What Does a Miscarriage Look Like?

A miscarriage is defined by the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks of gestation. It can be a difficult event to deal with, physically and emotionally. That being said, it is still important to know what happens when a miscarriage occurs.

Many symptoms come with a miscarriage. These symptoms can mean a number of things so getting checked out is important no matter what. There will likely be tissues that pass that will look somewhat different.

Signs of a Miscarriage

The signs of a miscarriage are bleeding, abdominal or lower back pain, cramping, discharge, and decreased pregnancy symptoms. Since your body is no longer sustaining life, it is going back to its normal state.


  • Miscarriage blood clots or tissue have a very distinct look. If you are experiencing bleeding, talk to your doctor.
  • Light bleeding is relatively common and will not always mean you are having a miscarriage


Lower back pain will occur as your body expels the tissue and other pregnancy contents.


This cramping can either feel like menstruation cramps or worse.


Different types of discharge may occur during a miscarriage:
Most discharge is normal, but if you are bleeding heavily and continuously, something else may be going on.

Decreased pregnancy symptoms

  • Since you are no longer pregnant, your body will begin to return to its
  • non-pregnant state

Types of Miscarriage

There are a few types of miscarriages. These categories are used to describe certain characteristics of the miscarriages that your body can go through.

Threatened miscarriage

Spotting, bleeding, or other miscarriage symptoms when there is no miscarriage taking place.
1/3 of all women will experience bleeding in the first trimester, and only half will go on to have a miscarriage.

Incomplete miscarriage

A miscarriage in which only some pregnancy tissue passes from the vagina. The remaining tissue should eventually pass on its own.
Sometimes it will not pass on its own, and emergency treatment may be needed. A D&C can be done to rid the uterus of the rest of the tissue.
Medicine also helps to expel the remainder of the tissue.

Complete miscarriage

A miscarriage where the entire pregnancy and its tissues are passed. No treatment or observation is needed.
There are usually no complications with a complete miscarriage since the body does its job of naturally shedding the products of conception.

Anembryonic gestation

The embryonic tissue does not develop or stops developing even though it manages to implant.
This is also referred to as a blighted ovum.

Embryonic or fetal demise

The early embryo or fetus stops developing and growing in this type of miscarriage.
On average, about one percent of normal, healthy pregnancies end in fetal demise. In addition, this term is usually used for pregnancy losses that happen at the 20th week or after during gestation.

Missed abortion or missed miscarriage

This uncommon type of miscarriage is when the pregnancy stops, but the tissue does not pass through for at least four weeks. Bleeding or spotting may occur, but there will not be any heavy bleeding.

Septic miscarriage

With an infection of the uterus, a septic miscarriage requires urgent care to prevent shock or death. The patient will usually develop a fever and abdominal pain, and foul smelling bleeding may occur. It is important to start antibiotics right away and to have an evacuation as soon as possible.

What does tissue from a miscarriage look like

If you have seen miscarriage pictures, then you know what miscarriage looks like. It can have different properties than your normal periods. Since you are losing more than just the lining, it will be heavier and probably colored differently. However, if you have not seen any pictures, you may be thinking ‘What does miscarriage tissue look like?’

The tissue that comes from a miscarriage can be red, brown, and even gray. The gray fluid should be put into a container and brought to your doctor. Fetal tissue miscarriage is gray, so they will be able to test whether or not it actually was a miscarriage.

They may also be able to test for a reason the miscarriage happened. This is good for when you want to try getting pregnant again. You are able to go to genetic counseling or start medications to control an underlying condition. The majority of miscarriages are a one-time deal.
If you notice any yellow tissue or foul odor you may have an infection. It is important to see your doctor regardless of what is going on, but infection can cause serious complications and even death.

Miscarriage tissue pictures will show you what the tissue that is being expelled should look like. There are many ways that it can look, and it might be hard to be sure. The miscarriage placenta will come out eventually as well.

Signs and symptoms of a Miscarriage

Signs and symptoms of a Miscarriage

Miscarriage Week by Week

The symptoms and signs of miscarriage differ slightly depending on how far along you are. Knowing that there is nothing you can do to stop it once it starts, there is a way for you to go through it as easily as possible.

As long as you stay calm and pay attention to the signs, you should not have too many problems during this process. Take care of yourself physically and emotionally to help yourself move forward.

What does a miscarriage tissue look like at 4 weeks

Spotting or bleeding
Moderate to severe cramping
Bleeding for a period of up to 10 days
Passage of clotty tissue
Between 22 percent and 75 percent of all healthy women miscarry between three and four weeks

What does a miscarriage tissue look like at 5 weeks

Moderate to heavy bleeding
Passing of blood clots
Heaviness in abdomen
Loss of pregnancy symptoms
Chances of loss drop to 10 percent
HCG test may still show positive pregnancy

What does a miscarriage tissue look like at 6 weeks

Moderate to heavy bleeding
Lower back pain
Severe cramping
Passage of clots
Extended bleeding for seven to 10 days
Loss of pregnancy symptoms
Heaviness in abdomen
Chance is as low as five percent

What does a miscarriage tissue look like at 7 weeks

Lower back pain
Moderate to heavy bleeding
Passage of clots
Loss of pregnancy symptoms
Extended bleeding for up to 10 days
Chance is around four percent

What does a miscarriage tissue look like at 8 weeks

Passing of clots or what looks like embryonic sac
Loss of pregnancy symptoms
Heavy bleeding
Severe cramping in lower back
98 percent chance of successful pregnancy

What does a miscarriage tissue look like at 9 weeks

Cramping and pain in the lower back
Heavy bleeding
Passing of what appears to be embryonic sac
Loss of pregnancy symptoms

What does a miscarriage tissue look like at 10 weeks

Loss of pregnancy symptoms
Lower back pain and cramping
Passing of embryonic sac or large clots
The further along you are in your pregnancy, the more important it is to pay attention to these signals. However, once you reach week 11, the chance is so low that focusing on taking care of your baby should be paramount. With a percentage of one or two, miscarriage is unlikely this far along.

What causes miscarriages, anyway? A few factors are responsible. Chromosomes, abnormalities of the fetus, uterus, or cervix, immune disorders, bacterial infection, and untreated illnesses. Your lifestyle has a huge effect as well.

Chromosomal abnormalities can account for at least 60 percent of miscarriages. Abnormalities happen when either the egg or sperm is faulty, and the chromosomes cannot line up properly. The couple may find that they have chromosomal abnormalities that only affect their offspring. Genetic counseling comes in handy here, and can really help to figure out what the best way is for you to get and stay pregnant.

Finding out that you are having a miscarriage can be devastating. However, it is important to let your body heal and get itself together. There will be uncomfortable symptoms that will eventually pass. Make sure that you are paying attention to the fluid that is being passed.

The only type you should really worry about is yellowy, odorous discharge. This could mean that you have an infection that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. There is no way to prevent miscarriage, but you have options.

You can either wait for your body to pass the pregnancy contents naturally or have them removed with a D&C procedure. It is up to you. However, you might need assistance if your body does not want to pass the tissues.

Overall, there is important information to know about miscarriages, and being educated will only help you through any situation you may be dealing with. The more you know, the more measures you can take to ensure that you are healthy and ready for a pregnancy. As long as you are informed, nothing should take you too much by surprise, especially considering the statistics regarding miscarriage. You will probably be fine, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

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