max.

  • By Kayleigh (not verified) on 27 Apr 2019 - 11:24

    It called phantom pregnancy where they a sack no baby or no baby but going through. All stages of pregnancy but i know all this a friend of Maine whent through it

  • By Nikki Davies (not verified) on 21 Mar 2019 - 19:47

    I started getting really bad ongoing pains in my lower left abdomin going round to my back an down my leg, There has been red/brown discharge along side these cramps im on or around 3weeks pregnant????

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 22 Mar 2019 - 11:35

    Hi Nikki,
    Its sounds like you need to go see your GP for a review just to be sure what is happening as you are having pain to one side and some bleeding.
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Olivia (not verified) on 26 Mar 2019 - 22:01

    Hi do you know the outcome having the exact same

  • By Sinduja (not verified) on 18 Mar 2019 - 06:56

    I have brownish red spotting accompanied by mild abdominal cramps and cramps in my legs. Can you let me know if this could be a miscarriage or common symptom of pregnancy?

  • By Stephanie (not verified) on 21 Apr 2019 - 15:44

    Hi, I can only respond based on my experience. But I had cramping, accompanied with spotting, at 5-6 weeks, and I ended up having a miscarriage (or chemical pregnancy). I hope you end up with better luck. I'm currently struggling with a very similar situation again (just spotting, and no fetal pole notes on the sonogram). Having kids is not for the faint of heart. :(

  • By kim (not verified) on 17 Mar 2019 - 20:28

    i had pregnancy symptoms and missed my period for 9 days so i took a pregnancy test and it came up negative two days later i had my period , obviously very late, and the cramps are very very painful, i have been crying because of the pain and nothing makes it stop just little things to soothe it for a few minutes. my flow is very very heavy and it hurts to walk . i don’t know what’s going on

  • By Jasmin (not verified) on 12 Mar 2019 - 07:12

    I need some advice I’ve just had another miscarriage now that’s two in a row I’ve had two healthy children and we have been trying for another for ages now and I just keep having a miscarriage does anyone have any
    Advice I’m getting pregnant but it’s not getting to 5 weeks and my second miscarriage was worst that the first I’m gutted

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 15 Mar 2019 - 16:07

    Hi Jasmin,
    I am so sorry to hear about your recent miscarriages, if we can support you then please do email us, [email protected]
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Sarah c (not verified) on 31 Mar 2019 - 02:32

    I’m sorry you are going through this. I’ve got one healthy two year old. And I have suffered 5 losses since my sons birth. 4 of these were early losses between 4-6 weeks. I’ve also had a 15.5 week pregnancy loss. My son had multiple heart defects. My fertility specialist can’t find an issue. She says as a couple we are highly fertile. Pretty pointless if you can’t hold them!!

  • By Laura (not verified) on 4 May 2019 - 13:48

    I’m so sorry this is happening to you. But like you I’ve had two miscarriages in a row within a space of a couple of months. We have no children. My first baby stopped growing at 8 weeks so we waited to get the negative result on pregnancy test and for my period to come back and we tried again following when I was ovulating. Just found out yesterday nothing was there from an ultra sound at 6 weeks. I had been experiencing some bleeding so started to panic especially after last time. It seems like I can conceive but the baby is just not growing/developing. We have decided to have a break and not put pressure on ourselves trying. I can’t keep going through this pain, I just want our happy news.
    Hope all works out well with you.

  • By Lei (not verified) on 11 Mar 2019 - 03:23

    I bled yesterday and stopped. Then when i woke up this morning i have spots. Brownish ones. Before that i experienced severe cramping. 1month pregnent here. Is it miscarriage?

  • By Katie (not verified) on 4 Mar 2019 - 10:22

    Hi I don’t know if I’m haven a miscarriage I didn’t even know I was pregnant but I had a dull back ache for 2 days then I had stomach cramping really bad then I had bloody brownish watery discharge but still cramping really bad then I came on really Heavy and losing dark bloody clots I was in the shower and pinkish jelly stuff came out I’m still bleeding with cramps but I feel really disappointed me and my partner have been trying for years

  • By Josull (not verified) on 3 Mar 2019 - 03:42

    Hi. I have had a previous missed miscarriage. I am approx 4/5 weeks pregnant ( can’t be further along due to time of intercourse ). I did have dark lines on a First Response at start of week when I found out - and yesterday they were so light it was almost negative. My nausea and tiredness have disappeared. What does this mean? I’m so scared. My EPU won’t see me until I’m nearly at 7 weeks so I’m in this awful limbo. Any help gratefully recieved. Jen

  • By anonymous (not verified) on 1 Mar 2019 - 06:40

    I texted positive after spotting blood and bleeding heavily with cramps.I have never experienced abdominal cramps us as such.please what will that be

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 1 Mar 2019 - 11:55

    Hi there,
    It sounds like it would be a good idea to see your GP for a review. If you are feeling unwell or passing a large amount of blood then it would be better to go straight to A+E.
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Jamie (not verified) on 27 Feb 2019 - 10:17


    I am 5 weeks pregnant and started spotting yesterday a little and then it stopped. I have woke up this morning okay and just started lightly spotting again. Is this a sign of miscarriage as I am worrying out my mind

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 27 Feb 2019 - 14:16

    Hi Jamie, bleeding at any gestation of pregnancy is deemed abnormal until reviewed. So please go to your GP urgently for review - today if possible. If you start to bleed heavily or are in severe pain during out of hours at your GP surgery, please go straight to hospital to be seen in A&E minors. Take care, Tommy's Midwife

  • By Susie (not verified) on 29 Jan 2019 - 11:56

    Hi, a few days so I had some brown discharge which has since stopped but the last two nights I have had some back ache, pains down my legs and across my pubic bone, they seem to fade in the day time. I also have reduced pregnancy symptoms and my hair is falling out by the handful. I have a scan at my local EPU booked in for tomorrow but am worrying myself sick. Is there any hope for this pregnancy? I had a miscarriage last year which started with bleeding.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 29 Jan 2019 - 14:54

    Hi Susie. I am sorry to hear what an anxious time you are going through. It is really very difficult to know either way. Pregnancy symptoms can hugely vary between each woman and each pregnancy, so there is no one size fits all advice. If you are in discomfort, please feel free to take 1g (x2 tablets) of paracetamol. These are pregnancy safe and might just take the edge off the aches and pains that you are experiencing. If the pain becomes severe overnight, please do go to your local A&E walk in centre for urgent review. Otherwise, I think your best bet, is to try to rest at home from now until your appointment at the EPU tomorrow. I know its hard to keep an open mind when you have experienced miscarriage before, but it's not necessarily bad news. So try to stay positive. If you need a friendly chat, you can call us on the helpline (Mon to Fri, 9 am to 5pm.) Sending you all the best, Tommy's Midwife

  • By Carol (not verified) on 14 Jan 2019 - 16:31

    Hello, I’m about 6 weeks pregnant. The first day of my last period was the 4th December. This morning, I noticed a small bit of blood when I wiped. I put a pad on just in case and when I went to the toilet, there was a small bit of blood. I haven’t bleed since 10am this morning. I’m seeing the midwife for the first time tomorrow for a blood test etc. I’m really worried something isn’t right. Is this normal? Thank you

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 16 Jan 2019 - 11:08

    Hi Carol
    I hope that you have spoken to your midwife and been advised further if required. If you wish to call and talk anything further through, please contact us on the helpline or via email (0800 0147800 or [email protected])
    All the best, Tommy's Midwife

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