Miscarriage, also known as spontaneous abortion and pregnancy loss, is the natural death of an embryo or fetus before it is able to survive independently. Some use the cutoff of 20 weeks of gestation after which fetal death is known as a stillbirth. The most common symptoms of a miscarriage is vaginal bleeding with or without pain. Sadness, anxiety, and guilt may occur. Tissue or clot like material may also come out of the vagina.

Risk factors for miscarriage include an older parent, previous miscarriage, exposure to tobacco smoke, obesity, diabetes, and drug or alcohol use, among others. In those under the age of 35 the risk is about 10% while it is about 45% in those over the age of 40. Risk begins to increase around the age of 30. About 80% of miscarriages occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (the first trimester). The underlying cause in about half of cases involves chromosomal abnormalities. Other conditions that can produce similar symptoms include an ectopic pregnancy and implantation bleeding. Diagnosis of a miscarriage may involve checking to see if the cervix is open or closed, testing blood levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and an ultrasound.

Prevention is occasionally possible with good prenatal care. Avoiding drugs and alcohol, infectious diseases, and radiation may prevent miscarriage. No specific treatment is usually needed during the first 7 to 14 days. Most miscarriage will complete without additional interventions. Occasionally the medication misoprostol or a procedure such as vacuum aspiration is required to remove the failed pregnancy. Women who are rhesus negative may require Rho(D) immune globulin. Pain medication may be beneficial. Emotional support may help with negative emotions.

Miscarriage is the most common complication of early pregnancy. Among females who know they are pregnant, the miscarriage rate is roughly 10% to 20% while rates among all fertilisation is around 30% to 50%. About 5% of females have two miscarriages in a row. Some recommend not using the term “abortion” in discussions with those experiencing a miscarriage in an effort to decrease distress.

The most common symptom of a miscarriage is vaginal bleeding. This can vary from light spotting or brownish discharge to heavy bleeding and bright red blood. The bleeding may come and go over several days. However, light vaginal bleeding is relatively common during the first trimester of pregnancy (the first 12 weeks) and does not necessarily indicate a miscarriage.

Bleeding during pregnancy may be referred to as a threatened miscarriage. Of those who seek clinical treatment for bleeding during pregnancy, about half will miscarry. Symptoms other than bleeding are not statistically related to miscarriage.

Miscarriage may be detected during an ultrasound exam, or through serial human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) testing. Those who became pregnant using assisted reproductive technology methods, and those with a history of miscarriage may be monitored closely, and may be diagnosed with miscarriage sooner.

Miscarriage. (2016, August 21). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:07, August 21, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Miscarriage&oldid=735480282