Threatened Abortion

(Threatened Miscarriage; Threatened Pregnancy Loss)

Definition

Threatened abortion is a diagnosis that is made during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. While some women have vaginal bleeding in the first 3 months of pregnancy, bleeding and symptoms that could suggest an increased risk of miscarriage are called threatened abortion.
Fetus in First Trimester
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Causes

Early-pregnancy bleeding can originate from the uterus, cervix, vagina, or the external genital area.In many cases, the cause of the bleeding is due to a minor condition that requires no treatment. If you have any vaginal bleeding during your pregnancy, especially if you also have abdominal pain, you should contact your doctor.Possible causes of bleeding include:
  • Implantation of the embryo
  • Infection
  • Irritation, which may occur after intercourse
  • Miscarriage
  • The baby develops outside of the uterus—ectopic pregnancy
  • Molar pregnancy (rare growth inside the uterus)

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your risk of threatened abortion include:
  • Infection
  • Trauma
  • Certain medications
  • Advanced maternal age

Symptoms

The main symptom is bleeding during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Bleeding may be light or heavy. You may also have abdominal cramping.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.Tests that may be done include:

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