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Missed Miscarriage

A missed miscarriage, also known as a missed abortion or a silent miscarriage, occurs when a fetus dies, but the body does not recognize the pregnancy loss or expel the pregnancy tissue. As a result, the placenta may still continue to release hormones, so the woman may continue to experience signs of pregnancy.

A missed miscarriage is usually diagnosed during a routine checkup, where the doctor will fail to detect a heartbeat. A subsequent ultrasound will show an underdeveloped fetus.

Signs of Missed Miscarriage

A missed miscarriage is often known as a silent miscarriage because women generally do not have common miscarriage symptoms, such as vaginal bleeding, heavy cramping, or expulsion of fetal tissue. With a missed miscarriage, the placenta may still release hormones, which can continue the signs of pregnancy for women. However, some women may notice that their pregnancy symptoms, like breast tenderness, nausea, or fatigue, may disappear. Some may also have brownish or red vaginal discharge. Doctors can diagnose missed miscarriages by lack of a fetal heartbeat and an ultrasound that will show an underdeveloped fetus.

Rates of Missed Miscarriage

Approximately one percent of all pregnancies will result in a missed miscarriage. Around 20 percent of pregnancies will result in miscarriage.

Missed Miscarriage Causes

Most missed miscarriages are caused by chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus, which do not allow the pregnancy to develop.

Treatment for Missed Miscarriage

If a missed miscarriage has occurred early in pregnancy, a woman will usually be able to expel the pregnancy tissue naturally. However, if the fetal tissue remains in the body for a longer time, a D&C procedure is usually recommended. In this procedure, the cervix is opened and the contents of pregnancy are removed. This can cut down on infections, which may occur if the fetal tissue remains in the body.

After a missed miscarriage, couples are encouraged to wait between one to three menstrual cycles before trying to conceive again.

Read more about causes of miscarriage here.

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Comments (105)

hi! i had my TVS last week and found out that there is only gestational sac 23mm, for 6 weeks, 1 day. my doctor told me to come back after 2 weeks for repeat ultrasound. she advised me to take duphaston for 2 weeks. i am afraid that my pregnancy will be unsuccessful. there are a lot fo negative things coming in my mind.i didn't experienced any bleeding and spotting, only I feel mild cramps on my abdomen, often on the right side. is there any possibility that i will be having a successful pregnancy? please help..

Vee, You should really discuss your concerns with your OB/GYN, as they would know more about your pregnancy. Best of luck, Jenna

I'm 17w 5days, had my last u/s at 13weeks. My pregnancy symptoms seem to have gone away, down to the bigger appetite. I had light bleeding about 9days ago then again 3 days ago. My cervix is closed still and my doctor diagnosed it as a threatened miscarriage as she didn't see anymore signs of bleeding but she didn't do any ultrasounds. I still get pain every now and then I used to feel little pops of my baby moving and now I don't feel anything. What should I do?

I agree with Jenna about contacting your doctor. However, I can tell you my experience with missed miscarriage. There was nothing to imply that the fetus had stopped growing. No pain, no bleeding, nada. As the article says, it was discovered during a routine visit.

Rochelle, You should contact your doctor to discuss these concerns and request an ultrasound immediately. If you feel this is an emergency, my recommendation is go to your nearest ER. Best of luck, Jenna

it was my first pregnancy and me and my husband were both extremely excited. i had the usual pregnancy symptoms in the first trimester. i did everything i was supposed to do and eat. had an ultrasound at 12 weeks and saw a cute jumping jellybean! made me cry with love. but on my 18 week, i went for a routine checkup, my doc realized my tummy was not growing and was suspicious. she ordered an urgent ultrasound and the i found out my lil jellybean had no heartbeat and it had expired at 14 weeks. it was the most painful thing i have experienced. Had D&E 2 days later. after 6 months i conceived again and now i am 15 weeks +. but the fear still lingers on.. i have my next appointment at 18 weeks. do you think i should get an ultrasound done just to soothe my fears?

The same thing happened to my friend. She rented a Doppler so she could hear the heart beat at home whenever she wanted too. She's about to give birth any day now!!

I have been going for prenatal treatment. and checkup every month since 8weeks and everything was fine ,then at 23 weeks the dr told me the scan shows 16 weeks but the baby is alive and there is heartbeat ,he suggested I wait a couple of week then we will check again ,went to another dr at 27 weeks and she told me my baby had died at 16 weeks ...i'm so confused and devistated and i'm confused....with all those check.ups they couldn't tell that some thing was wrong....i can't help but feel maybe it could ve been prevented...what is the point of check ups if they can't help my baby....

