Last updated on July 27th, 2018 at 05:07 pm
Having symptoms and signs of miscarriage at 5 weeks with or without vaginal bleeding can cause anxiety and worry in expecting mothers.
A miscarriage simply means the sudden loss of pregnancy that occurs before your baby can survive outside the womb. In the united states and united kingdom, the age of viability (when baby can survive outside the womb) is about 20 – 24 weeks gestation.
Commonly, women with miscarriage will experience vaginal bleeding that occurs with or without any pain in your abdomen
While it’s possible may experience mild spotting when pregnant, a heavy bleeding from your vagina may indicate serious health issues.
Spotting during pregnancy can occur due to vaginal infections, sexual intercourse, antepartum hemorrhage, ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage.
The truth is at five weeks; your baby is still not well-formed and very small. It’s difficult to see fetal tissue with your spotting.
However, as your baby grows, some women who have a miscarriage later than five weeks will see fetal parts with blood clots coming from their vagina.
From research, more than 80 percent of women who have a miscarriage, occurs in the first three months; and about 20 percent of all pregnancies will end up in a miscarriage. The chances could be higher if you are more than 40 – 45 years, smoking, taking alcohol or abusing drugs like caffeine.
The main cause of miscarriage at 5 weeks is a genetic abnormality when your baby is formed differently.
Other causes are abnormal hormones, uterine abnormalities and excessive exercise in the first trimester.
This article explains the causes of miscarriage at 5 weeks, symptoms, risk factor and when you should get pregnant after a miscarriage.
Miscarriage at 5 weeks: What to Expect
1. Vaginal bleeding
This is the most common symptom you will experience when if you have a miscarriage. In some women, bleeding may be light; while in others it could be heavy resulting in dizziness and body weakness.
At 5 weeks pregnant, your baby is about 1/10th of an inch long. You will not see fetal parts coming out as baby is so small.
While some women may experience light spotting which resolves on its own without any harm to the baby; some women may end up losing their baby.
If you start having bleeding when pregnant, you must inform your doctor immediately. After vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, your doctor may book you for an anti-rhesus, if you are Rhesus negative.
If you bleed while pregnant, it’s possible that you may develop antibodies to your baby and become sensitized. This will cause your body to attack future pregnancy resulting in fetal death.
To prevent this, schedule a visit immediately and talk to your doctor.
Abdominal cramps may not be felt during a miscarriage; some women may just have painless spotting that resolves. However, if you are bleeding with abdominal cramps, the chances are your uterus is contracting to force out your baby.
During your clinic visit, your doctor will examine your cervix through vaginal examinations and request for an ultrasound and other blood tests.
If your pregnancy is viable, it’s important you have a lot of rest, stay hydrated and take pain relief medications to feel better.
2. Your pregnancy symptoms begin to disappear
Remember that at five weeks into your pregnancy, you are just a week past your period and may start experiencing breast changes, breast pain, breast heaviness, mood swings, body weakness and abdominal cramps.
During a miscarriage at 5 weeks, you will notice your symptoms start to disappear. This happens because pregnancy hormones begin to fall.
After ovulation, if pregnant, the corpus luteum starts to produce estrogen and progesterone that helps thicken uterine endometrium in preparation for gestation. These hormones are responsible for your pregnancy symptoms.
If you miscarry, the level of these hormones will fall and make your pregnancy symptoms gradually go away.
It’s important to inform your doctor if you have no symptoms of pregnancy with vaginal bleeding.
3. Your HCG levels begin to fall
After implantation of the embryo into the endometrium, your body starts to secrete a hormone called HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). This hormone can be detected in urine and blood days before your next menstrual period if you are pregnant.
In fact, for you to get pregnant, HCG levels will be higher than 25 mIU/ml; On the other hand, a negative pregnancy test means HCG less than 5m IU/ml.
