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Barwon Health / Maternity Services

(03) 4215 2060

Pregnancy loss under 20 weeks gestation

We offer our deepest sympathies to you and your family during this difficult time.

Early pregnancy loss is the loss of a pregnancy prior to 20 weeks gestation. The term is a broad one, encompassing miscarriage, ectopic, molar and any other loss that occurs prior to 20 weeks. Unfortunately, 1 in 4 women will experience a pregnancy loss and although many may blame themselves for a miscarriage, it is very rare anything they have done, or not done that has caused this to happen.

Symptoms of a miscarriage may be some spotting, or pain and heavier bleeding. Even though some spotting of blood is quite common in early pregnancy, you should always tell your doctor or midwife if it happens. Heavier bleeding, possibly accompanied by period-like cramping pain could be the start of a miscarriage. If this happens, you should call your GP or attend the hospital immediately.
If you think you are having a miscarriage, it should always be investigated. The doctor will confirm miscarriage based on your symptoms, an examination and imaging and blood test results.

The following resources may help if you experience the loss of your baby before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Some of the topics or options discussed in the fact sheets below may not be available or relevant to you, depending on the gestation of your baby. If care is being provided to you in the Emergency Department, Early Pregnancy Assessment Service ( EPAS), Heath Wing 5, short stay or with your GP, information and follow-up care will be discussed by the nurse/doctor that is caring for you and not necessarily by a midwife.


Last Modified: Thursday, 12 October 2023