Nelly - I'm very sorry to hear about your experience. Are you currently trying to conceive? Did they doctor make any diagnosis as to why this occurred? If you would like a second opinion and you are trying to conceive I recommend that you consult with a fertility doctor. If you need help finding one in your area you can email me directly at Julie@fertilityauthority.com

Thank you @julieH for replying, he didn't make any diagnosis instead he referred me to a gynecologist of which Il book for appointment very soon, yes I am ttc since December 2013, I always had irregular periods since I started menstruations at the age of 13 so the doctor decided to put me on the contraceptives wen I was 17 until I last used them in November lastyear

My lmp ws 10/01/14 and I consulted on 28/05/14 an the pregnancy test was pos+ but the baby didn't. Show on the ultrasound so I had to go back today 11/06/14 and the preg test was ngative an still nothing on the ultrasound, the doctor said its a missed miscarriage, I really don't know how this happend. I am 21

I found out i had a miscarriage nearly 2 weeks ago i was 9 weeks but ma boobs are producing milk nd tender nd having pregnancy symptoms nd had no Baby or bleeding nd belly hard still any advice

I was waiting for my appointment which was nov. 22 and the previous week I spotted so I went in I was suppose to be 14 weeks a long to find out the baby had died at 8 weeks it is now June 5th and I still yet to get pregnant did anyone have trouble concieving this long after a missed miscarriage we try to stray away from the term trying to whatever happens happens stress free plus we already have three but we're trying for a little girl so I don't know

Hi, I had two MMCs early (6 wks), discovered at 8 weeks and 9 weeks with my second and third pregnancies. That was after a healthy, no issue pregnancy two years before. Now I am 11 weeks pregnant but it has been 2 years since the last MMC. We weren't TTC but we weren't preventing either. I don't know if I was emotionally ready until now.. maybe my body could tell. It will happen, just give yourself time to heal.

Hi there,

I am so sorry for your loss. Have you considered working with a fertility doctor? Give us a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229) and we will gladly make some recommendations as well as assist in scheduling your appointment!

Best,
Kim

Hello Des,
I am terribly sorry to hear this. I can't believe there wasn't proper follow up care provided. Please contact our PCAs at 855-955-BABY (2229) or feel free to email me directly at bhavi@fertiltiyauthoirty.com
We can assist you in finding a specialist.
Bhavi

hi i am 34 and just had a d and e for a missed miscarriage on may 8th. we went in for an u/s at 9 weeks and dr. said baby stopped growing around 6.5 weeks. i had bad bleeding and cramping after and some spotting up until about 2 weeks after. it has been almost 4 weeks since surgery and yesterday started bleeding again, not sure if its my period or if she left something in there? the dr said to wait one cycle and just try again, I really wanted some testing but she refused, after the ultrasound the midwife that was there had blood drawn she wanted to know if blood was rh+ or - , when i asked the dr she said no that blood was just for pre op but at that time we had not even agreed to surgery yet. I will most definitely not be going back to that dr but i dont know if it is safe to try now since i dont know if this is a real period or just more stuff from the miscarriage. I have 2 children from a previous relationship ages 9 and 7 both pregnancies were super easy and dont know if something has changed in by body to not allow a pregnancy or if it is something with my husband and I but i am very concerned, i dont know what to do?

I had a missed mc at 11 weeks, 3 days after seeing the heartbeat. Baby was perfectly formed but the heart just stopped beating. The miscarraige was medically managed and 1 week on, I feel as though my whole life dropping in bits around me. I've always been a survivor, not so sute anymore. Big huggles to everyone out there. :-(

Dear Kitten - I am so sorry to hear that you are struggling after your loss. There is hope after a miscarriage. There are support groups out there to help you in your grieving process. Please feel free to email me directly if you need assistance finding a loss support group Julie@fertilityauthority.com

Hello Sasha - I am so sorry to hear of your loss. If you are concerned you should see a fertility doctor to determine why this occurred and to prevent it from happening again in the future. I am more than happy to help you find a fertility specialist in your area. Feel free to email me directly at Julie@fertilityauthority.com

Hi,after trying for a year and half i got pregnant but during 3rd month of pregnancy i got vaginal bleeding and misscariage . Am worried why it happened so and will i be able to be mother ?i am 26.

Good morning,
I am terribly sorry to hear this. I can’t even begin to imagine how you feel. I would like to suggest getting a blood test done. It’s called beta HCG, this shows the levels and would be able to assist with your results. However, not having a heartbeat is negative. You would definitely want to follow up with your doctor and see if they can further provide you advice and support. Also, please visit our sister site : http://www.fertilethoughts.com/forums/pregnancy-loss-and-miscarriage/ and there are tons of ladies experiencing and discussing the same. Also, there is a Facebook page called : TwoWeekWait, that has tons and tons of information and support. Also, please feel free to contact our PCAs at 855-944-2229. We are here for you!
Thank you,
Bhavi

I've decided to get a second ultrasound next week to reconfirm before I go for the D&C. I know it's going to hurt to hear the bad news again, but I just feel that I need to be sure to accept the loss. I'm going to a different doctor and hospital as a second opinion is very hard to ask for.

