When you are trying to conceive, every month is a huge waiting game. Yet this time your period arrived late, so was it a super late period or a miscarriage?
While it’s hard to know for sure which one it is, there are a few differences between periods and miscarriages which could help you figure out what you are experiencing.
Before we get started, here are a few must-known facts on miscarriages and late periods:
- Miscarriages are very common, as many as 1 in 3 pregnancies end in a miscarriage, most of the time the woman didn’t even know she was pregnant!
- Miscarriages are most likely to occur in the first 6 weeks, where your period typically comes every 4-5 weeks. Meaning, a late period and a miscarriage could bring a lot of confusion as there are so many similarities in bleeding and timing.
- The further along you are, the greater the difference will be between your regular miscarriage and your period.
- If you do miscarry in the first few weeks, you are very unlikely to have any complications with the miscarriage, whereas risk of infection and not passing everything increases with time.
- If you have had a positive pregnancy test and are bleeding heavily, you most likely are experiencing a miscarriage and should consult your health practitioner right away.
Disclaimer: If you think you may be experiencing a miscarriage, it is always best to go and get it checked out. They can do a few simple tests to determine whether you are having a miscarriage. So, consult your health practitioner first.
When Do Miscarriages Happen?
A miscarriage can happen as soon as fertilization has taken place.
Meaning, if you had a successful implantation 2 weeks before your period arrives, you can experience a miscarriage any time after that. So, a miscarriage can occur before your normal expected period, while you expect your period, or even after your expected period. This can then seem like a late period.
Especially in the first 6 weeks, many women don’t know they are pregnant, therefore it’s hard to tell whether you have had a super late period or a miscarriage.
This is because the pregnancy symptoms haven’t had time to come yet, and even pregnancy tests cannot measure your hCG levels accurately in the first few weeks.
While the timing may give you some clues on whether it’s a super late period or a miscarriage, it’s hard to say for sure in most cases.
Symptoms and Signs of Periods and Miscarriages
A super late pregnancy and a miscarriage will have a few similar symptoms, making it hard to differentiate between the two.
Both will experience:
- bleeding (bright red)
- and pain
However, a miscarriage may bring on these symptoms on top of the above:
- sudden reduction in early pregnancy symptoms (nausea, breast tenderness etc.)
- signs of being sick (such as a fever)
- blood clots or tissue (brown blood, fetal tissue, pinkish mucous etc.)
If you are under 6 weeks pregnant, your miscarriage will most likely be like a period.
If you are over 8 weeks pregnant, a miscarriage and a period will not be mistaken as a miscarriage will then bring on heavier and longer bleeding, along with pieces of fetal tissue.
Given this, you know what your period feels like and how bad the pain is. If this pain is more severe than usual, you may be experiencing a miscarriage. Make sure to check with your OB/GYN if you suspect you are having a miscarriage.
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How Long Do Miscarriages Last?
A miscarriage will typically last longer than your regular period and bleeding will be more painful and heavier.
Take into consideration how long your period usually lasts. If you are wondering whether you are experiencing a super late period or a miscarriage, and your bleeding lasts much longer than usual, you are most likely experiencing a miscarriage.
What Does the Bleeding Look Like?
In the first few weeks, the bleeding will look very similar to period blood. Red, fresh blood. However, sometimes it can resemble brown blood or coffee grounds. This would then indicate a potential miscarriage.
If you are over 6 weeks pregnant, you will most likely see more brown and red blood and pieces of fetal tissue. Remember, the further along in the pregnancy, the easier it is to determine a miscarriage.
What if I am Bleeding Very Lightly?
If you are experiencing very light bleeding around when your period comes or later, you may be pregnant and be experiencing spotting.
Around half of all pregnant women experience spotting during their pregnancy. Spotting does not mean you are experiencing a miscarriage or have any complications. It is just your body changing and letting the egg become implanted in your uterus.
Even later on, spotting during pregnancy is normal as things such as exercise, sex, and vaginal exams can cause some spotting to occur.
But how light is “light?”
Think of a few spots on your underwear, or even some red or brown blood when you wipe. You will not fill a pad with blood when you are spotting.
Should I Go Visit a Doctor?
If you are concerned, it is always best to go and get yourself checked out. An ultrasound will usually confirm if you are experiencing a miscarriage of any kind.
Plus, even if you are having scary symptoms, you may still go on to have a healthy pregnancy! So, getting it checked is always a good idea.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure to get yourself checked out as soon as possible:
- fever and bleeding
- excessive pain and bleeding
- passing mucus, tissue, or blood clots
- uterus contractions
Did I Have a Super Late Period or a Miscarriage?
About 2 months before I conceived my second child, I experienced what I saw as a heavy and painful period. My periods were usually mild, and I wouldn’t have to change my daily habits and activities because of them.
But this one hurt. Real bad. Like rolling on the floor hurting.
It was then that I realized my period was over a week late, something that never happened.
Although I will never know if it was just a super late period or a miscarriage, I felt in my heart I lost a baby.
It was hard to deal with the thought of never truly knowing if I was pregnant or not. Because it was so early, I never really passed major blood clots, only adding to the uncertainty.
I just want to encourage you during this hard time, whether you are experiencing a super late period or a miscarriage, that everything will be okay.
All the worrying, crying, wondering, and research won’t help. I put my trust in the Lord, and I suggest you do the same. Let him comfort you, console you, and give you the answers you are looking for.
He is with you and will never leave you.
I am looking forward to eternity, when I may see my little child running around in heaven, enjoying life to its fullest. Until then, I can only wait and be thankful for what I do have.
If you need somebody to talk to, feel free to email me or leave a comment below! I am here for you, I went through this, and I know how important it is to talk.
So, don’t be shy, send me a message, and let’s become best friends!
Until next time,
6 thoughts on “A Super Late Period or a Miscarriage?”
I was 7 days late on my menstrual cycle, but I started bleeding on the 8th day. I’m experiencing heavy bleeding and a lot of blood clots. Is that a possible sign of miscarriage or just a heavy period?
Hello, although it’s hard to say and I in no way want to diagnose you, if these heavy periods are very unlike you, your periods have always been really regular, and you are having a lot more blood clotting than normal, it is probably a very early miscarriage. If you are concerned or want to know 100% what it was, I suggest seeing your doctor, but that would be my guess.
You’ve provided a pretty good guide that would be helpful for anyone confused and scared during such a time where they may be unsure of what is happening to them.
Yes, the uncertainty is the worst, and sadly, most people will never find out what it truly was. Glad this helped!
We never know when we will come across these complications and the most important thing is to be aware of them and know what to do. Thank you for sharing this valuable information!
You’re very welcome! Glad it provided some insight and help!