What tests are there for a miscarriage?

If you think you have had a miscarriage, your doctor will conduct tests to confirm whether or not this is true. You may have a blood and urine test and you may also have an ultrasound scan and an examination of your pelvic area. The tests will be able to tell whether or not you have had a miscarriage and whether it has been an incomplete or full miscarriage; an incomplete miscarriage occurs when some of the foetal tissue remains in the mother’s body. If you have had a number of miscarriages, doctors can perform tests to see if there is a medical reason for this; tests include ultrasound scans of the pelvis and vagina, blood tests and karotyping (this is a test which is used to detect abnormalities in either your or your partner’s chromosomes).

Commonly used tests

In order to ascertain whether or not you have had a miscarriage your GP will carry out a range of tests, which will initially involve questions about symptoms and an initial examination; this will likely include an internal examination and in some cases you may be asked to perform a pregnancy test. If the GP deems it necessary then he/she will refer you to a gynaecologist who specialises in female reproductive health to perform additional tests, including:

Ultrasound scan

An image of the womb is formed by way of sound waves to identify any signs of miscarriage. However, if you are only six to seven weeks into pregnancy then you may need to wait an additional week or so for another ultrasound scan, as in the early stages it is difficult to identify if the pregnancy is progressing as expected.

Blood tests

This is done to discover if you have a rhesus-negative blood group; if you do then an injection can be used to safeguard against what is known as rhesus disease in your next pregnancy.

For those experiencing recurrent miscarriages

If you and your partner are experiencing recurrent miscarriages then there are tests to discover whether there is an underlying health condition. However, some of the tests are only able to be performed if you fall pregnant again. More information about the respective tests is given below:

Blood tests

Your blood is able to be tested to find if you have high levels of the prolactin hormone (only able to be done if you fall pregnant again) and also antiphospholipid antibodies, which may play a part in the reason for recurrent miscarriages.

Vaginal ultrasound

This test is able to find if your cervix is of a weakened state, but as with the blood test for the prolactin hormone can only be carried out if you fall pregnant again. A transducer, which is a tiny tool, is placed into the vagina – you will feel slight discomfort – to give a detailed scan of the cervix to identify any problems.


Karotyping is a test that is able to identify deformities in the each partner’s chromosomes; if a problem is found then you will be referred to a genetic expert. They will offer genetic counselling after carrying out an investigation to detail your chances of having a baby. They will also discuss fertility options such as IVF.

Pelvic ultrasound

Like the vaginal ultrasound but not as detailed. It is able to analyse the configuration of the womb for defects.

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