Types of Miscarriage

As the pregnancy progresses, the type of miscarriages seen is different. The symptoms and the treatment modality also changes hand-in-hand.

The various types of miscarriages are:

 1. Chemical Pregnancy:

  • Seen in the initial stages of pregnancy after fertilization(sperm meets the egg ) within the first 5 weeks of pregnancy or a week before your next period
  • But due to chromosomal abnormalities in the fertilized egg, there is improper/failed implantation
  • The signs of chemical pregnancy is bleeding (slightly heavier than your period) that may occur a bit later
  •  50–75 percent of all miscarriages are chemical pregnancy as documented by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

2. Blighted Ovum

  • Synonymously know as anembryonic pregnancy
  • Occurs in the early stages of conception “after implantation”
  • The fertilized egg gets attached to the uterine wall (implantation), but the development of the embryo is hampered.
  •  Diagnosis of a blighted ovum is done on seeing an empty gestational sac and an absence of a heartbeat in ultrasound.
  •  Dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure is done for treatment

3. Missed Miscarriage:

  • The death of the fetus happens in the early phase of pregnancy phase and the tissue of pregnancy still remains within the mother’s body.
  • The symptoms of pregnancy continue
  • Cramping and vaginal discharge seen
  •  Dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure is done for treatment

4. Threatened Miscarriage:

  • Occurs in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy
  • Cramping with lower back pain which may/may not end in a miscarriage
  • It does not mean that your pregnancy will end in a miscarriage
  •   Cervix remains closed
  • When diagnosed with a closed cervix, the pregnancy is carefully monitored by the gynecologist

5. Inevitable Miscarriage:

  • The cervical canal dilation signifies that your body is in the process of miscarriage
  • Inevitable miscarriage is indicated by vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain that occurs during early pregnancy

6. Incomplete Abortion:

  • The cervix is widened and some portion of the fetal tissues is ejected
  •  Heavy vaginal bleeding and intense abdominal pain is seen
  • On an ultrasound, some tissue is still seen in the uterus

7. Complete Miscarriage:

  • The pregnancy tissue gets ejected in toto
  • Loss of pregnancy with severe abdominal pain and heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Decrease in  pain and bleeding after complete expulsion
  • On an ultrasound, no tissue is seen in the uterus


Dr. Aishwarya Rajeev has completed her MDS degree and is currently pursuing her PhD. She is an avid reader and loves to teach and write!

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