In normal pregnancy and more than 85 percent of women, your HCG levels will continue to rise in the first 11 weeks of pregnancy, doubling every 2 -3 days.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, HCG levels at 5 weeks pregnancy ranges from 18 – 7340 mIU/ml. However, HCG levels can vary in pregnancy and may not be very useful in determining the health of your baby. Some women who have lower than normal HCG to gestational age still end up having a normal baby and pregnancy.
Nevertheless, if you have vaginal bleeding or severe cramps during pregnancy, your doctor will request multiple HCG tests to determine if HCG level is rising or not.
During a miscarriage, you HCG hormones begin to fall and in most cases reaches pre-pregnancy levels in 4 – 6 weeks.
Why did miscarriage happen?
1. Genetic disorders
Normally for your baby to form, genetic material is mixed from both the man’s sperm and your egg. This result in the formation of an embryo that is later implanted into your womb.
In more than 30 percent of pregnancy, a miscarriage can happen even without you knowing; and in most cases is due to chromosomal disorders.
In fact, most women who have a miscarriage at 5 weeks occurs because of genetic abnormalities.
2. Low progesterone hormones
Before pregnancy, both estrogen and progesterone help to build up the endometrium. When you have a menstrual period, this thickened endometrium is expelled from the vagina.
Progesterone is more efficient after ovulation and is mostly involved with thickening of the endometrium.
If progesterone is low, you may have a miscarriage; You doctor will place you on progesterone pills during the first trimester.
3. Uterine fibroids
Depending on the location of a fibroid, it may reduce your chance of getting pregnant or cause a miscarriage to occur.
4. Uterine malformations
Abnormalities in the formation of the uterus will also result in recurrent miscarriages or infertility.
In some women, the uterus may be absent. While in others the uterus may be divided by a septum.
It’s important you inform your doctor if you’ve had three miscarriages in a row.
Risk factor for miscarriage at 5 weeks
Women that smoke before getting pregnant has a danger of having a miscarriage during pregnancy. This is even higher when you smoke cigarettes during early pregnancy.
Nicotine will interfere with blood circulation to your baby. This will sometimes result in loss of pregnancy or low birth weight babies.
Depending on your age, it’s more likely you will miscarry.
The risk of miscarriage increases after 35 years. Women more than 40 or 45 years have a likelihood to have a miscarriage
You should always see a specialist to help monitor your pregnancy and prevent complications.
3. Twin pregnancy
If you have more than one baby coming, you have an increased chance of miscarriage than single mothers
4. Long-term illnesses
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), diabetes, low thyroid hormones may cause a miscarriage.
Also, auto-immune diseases that occur when your body creates antibodies that attack your baby in utero may result in a miscarriage.
5. Excessive exercise
It’s important you get a lot of rest in the first three months of pregnancy; Stressful work and severe exercise will increase your chances of having a miscarriage.
What are miscarriage rates at 5 weeks
The chances you could have a miscarriage is very high in the first few weeks after missing your period.
According to checkpregnancy.com, the likelihood of having a miscarriage at five weeks is about 10 percent. As your baby grows, the risk of a miscarriage will decrease.
You should talk to your doctor if you have vaginal spotting, bleeding or notice disappearance of pregnancy symptoms
Miscarriage at 5 weeks, when can I try again?
A miscarriage can have severe psychological effects on women with guilt and also fear of losing your baby during next pregnancy.
However, this is not true. More than 85 percent of women that had a miscarriage go on to have a very healthy next pregnancy.
If you’ve already had two miscarriages in a row, there is hope. Studies reveal more than 70 percent of women with two miscarriages will have a normal healthy next pregnancy.
On the other hand, if you’ve had 3 or more miscarriage, you should see our doctor for assistance.
Due to the effect of a miscarriage on your health and emotions, it is advisable to wait till you are ready for next pregnancy.
However, a new study reveals that chances of having a repeat miscarriage are less likely if you conceive within six months after having a miscarriage.