I am 34 years old and have one healthy son. I've just been told that my 2nd pregnancy is a missed miscarriage. I'm supposed to be 9 weeks, but foetus is measuring at 6 weeks 3 days with no heartbeat. Could my EDD be wrong and I should just wait a week and get a 2nd ultrasound? Or am I clutching at straws and should just accept the loss and schedule the D&C. Heartbroken and confused since I have no signs and symptoms of miscarriage.

Hello everyone, I'm laying in bed sleepless. I had my D&C procedure today, I'm so grateful to have an amazing group of practitioners who gave me the option. I went in on Wednesday for bleeding, had US baby measured at 6wk4 days, only 2 days after our 1st US where we actually heard the heartbeat. I'm terribly upset, I'm 38 no children this would've been our first, my husband up is taking it really hard. I'm mostly troubled that I was assuming a pregnant life with a dead baby inside me- for a whole month! I'm sooooo relieved to had the procudure earlier today as I decided yesterday after the US, no HB and stopped growth. I was put on the schedule for an emergency procedure as I couldn't handle it emotionally. The thought of it being dead inside me and my body holding on to it is morbid and disturbing. I could not have waited for it to expel naturally & attempt to go on living my life like nothing was wrong & living in denial. What a cruel joke. It had already been a month & only a small amount of bleeding, no cramps, nothing, waiting any longer would have been torture. I have no regrets about the procedure, I'm grateful & it's brought closure. We will plant a tree for our unborn baby taken before it had a chance. I praise God for my midwife and the staff at Lovelace Wonens Hospital in Alb., NM, they made this experience as comforting. We as patients have a aight to determine the level of care we are to receive. There was no HB, I was 10wk and growth ended at 6wk4days there was no hope, No miracle, I didn't need to wait for lab confirmation and second scan, in my heart I knew and prolonging the wait was masochistic. Thanks for allowing me to share my story as from this day forward my life will continue, with faith & faith alone.

Mia, I am currently going through exactly what you posted. I would be 9w1d today but wiped blood yesterday and was advised to go to the ER. They couldn't find a heartbeat and said baby was only measuring at 6w3d. I'm at a loss at what to do, as feel like I'm in denial. Like you, I'm upset that I've been living my life as though I'm pregnant with a dead baby inside of me. I'm going in for another ultrasound this afternoon and see my doctor next week. I know your post is old but I wish you lots of luck and happiness.

Hi Mia, so sorry to hear of your loss. I have had a terrible history of loss and determination. After 20 years of being together with my husband,multiple losses, and IVF attempts, I had a little boy, now 2 1/2 when I was 42, and have had a blighted ovum pregnancy last year, with d&c at 9 weeks, and just today no heart beat at 10 weeks, baby died last week. D&c again tomorrow! It was my last chance to provide a sibling for my little boy. Though sad, I am grateful for the blessing of my son. I am now finished one journey and continue to be the best mother I can be. I'll be 45 next month! Don't give up.... I had a stitch in at 12 weeks with my son, and lived in hospital, legs elevated fully bed rested for 7 months until I had him by elective Caesar at 37 &3 . There is always hope! God bless, Lorr

Hi Mia,

What a difficult thing to go through! I am so sorry, but I am glad you are at peace with your decision.

Best,
Kim

I just found out yesterday that my baby only made it to 9wks and 5 days. I am heartbroken, this is the second time I have a miscarriage. The first time it was at 5wks. My husband I are taking this news pretty bad. We have no kids and we planned both pregnancies. I still haven't had a d&c and I am cramping... Any feedback would help

Hi Lyn,

I am so sorry for your loss. Has your doctor discussed a D&C? Your body might be bringing on a period, but really make sure you check in with your doctor for the next steps.

Best,
Kim

Hi. I had a missed miscarriage at 15 wks about a month ago. The Dr just sent me on my way so I've been waiting for something to happen but nothing. I still haven't expelled the fetus so I'm concerned. Does anyone know anything about how this works

I'm so sorry, I can't believe your doctor did not give you options. I hope by now you have passed it. I'm very sorry for your loss. As a patient you must advocate for yourself and be aware of the options available to you.

