How Common Is A Missed Miscarriage at a 12-Week Scan?

It may have even crossed your mind as a couple: how common is a missed miscarriage at a 12-week scan? Miscarriages at any stage can be devastating. The cause of a missed miscarriage can be unknown, which makes it especially painful. You can navigate this difficult time by learning what a missed miscarriage is and what to expect during and afterwards. So, how likely are missed miscarriages at 12-week scans?

According to estimates, approximately 10-25% of confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage. One to five per cent of pregnancies experience missed miscarriages, a relatively rare event. The pregnancy started adequately in most cases of miscarriage. In the uterus, fertilized eggs implant, and your body produces hormones to prepare for pregnancy. Symptoms are not always apparent in missed miscarriages.

How Likely Is It That a Miscarriage Will Occur at 12 Weeks of Pregnancy?

Approximately 10-25% of confirmed pregnancies result in miscarriages. Approximately 1-5% of pregnancies are affected by a missed miscarriage. The pregnancy started correctly in the majority of miscarriages. 

A fertilized egg implants in the uterus, initiating your body’s production of hormones essential to getting pregnant. The first-trimester examination often detects missed miscarriages, usually between 11 and 14 weeks. 

Only 2% of pregnancies end in miscarriage after the eight-week scan reveals a heartbeat. At ten weeks, the chances are as low as 1%. At 12 weeks of pregnancy, it is still possible to detect a missed miscarriage; however, the likelihood is significantly less.

How Do You Detect a Missed Miscarriage?

Prenatal exams are the most common way of detecting missed miscarriages. As it is vital to make the correct diagnosis of a miscarriage, doctors must take a few steps before making a final decision.

A miscarriage is possible when a handheld doppler cannot detect a foetal heartbeat or a 12-week ultrasound cannot detect one. The doctor will take some preventive measures to make sure.

Generally, ovulation occurs on day 14 of a 28-day cycle which determines the timing of a pregnancy. Not all pregnancies follow this pattern. 

If you cannot date the pregnancy correctly, additional tests and scans will be necessary to confirm the loss. In pregnancy, the placenta produces hCG. 

This number is likely to double every 48 to 72 hours during the early stage of your pregnancy. Your doctor will likely conduct blood tests to ensure that these levels stay high.

The doctor will likely schedule one last test once the sonogram is conducted and the hCG levels haven’t risen or appear to be falling. In the absence of a heartbeat on this sonogram, the pregnancy has ended in miscarriage.

What Are the Causes of a Miscarriage?

Almost all miscarriages result from an embryo that is not viable because of chromosomal abnormalities. Such abnormalities can strike at any point in time and without any warning.

Each egg and sperm contribute a set of chromosomes. The embryo’s growth will stop, and its heartbeat will stop if it does not contain sufficient genetic material.

During the development of a blighted ovum, the implantation process occurs, but no embryo develops. An ultrasound will reveal that the gestational sac is empty in this case.

The fact remains that, aside from extreme behaviours like smoking or heavy drug and alcohol use, the mother is not responsible for losing a pregnancy.

The mother’s age, uterine abnormalities, and poorly managed health conditions can also increase miscarriage risks.

Signs and Symptoms of a Missed Miscarriage

Missed miscarriages may, unfortunately, not cause any symptoms at all. In the case of a normal miscarriage, cramping, back pain, nausea, vomiting, and bleeding may occur. 

The miscarriage is “missed” since nothing unusual suggests something wrong with the pregnancy. You may still feel pregnancy symptoms as your body produces many hormones.

If you don’t notice any other signs of loss, you may think your body is still pregnant. Missed miscarriages are typical without apparent signs, but some women claim pregnancy symptoms diminish or fade in the days following the miscarriage.

What Should You Expect After a Missed Miscarriage?

Your doctor will tell you what options you have if you have missed a miscarriage. Various options are available to you, including waiting for the tissue to pass on its own, taking medications to accelerate the process, or undergoing surgery to remove the pregnancy tissue.

If you want to go the natural route, allow your body to eliminate the tissue independently. Some women feel hurt to wait for the process to begin automatically and want it to be over already. 

Your doctor can help you determine the best option based on your physical and emotional health. Misoprostol is another medication your doctor may recommend. 

The cervix enlarges upon taking this medication, and the uterus contracts, resulting in the lining shed. You might also consider a dilation and curettage. The procedure involves removing tissue from your uterus, which is done under anaesthetic or sedation. 

The doctor will open your cervix with small tools and use a suction tube to remove any tissue gently. If you suffer a miscarriage naturally, you will bleed heavily for one to two days. 

Bleeding may continue for one to two weeks after the miscarriage. Your doctor may recommend waiting a week or two after a miscarriage, whether or not you underwent a procedure or if the miscarriage occurred on its own.  

After experiencing a miscarriage, many women wonder, “How soon can I become pregnant again?” Perhaps the miscarriage has taken place naturally or started due to medication. In that case, you can try again after your next menstrual cycle.

How to Prevent a Missed Miscarriage?

Often, a pregnancy may end without a clear explanation, and you cannot prevent the loss. However, you can make sure your pregnancy is as healthy as possible.

Researchers have found that folic acid 400 micrograms every day are beneficial to preventing specific congenital disabilities resulting in miscarriages. Take a folic acid supplement or eat fortified foods, like bread and cereals, to get more folic acid in your diet.

When you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, you should also live a healthy lifestyle. Staying healthy means avoiding harmful practices such as excessive drinking, smoking, and drug use. Getting regular exercise, sleeping enough, and following a healthy diet can also improve your health.


You and your partner can both suffer from unexpected pregnancy losses. Since missed miscarriages can seem to come out of nowhere, they can be challenging to deal with. 

Although miscarriage is rare, many women who have experienced such an event still feel a healthy pregnancy. 

However, the chances of having a second miscarriage are very low the next time you plan on trying. Even though a loss following pregnancy can be stressful, there is also much joy.