How to Tell the Difference Between Blood Clot and Miscarriage?

How to tell the difference between blood clot and Miscarriage

Miscarriage and periods are two things wide apart, but some women get confused because vaginal bleeding in both are the same. Often, bleeding is accompanied by blood clots that create more confusion. 

Therefore, understanding the difference between miscarriage and period clots is important to figure out what’s what. 

While the period is a natural process that occurs every month among women of reproductive age, miscarriage is the loss of pregnancy due to varying reasons. During periods women shed the uterine lining through the vagina every month unless pregnancy occurs. Some women also pass blood clots, which is completely normal. 

At the same time, miscarriage also involves the shedding of blood clots along with tissues, and it’s where all the confusion comes from. 

How Do You Identify Whether It’s a Miscarriage Clot or a Period Clot?

First of all, a miscarriage clot will pass only when you are pregnant. It is often bloody, accompanied by mucus and tissues. Women will also experience symptoms like abdominal cramping, lower back pain, and vaginal bleeding. 

Miscarriage clots are usually larger in size compared to period clots and typically worsen over time. 

Here, it is important to note that vaginal spotting and light bleeding are common during pregnancy and don’t always indicate miscarriage. 

When Are Miscarriage Clots Mistaken as Period Clots?

miscarriage clots mistaken as period clots

Often, women do not realize that they are pregnant in the first month until they take a pregnancy or blood test. If, unfortunately, miscarriage happens in the first month itself, vaginal bleeding and blood clots pass. These clots are often misunderstood as period clots. 

However, one thing that can differentiate between the two at this stage is the duration of bleeding. In miscarriage, women bleed heavily and for a longer duration compared to bleeding during periods. 

At the same time, abdominal cramping would be more severe due to cervix dilation than what happens during periods. 

What Are the Characteristics of Period and Miscarriage Blood and Clots?

The color of the blood is one of the differentiable characteristics between the two. While during miscarriage, the blood and clots appear brown and look more like coffee grounds in the initial stage, the period blood is always bright red. 

Difference Between Miscarriage and Period Clots

Below is the table showing the major differences between miscarriage clot and period clot-

FeatureMiscarriage ClotPeriod Clot
TimingTypically occurs during pregnancyOccurs during menstrual bleeding
Pregnancy StatusAssociated with confirmed or suspected pregnancyNot indicative of pregnancy
Bleeding PatternMay involve heavy bleeding, passing tissue or clotsConsistent with menstrual bleeding, may include small clots
SymptomsVaginal bleeding, cramping, passing tissue or clots, loss of pregnancy symptomsMenstrual cramps, bleeding, possible passing of small clots
Emotional ImpactOften emotionally distressing, grief, and mourning due to loss of pregnancyGenerally, less emotionally distressing, associated with normal menstrual cycle
Diagnostic ConfirmationMedical evaluation, ultrasound, examination of passed tissueTypically confirmed through medical history and examination
TreatmentObservation, medical management, surgical procedures, if necessary, emotional supportUsually no specific treatment required, management of menstrual symptoms
Health ImplicationsPotential complications such as infection, excessive bleeding, and emotional traumaGenerally, no significant health implications, considered a normal process
Recurrence RiskMay increase risk for subsequent miscarriages depending on underlying causesNormal occurrence during menstruation, not associated with increased risk of future periods

When To See A Doctor?

If you are experiencing heavy bleeding accompanied by passing blood clots, it could be because of normal menstrual cycle or pregnancy loss.

In the Case of Pregnancy

In the case of Pregnancy

Women who were trying to conceive or had unprotected sex in the previous month may get pregnant. In such cases, they may experience early pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness, nausea, and vomiting, although not necessary. 

If such women experience heavy bleeding and passing of bloody mucus and clots with tissues, there could be chances of miscarriage; however, not always. Therefore, it is essential to visit your gynecologist provider immediately. 

In the Case of the Menstrual Cycle

Women who didn’t have unprotected sex in the previous month should consider blood clots as a normal part of their periods. However, if you suspect something abnormal, visit the gynecologist to rule out any chances of uncertainty. 


Women experiencing blood clots when they are pregnant should always visit their healthcare provider. Most of the time, these clots do not indicate anything serious and certain medications can help combat abnormal vaginal discharge. 

However, if the blood clots are consistent and accompanied by vaginal bleeding, abdominal cramping, and lower back pain, it could indicate that you might be miscarrying. But, do not make conclusions on your own and visit your doctor as soon as possible. 

Blood clots during periods are completely normal as they are shed from the uterine lining. Sometimes, blood clumps form clots that pass out from the vagina with the blood.  

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