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About miscarriage

Early miscarriage is when a woman loses her pregnancy in the first three months. It may be accompanied by vaginal bleeding and pain. It often occurs before a woman has missed her first period or before her pregnancy has been confirmed. Once you have had a positive pregnancy test, there is around a one in five (20%) risk of having a miscarriage in the first three months. The risk also increases with age, smoking and heavy drinking.

Further information can be found at www.nhs.uk.

Bleeding and pain in early pregnancy

Vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy is common and does not always mean there is a problem. However it can be a warning sign.

See your doctor or midwife if you:

  • experience bleeding
  • feel pain
  • stop feeling pregnant

How can I get help?

You can get medical help from:

  • your general practice, midwife or obstetrician
  • the A&E department at your local hospital
  • NHS 24 on 08454 24 24 24 (if you are in Scotland)
  • NHS Choices Online www.nhs.uk
  • Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit.  Details of the unit nearest to you can be found at www.earlypregnancy.org.uk

What happens if it is a miscarriage?

  • If the miscarriage has completed, you will not need any further treatment.
  • If the miscarriage has not completed, there is a range of options available.
    Your nurse or doctor will refer you to the nearest Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit. You can phone for yourself and ask for advice, too. There are over 200 Early Pregnancy Assessment Units (EPAUs) across the UK. Details of the unit nearest to you can be found at www.earlypregnancy.org.uk.