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Missed Miscarriage

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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.

If you have had more than one miscarriage, a consultation with a fertility doctor may be advisable. has a database of reproductive endocrinologists. To find one near you, type in your zip code in the “Find a Doctor” or “Find a Clinic” search on our website.

Read more about causes of miscarriage here.


Comments (122)

At 11 weeks I was crushed to learn that there was no HB and the embryo had stopped growing at 6w3days. I hadn't been experiencing typical pregnancy symptoms so part of me expected the news. After a 2nd ultrasound to confirm there was no HB, I was given 3 options to consider: d&c, induced mc at come, or to just wait and give my body time to pass it naturally. I was surprised to learn that most of the time our bodies will eventually pass everything naturally. I chose that option and went home. I researched ways to encourage natural passing and spent the weekend doing a lot of heavy exercise, drinking coffee, etc. Two days later I started to spot. That evening the cramping started and grew stronger over the night until a few hours later when I passed most of the tissue. I continued to have my period for a few days after that. I was thankful to be home for this and would encourage other women to not rush into a d&c unless your doc wants you to.

I was in my 11 weeks and I found out I have lost my baby in 8wks 4days. Is it got to do with our blood group. My husband is O- negative and am A+positive

The article states that missed miscarriages occur in only 1% of pregnancies. I have experienced 3 missed miscarriages at the ages 24, 25, and 27. The first was found at 13wks. The ultrasound showed I had lost the baby at 8w1d. The second was found at 8wks, and the baby was lost at 6w4d. The third was again found around the 8wk mark. Each time we waited a week and had another ultrasound to confirm the loss. I then went through all kinds of testing. EVerything came back normal. My husband and I even had chromosome testing done...again everything was normal. These missed miscarriages were a mystery. I didn't know what I went through was called a missed miscarriage until just recently, but there is hope. 4 months after my 3rd missed miscarriage I conceived my son. He just turned 7 yr old! 2.5 yrs after my son was born I gave birth to a daughter. Both pregnancies were free of complications and a blessing!

I had spotting for two weeks when I went to the doc he said my cervix is still closed 2nd the ultrasound revealed the thrz no foetal heart .but they said I should wait for 7 days nd come back for the next u/s . But the are small tissues coming out am not sure whether I should b worried

I had a missed miscarriage and the fetus and placenta is still inside of me should I need to go and have a D&C done?

Hi um im not sure if i was pregnant but i had sex on the 2nd of this month but thursday i started having cramps in the lower part of my stomach and my back began to ache today and yesterday last night..thursday i noticed a brownish white icky stuff in my underwear.?

Hello Delilah,

If you're concerned and having Gynecological issues I highly recommend that you contact your OB/Gyn to determine what could be going on.


Hi im 22yrs old my periods date was3rd nov nd till 8th nov there werw no period i thought i m pregnant i was having pain in my lower abdominen cramps in legs so on..... last night i found that period has come morning i noticed some two tissues from my vagina ....but by mistake i flushed it out .....was i pregnant ???is this miscarriage plz help me

Hi I just found out today at 11 weeks that my baby stopped growing at 9w4d. The doctor gave me 3 options on how to pass the baby naturally, medically, or by taking a suppository to stimulate miscarriage. He didn't go over the risks or benefits of any of the options though (I was a bit hysterical at the time though). Just curious if you have any insight or advice on what I should. Mentally and emotionally I want pass this naturally but at the same time I stay at home with 2 yr old twins and don't want to put myself at any physical risk. Especially since I needed a blood transfusion when I had my twins via csection. Thank you for your feedback


You should make an appointment with your OB/GYN and discuss your options.

Good luck,

I just had my second DC yesterday. This would have been my third pregnancy. I was seven weeks. My first one was two years ago. I was 10 weeks. Both with no heart beat. My very first pregnancy I had was just about 5 years ago and it went so smooth. I haven't been given any answers. My husband and I are just about ready to give up. It takes a chunk of yourself each time it happens. I need to find answers. Please someone help me understand why

Hi I had a missed miscarriage in Jan. ,I was almost 12 weeks but baby stopped growing at around 9 weeks according to size but they also get alot wrong aswell, 15th Jan 2015 was my 1st scan was given 2 doses of the pills to make you contract etc both failed and I was allergic,had a d&c 30th Jan 2015 and only spotted the day after ,its now about 16 weeks later and still no period , I recently just had unprotected sex thinking I can't get pregnant because of no period but after looking online it seems to be argued,also had ultrasound an blood tests recently and my pregnancy hormone levels are normal ,scan showed that my ovaries are measuring around 1 when the average is 3 I also have ongoing endometriosis. My questions are can I be pregnant without the period an given the circumstances? Also why is it taking so long for me to get a period? Please help any answers would be appreciated as I'm!

I also just found out at my 12 week scan that the baby had Infact died at 8 weeks and 5 days pregnancy wasn't planned however was over the moon, it was my 2nd pregnancy. My first was perfect no problems and have a healthy 2 year old girl. So I didn't expect to have a missed m/c I am devestates to say the least my heart is literally breaking, I went in yesterday for a D&C and trying to hold in together for my little one but she can sense something is wrong, just wish things would be different I'm only 23 so I didn't expect this to happen as I'm healthy just gutted :( sorry to everyone else going through this it's the worst thing in the world xxx

Hi Natalie,

I am so sorry you are going through this. I would recommend visiting for support or joining an in person support group.


i went to the hospital yesterday to be told I have had a missed miscarriage. Im devestated and still can't get my head around it all as I've no symptoms of miscarriage. I don't know how to deal with this. I suffer with bi polar and I'm worried this will have a massive affect on my health. I'm gutted :(

Hi Laura,

I am so sorry you are going through this. Definitely reach out to your therapist or find support on the forums at


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 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....

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!


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
We can assist you in finding a specialist.

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

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 : 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,

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.


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.


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


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