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What should I do if I miscarry at 8 weeks?

What is a miscarriage?

A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks. Miscarriages are very common, occurring in about 10-20% of known pregnancies. Most miscarriages happen in the first trimester, with the risk being highest around 8-12 weeks of pregnancy.

What causes a miscarriage at 8 weeks?

There are several possible causes of miscarriage at 8 weeks:

  • Chromosomal abnormalities – About 50% of early miscarriages are due to chromosomal issues with the developing embryo/fetus. These abnormalities often occur by chance and are not due to anything the mother did.
  • Hormone problems – Issues with progesterone or other hormones can sometimes lead to miscarriage. Certain health conditions like PCOS or thyroid problems may contribute.
  • Uterine abnormalities – Structural issues with the uterus like fibroids, polyps or a septum may increase miscarriage risk.
  • Autoimmune issues – Antiphospholipid syndrome and other autoimmune problems can lead to blood clots or an inadequate maternal immune response.
  • Infection – Infections like listeriosis, toxoplasmosis, or cytomegalovirus may trigger miscarriage.
  • Lifestyle factors – Things like smoking, alcohol, excessive caffeine, drug use or inadequate folic acid intake can negatively impact pregnancy.
  • Unknown causes – In many cases, the exact cause of miscarriage cannot be identified.

Unfortunately, most of the time the cause of an early miscarriage is beyond the mother’s control. But identifying potential contributing factors can sometimes help prevent repeat miscarriages.

What are the symptoms of miscarriage at 8 weeks?

Common symptoms of a miscarriage at 8 weeks include:

  • Vaginal bleeding – This may range from light spotting to heavy bleeding with clots. Bleeding is often the first noticeable sign.
  • Cramping or abdominal pain – Many women have pelvic cramping along with bleeding.
  • Loss of pregnancy symptoms – Nausea, fatigue and breast soreness may subside.
  • Passing tissue – You may pass clots, gestational sac or other tissue.

Some women continue to have pregnancy symptoms even when a miscarriage is underway. An ultrasound is often needed to confirm if a miscarriage has occurred.

What should I do if I start bleeding at 8 weeks pregnant?

If you have any bleeding or spotting in the first trimester:

  1. Avoid sexual intercourse, tampon use, strenuous activity until evaluated.
  2. Call your doctor right away. Bleeding may be normal but needs assessment.
  3. Note if you have cramping and how heavy the bleeding is. Track bleeding daily.
  4. Rest and hydrate while waiting to be evaluated. Limit physical activity.
  5. Follow your doctor’s advice about medications, activity, etc.

Bleeding in early pregnancy does not always mean miscarriage. But any vaginal bleeding should be evaluated promptly to identify the cause. Call your doctor any time you have bleeding in pregnancy.

How is a miscarriage at 8 weeks diagnosed?

Miscarriage diagnosis typically involves:

  • Pelvic exam – The doctor checks for cervical dilation and any tissue passing through the cervix.
  • Ultrasound – Ultrasound is done to check for a fetal heartbeat and confirm the gestational age. No heartbeat around 8 weeks typically means a miscarriage.
  • hCG levels – Declining hCG levels indicate pregnancy loss. A repeat blood draw may be done.

If ultrasound shows an empty gestational sac or no fetal heartbeat, you have what’s called a missed miscarriage or silent miscarriage even if you haven’t had bleeding/cramping yet.Treatment depends on whether your body has started naturally passing the pregnancy tissue.

What happens if you miscarry at 8 weeks?

If a miscarriage at 8 weeks is confirmed, here’s what typically happens:

  • Most women miscarry naturally within a few days or weeks. You may pass clots and tissue at home.
  • If you don’t pass all the tissue, medication or a D&C procedure may be recommended.
  • Make sure to follow up with your doctor for repeat ultrasounds or hCG blood draws until resolved.
  • Get instructions on signs of hemorrhage or infection requiring prompt care.
  • Rest physically and emotionally after a miscarriage, even if it was early.

The time frame to complete a miscarriage ranges from days to weeks. You should have falling hCG levels and resolution on ultrasound once completed. Very heavy bleeding, fever or severe pain could signal complications.

What are the treatment options for a miscarriage at 8 weeks?

Treatment options may include:

  • Expectant/natural management – Letting the miscarriage progress naturally at its own pace. This avoids medications or procedures and is often recommended for incomplete early miscarriages without heavy bleeding or infection.
  • Medication – A medication called misoprostol makes the uterus contract and empty out pregnancy tissue. Success rates are about 70-90% for treating early miscarriages.
  • D&C procedure – Also known as dilation and curettage, a D&C surgically removes any remaining tissue from the uterus. It may be recommended after failed medical management or for heavy bleeding.

