What is a miscarriage ?

Young woman having stomach upset, pain on white background
Miscarriage is the loss of pregnancy before 20 weeks of gestation. It is also called spontaneous abortion and it occurs in about 20% of all pregnancies. A miscarriage may be caused by chromosomal abnormalities in fetus or maternal health conditions such as diabetes. Lifestyle changes such as drinking and smoking may also cause it.


What are the signs of a miscarriage ?


Vaginal bleeding : One of the first signs of a miscarriage is vaginal bleeding. Bleeding may be heavy or just a little spotting. Any form of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy accompanied by back pain and abdominal cramping is a cause for concern.


Abdominal bleeding : This may be a sign of miscarriage even though conditions such as stretching of the ligaments can cause it.


Back pain : Dull lower back pain accompanied by bleeding is another cause for concern.


Painful contractions : Very painful contractions that occur about every 5 to 20 minutes in early pregnancy may be a sign of miscarriage.


Vaginal discharge : Another sign of miscarriage is an unusual vaginal discharge with a tint of blood or blood clots or a gush of fluid.


Decreased pregnancy symptoms : It could be due to loss of pregnancy or that your hormones have leveled up .


Negative pregnancy test after a positive one : If you get a negative pregnancy test result after you have had a positive one , it means loss of pregnancy.

Content Sources

Miscarriage . American Pregnancy Association. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/miscarriage.html. Accessed June 11, 2014

Miscarriage. Planned Parenthood® Federation of America Inc. Accessed June 11, 2014

Miscarriage. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001488.htm. Accessed June 11, 2014

Miscarriage. March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.com/loss/miscarriage.aspx. Accessed June 11, 2014


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