I have just come back from hospital after having evacuation. Me and my partner went for 12 week scan 2 days ago very excited, only to come away devastated that no hb and twins, one died at 8 wk and the other 10wks. The thought had never entered my mind about this happening and did not realise how upsetting it is and has made me think about my lifestyle and desperately want a baby even more so, but no I am going to be worried now. Are miscarriages more common with twins? When can I start trying again? My heart goes out to you all xx

Bless you all . Took me years to get pg we were graced with a daughter then 3 missed losses around 12-14 weeks .. I had every test possible by my ob and RE ... I so just because a dr tells u tey can help doesn't mean they can ... Bless you all

Im very nervous. I am 26. I have 2 healthy boys from my first relationship. Now in this relationship I had a miscarriage feb. 2013. dr said it was so early if I hadn't taken a test I wouldnt have even known I was pregnant. then I jus a miscarriage dec 2013. a very bad miscarriage. I had to have 2 pints of blood from so much blood lose and was in the hospital for 2 days. now I had a postive pregnancy test yesterday. im so scared of having another miscarriage.

I don't blame you for being nervous - it's very natural. Did the doctor determine why you miscarried in Dec? Any advice on your next pregnancy? I would also encourage you to talk with a counselor or a support group (online or in person) to help you manage your anxiety. Best, Claire

Had a scan at 8weeks to find that my baby's heartbeat had stopped,gutted to say the least lost confused and heartbroken as we went through ivf.now panicking about what's ahead of me.

I'm so so sorry. I encourage you (and your partner) to find someone to talk with about your loss - the nurse at your fertility practice, a counselor, a support group (online or in person). You should meet with your fertility doctor to see if they can determine the cause of the miscarriage and what your next steps should be. I wish you all the best, Claire

hi i have got 7 yrs old son.healthy preg.but after that i had 3 missed m/c in the week of 8 every time.all the test are normal.only waiting for chromosome study.but i had a boy with same partner.so my chromosome will be same as 7 yrs ago.so why i got these m/c three times pls

I am so, so sorry for your losses. Although you had a son seven years ago, it may be that your egg quality has declined since that time. Once you get the results, you should consider seeing a doctor who has experience with multiple miscarriages. Let me know if I can help. Best, Claire

thank you for your support.if the quality of the egg down ar declined is there any other options for me to carry a healthy pregnency

You should get your FSH and AMH and levels tested and then you'll have some good information to determine your options. Best, Claire

I found out yesterday at my 12 week scan that my baby died at 9w 4d.I'm devastated .I'm booked for a d&c on Tuesday.not sure I will ever try again.

I'm so, so sorry for your loss. I encourage to talk to a therapist (your doctor can probably recommend someone) or find support online. FertileThoughts.com is a wonderful online community and there are women there who have been in your situation. I wish you all the best. Claire

I took some medications for my flu before I knew I was pregnant. On Jan. 6, 2014, I took abortion pills but didn't bleed so on Jan.13, 2014 I went to have an ultrasound and it showed I was still pregnant at 5 weeks and 6 days but no heartbeat of the fetus. The OB/GYN thought that missed m/c was possible. She advised me to have come back on Jan. 25, 2014 to check if the fetus will have heartbeat at 7 weeks and 4 days. I'm afraid that if the fetus will have heartbeat there'll be possible defects when pregnancy will be continued and I would feel sorry for the baby if he/she will grow up with defects. I'm worried to have D&C because it's expensive. I need advise. Thanks

Please, please talk to your doctor. Only he or she can advise you on your current situation. I wish you all the best, Claire.

I have had 3 missed miss carriages I have no children.. me and my partner went for tests all was fine im now 7wks 2days pregnant had a scan last week seen babys heartbeat.. but my mornin sickness suddenly stopped tday can this be normal? Im really worryin maself silly and I no I shouldnt.. can symtoms come and go?

I'm so sorry for your losses - it's no wonder you are worrying about this pregnancy. You should really call your doctor's office and talk to them. In addition, you may want to talk to other women in our forums at www.fertilethoughts.com. I know there are other women in the same situation who can offer you their thoughts and advice. I wish you all the best. Claire

- hI mY name is arianna and I was 7w3d . I started spotting on 1/9/14 and went to the emergency room at 9pm to 4am did a ultrasound and the inside one too but there was still 17 more people in front of me and my husband just insisted that we go home so we did the next morning my husband & I got into a argument then I started having brownish discharge so I started to worry I called him at work and he was his way to pick me I started bleeding dark red blood and then we rushed to the emergency room got there at 12pm and they did the first ultrasound and they send they were sending me to a different department of the hospital it started to worry me so i got my blood drawn and waited then then finally called me to the second ultrasound around 3:30 and I was still stopping just not as much then after they were done with the ultrasound then sent me to the room and then the doctor came in a said " there is a baby but not heart beat " he said my hormone level was where It was supposed to be . And I was really confused he did a cervix exam and said it was open and then I went home and I didn't bleed for 2 days and I passed a little tissue but is there anyway that this can be mis diagnosed ? i still have a little hope . Id really appreciate the advice . Thank you

You really should have a blood pregnancy test and a physical exam in order to get the correct diagnosis. I wish you all the best, Claire

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