What Is a Missed Miscarriage?


1. What Is A 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 loss and does not expel the pregnancy tissue. When this happens, the placenta continues to release pregnancy hormones and a woman still continues to experience signs and symptoms of pregnancy, and she does not realize that anything is wrong.


 This usually continues until the woman goes for a routine doctor’s appointment, where the doctor will be unable to detect a heartbeat and then an ultrasound will be performed. That ultrasound will indicate an underdeveloped fetus and that is how doctors will know that a missed miscarriage has occurred.

2. Are There Signs With A Missed Miscarriage?

As the name might suggest, there are not usually any obvious signs of a missed miscarriage. Usually, the placenta keeps the flow of pregnancy hormones coming, which keeps all of the pregnancy symptoms the same. In some cases, a woman might notice a sudden stop in her pregnancy symptoms, such as tender breasts or nausea.


However, the signs of a missed miscarriage can be very subtle and usually only a doctor finds the miscarriage at a routine appointment. While around 20 percent of all pregnancies ends in miscarriage, one percent or so will be a missed miscarriage, so they are not too common.

3. After Missed Miscarriage

What happens after a missed miscarriage depends on the woman, and how far along her pregnancy had progressed. If the miscarriage occurred early in a pregnancy, it could still be possible for a woman to expel the pregnancy tissue naturally.

However, if the pregnancy loss occurs later, a D&C procedure might be needed to remove all of the pregnancy tissue and lower the risk of infection. The good news is that most women who experience a missed miscarriage will go on to have a successful pregnancy later in life.


After a missed miscarriage, it is a good idea to talk at length with your doctor or your health care provider to determine how long you should wait before trying to get pregnant again. Usually, doctors suggest that couples wait for one to three menstrual cycles to pass before attempting to conceive again.

Doctors are not sure why missed miscarriages occur sometimes instead of traditional miscarriages, but they can definitely be difficult for the couples who experience them. Sometimes it is a good idea to speak with a counselor if you are having a hard time dealing with your pregnancy loss.

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Ms. Wisniewski has over 15 years experience as a labor and delivery nurse, having also worked previously as a nurse midwife in the Philippines and India. She enjoys empowering women and providing family centered care to women from all cultural and educational backgrounds.

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