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What is a miscarriage?

A miscarriage is when a pregnancy ends before a woman has been pregnant for 20 weeks. (A normal pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks.) The most common symptoms of a miscarriage are bleeding from the vagina and abdominal pain or cramping.

What is a threatened miscarriage?

A threatened miscarriage is when a woman has bleeding from the vagina, but her pregnancy has not actually ended.

Most of the time, the bleeding will stop on its own and the pregnancy will continue normally. But sometimes, a threatened miscarriage will become a miscarriage.

Did I do anything to cause my threatened miscarriage?

You can not do anything to cause your threatened miscarriage. And if your threatened miscarriage becomes a miscarriage, it is also true that it is not because of anything you did.

Most of the time, a miscarriage happens when a pregnancy does not grow normally from the beginning. The most usual cause of miscarriage is an underlying problem with the developing fetus, usually a spontaneous genetic problem.

What are the symptoms of a threatened miscarriage?

Women with a threatened miscarriage have bleeding from the vagina. Some women also have pain in their abdomen.

There are other conditions that can cause bleeding from the vagina during the first half of pregnancy. Rarely, vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain are caused by an ectopic pregnancy, when the pregnancy implanted in the wrong place, outside the uterus. An ultrasound that shows the pregnancy is within the uterus will usually mean an ectopic pregnancy is not present.

Should I call my doctor?

Yes. If you are pregnant and have bleeding from your vagina, you will need to tell your doctor.

Will I need tests?

Yes. This is usually with an ultrasound.

How is a threatened miscarriage treated?

Unfortunately, there are no reliable treatments for a threatened miscarriage.

Sometimes, women with vaginal bleeding are advised to lie in bed or avoid having sex, but these treatments have not been shown to help prevent a miscarriage.

If you have bleeding from your vagina, we will monitor your progress and either

  • Your bleeding will stop, and in most cases your pregnancy is normal
  • You will have a miscarriage and we will talk with you about what to do next.

Rhesus Negative blood type.

Women who have a negative blood group are at risk of developing antibodies to their baby’s blood type. The times of highest risk for this are after delivery or if there is bleeding during pregnancy. An injection of “ Anti D” immunoglobulin can prevent these antibodies from being formed. If you have a negative blood group and you have vaginal bleeding after 8 weeks of pregnancy, you may need to have an injection of anti D.

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