Most women who are pregnant will worry about having any sign of miscarriage at 4 weeks.
But the truth is, at 4 weeks, miscarriage is relatively very common. In fact, study shows more than 30 percent of women will miscarry very early in pregnancy without knowing.
You should know that at four weeks into your pregnancy, you just missed your period. Some women may not even know they are pregnant at this time
If you are already pregnant, you may start having strange pregnancy symptoms. Common pregnancy symptoms you are likely to experience are
- Vomiting or nausea that is especially worse in the morning
- Spotting before your period
- Body weakness
- Abdominal cramps
- Change in mood
- Frequent urination
- Food aversion.
Most women will be concerned when they encounter pregnancy symptoms with vaginal bleeding. This is probably normal, and it’s likely due to implantation bleeding.
Implantation bleeding occurs in some women after the embryo is successfully attached to the uterus after fertilization.
After implantation, your body increases human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). A hormone that helps detect if you are pregnant or not.
As each day passes by after implantation, HCG hormone will continue to rise and can be tested for confirmation of pregnancy.
If you had a miscarriage, you would most likely have vaginal bleeding, abdominal cramps and decreasing levels of HCG hormone.
Though a miscarriage can be prevented, it’s difficult to stop a miscarriage bleeding after it has started. Don’t forget, your baby is still tiny at this stage, and you will not see fetal tissue coming from your vagina.
This article explains the symptoms of miscarriage at 4 weeks, when to worry and steps you should take.
Miscarriage at 4 weeks: What are the signs?
1. Vaginal bleeding
Spotting in the very early days of your pregnancy before you will miss your period is common in some women. This bleeding occurs due to implantation.
At four weeks there are many other reasons you will have vaginal bleeding. Cervical trauma, vaginal wall injury during intercourse can cause some form of bleeding.
Though spotting could mean a minor problem, the most common sign most women will experience when having a miscarriage is vaginal bleeding with low abdomen cramps.
It’s unlikely you will have fetal tissue because your baby is still tiny and now well-formed. However, you will experience vaginal bleeding with clots.
It’s important you observe the amount of blood loss out while pregnant.
Bleeding too much may cause you to get weak, dizzy and sometimes have a fainting spell. A simple way to tell if you are bleeding too much is the number of pads you changes is few hours.
It is advised that you see their doctor within the first three days after noticing vaginal bleeding. This is because blood test and an ultrasound will be carried out to confirm if you are still pregnant or not.
Except you are Rhesus positive, you will need a shot of anti-Rhesus. This is crucial to avert complications in your next pregnancy.
If you do not get an anti-rhesus, your body develops antibodies that will attack your baby in your next pregnancy; resulting in a miscarriage.
This will not be necessary if your husband is Rhesus negative. If you are unsure, it always important to talk to your doctor as soon as you start bleeding during pregnancy.
2. Abdominal cramps
Abdominal cramps in your abdomen four weeks into your pregnancy (or while you are expecting your period) may indicate you have implantation cramps or a sign your next period is coming (If you’ve not confirmed pregnancy)
After fertilization and implantation, you may experience light cramping pain that occurs about 3 – 7 days before your period.
The truth is pregnancy cramps is mild and will not last for long.
On the other hand, a miscarriage pain can be very severe sometimes, and women will experience bleeding too.
If you’re pregnant and have mild cramps, it’s not an issue except you notice you are bleeding too.
3. Absent pregnancy symptoms
At four weeks some women will already have pregnancy symptoms. If you are not feeling pregnant anymore, it’s important you get yourself checked.
After a miscarriage, your body will stop producing HCG hormone as it falls over weeks to pre-pregnancy level.
In fact, your doctor will demand you check your HCG level over days to determining if it’s rising or not.
According to American Pregnancy Association, at 4 weeks of pregnancy, HCG level ranges from 5 – 426 mIU/ml.
If you are bleeding with cramps with a decreasing level of HCG hormone, it indicates your pregnancy is not viable.
What causes miscarriage at 4 weeks?
1. Chromosomal abnormalities
During fertilization of the embryo, genetic materials are exchanged from your egg (released during ovulation) and your partner’s sperm. This enables your baby to have genetic characteristics from both parents.
However, this could happen differently with an abnormal number of chromosomes during fertilization. If this happens, your body responds by causing a miscarriage.
At 4 weeks, chromosomal abnormality is the most common reason you will have a miscarriage.
2. You are smoking during pregnancy
Smoking mothers are at risk of losing their baby. This is because of cigarette chemicals – nicotine, will interfere with blood and nutrient supply to your baby.
If this happens, it could easily cause a miscarriage. It’s important you also stop smoking if you are yet to conceive. Women with a history of smoking have an increased rate of a miscarriage when pregnant.
3. You have diabetes, hypertension or an infection
It’s not uncommon for women to be diabetic or hypertensive; If you are, it’s possible it may affect your baby.
Also, vaginal infections like measles, cytomegalovirus, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and mumps will increase your chances of a miscarriage at four weeks.
Always make sure you talk to a doctor if you notice an abnormal symptom while pregnant.
4. Other causes of a miscarriage are
- Excessive use of caffeine (more than 200 mg daily)
- Taking alcohol while pregnant
- Drug abuse
- Trauma to your abdomen during pregnancy
- Excessive exercise
What are miscarriage rates at 4 weeks?
If you are bleeding at 4 weeks pregnant, it’s important you differentiate period from implantation bleeding.
At four weeks, the rate of a miscarriage is so high. According to check pregnancy, your chances of a miscarriage is about 22 – 75 percent.
If you’ve not had any symptoms of a miscarriage, then there is no need to worry. As your pregnancy progresses, your chances of having a miscarriage will decrease.
When Can I try again?
If you already had a miscarriage at four weeks, you may get worried about getting pregnant or going through physical and emotional stress again.
While it is advisable you take your time to prepare for your next pregnancy; research shows you are less likely to have a miscarriage if you take in within the first six months.
So don’t panic, talk to your partner and try again.