Your doctor will advise on the best treatment option based on factors like gestational age, ultrasound findings, bleeding severity, risk of infection, and your personal preference.

What can I expect physically after miscarrying at 8 weeks?

Physically, you may experience:

  • Heavy bleeding like a heavy period for up to 2 weeks as the uterus empties.
  • Large clots or grayish tissue passing from the vagina.
  • Cramping and pelvic pain, sometimes worse than a period.
  • Bleeding tapering off to light spotting after several days to weeks.
  • If you had a D&C, bleeding should diminish within 1-2 weeks.
  • Breast tenderness and other pregnancy symptoms subsiding.
  • Return of normal menstrual cycles within 4-6 weeks.

Your doctor can provide medication to help control heavy bleeding or pain. Call if you soak more than 2 pads per hour or have severe pain. Most women physically recover quickly after an early miscarriage.

What are the emotions associated with miscarriage at 8 weeks?

Miscarriage can spark many emotions, even very early in pregnancy. Common feelings include:

  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Guilt or self-blame
  • Emptiness and isolation
  • Jealousy of other pregnant women
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Relief (if pregnancy was unplanned)

These feelings are normal. Be gentle with yourself and take time to grieve after a pregnancy loss. Counseling or support groups can sometimes help cope with the complex emotions.

How long should you wait to try conceiving again after miscarriage at 8 weeks?

Most experts recommend waiting:

  • 1 normal menstrual cycle after a first-trimester loss before trying to conceive again.
  • 2-3 cycles after 2 or more consecutive miscarriages.
  • 6 months after a second trimester loss or stillbirth.

This allows the uterus to recover and provides time to evaluate any possible causes with your doctor. Emotionally, many couples need some time before trying again. But there’s generally no medical reason to delay conception after an early loss.

What are the chances of miscarriage in a subsequent pregnancy?

If you’ve had one early miscarriage, your odds of miscarriage in a following pregnancy are still similar to the average woman’s chances:

Week of pregnancy Miscarriage risk
6 weeks 10%
8 weeks 5%
12 weeks 1-2%

After 2 or more consecutive miscarriages, the risk of another loss increases to 25% or higher. Further testing should be done after repeat miscarriages to identify any underlying causes. But the majority of women who miscarry go on to have a healthy pregnancy afterward.

What follow up is recommended after miscarrying at 8 weeks?

Follow-up after an 8 week miscarriage may include:

  • Pelvic exam at 1-2 weeks to ensure bleeding has resolved.
  • Repeat hCG blood test to confirm levels are dropping normally.
  • Ultrasound to check uterus is empty without retained tissue.
  • Reviewing pathology from D&C tissue, if done.
  • Discussing the experience and any desired testing for recurrent pregnancy loss.
  • Confirming you feel emotionally and physically ready before another pregnancy.

Make sure you attend all follow up appointments as recommended by your doctor. Report any signs of complication like heavy bleeding or fever. Getting appropriate care after a loss can help with emotional and physical healing.

When to seek emergency care after a miscarriage at 8 weeks

Seek prompt medical care if you have:

  • Soaking more than 2 pads per hour with bleeding
  • Severe pain not relieved by medication
  • Fever over 100.4°F
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness or feeling faint
  • No slowing of bleeding after several weeks

These may be signs of a hemorrhage, infection or retained pregnancy tissue requiring emergency treatment. After a miscarriage, infection or excessive blood loss can occasionally develop and become dangerous. Listen to your body and seek help if things don’t feel right.

How can I cope emotionally after miscarriage?

Coping emotionally after pregnancy loss tips:

  • Allow yourself to fully grieve – cry, get angry, lean on loved ones.
  • Join an in-person or online support group to connect with others.
  • Talk to a counselor or therapist if struggling with depression/anxiety.
  • Avoid blame – remind yourself it was not your fault.
  • Commemorate your baby through rituals like writing a letter, planting a tree or lighting a candle.
  • Be gentle and patient with yourself – healing takes time.

Getting through the grief of miscarriage is a process. Don’t ignore your feelings or let others diminish your loss because it was early. Take things day by day and focus on self-care as you start to heal.


Miscarriage at 8 weeks can be heartbreaking. The cause is often beyond the mother’s control. If you miscarry, allow yourself time to grieve physically and emotionally. Follow up with your provider to ensure your health and safety. Most women go on to have healthy pregnancies after an early loss. With time, support, and self-compassion, you too can heal and recover.