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Miscarriage

Summary

A miscarriage is the loss of pregnancy from natural causes before the 20th week of pregnancy. Most miscarriages occur very early in the pregnancy, often before a woman even knows she is pregnant. There are many different causes for a miscarriage. In most cases, there is nothing you can do to prevent a miscarriage.

Factors that may contribute to miscarriage include

  • A genetic problem with the fetus. This is the most common cause in the first trimester.
  • Problems with the uterus or cervix. These contribute in the second trimester.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

Signs of a miscarriage can include vaginal spotting or bleeding, abdominal pain or cramping, and fluid or tissue passing from the vagina. Although vaginal bleeding is a common symptom of miscarriage, many women have spotting early in their pregnancy but do not miscarry. But if you are pregnant and have bleeding or spotting, contact your health care provider immediately.

Women who miscarry early in their pregnancy usually do not need any treatment. In some cases, you may need a procedure called a dilatation and curettage (D&C) to remove tissue remaining in the uterus.

Counseling may help you cope with your grief. Later, if you do decide to try again, work closely with your health care provider to lower the risks. Many women who have a miscarriage go on to have healthy babies.

NIH: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

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