Symptoms and Signs of Threatened Miscarriage

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Threatened Miscarriage

A threatened miscarriage refers to the possibility of a spontaneous abortion, or pregnancy loss, during early pregnancy. Any vaginal bleeding other than mild spotting during early pregnancy may be a sign of a threatened miscarriage. However, vaginal bleeding is very common during early pregnancy, and not all cases of vaginal bleeding in the early weeks of pregnancy mean that a miscarriage is imminent. Many women stop bleeding and go on to have a normal pregnancy. When a miscarriage does occur, an abnormality in the fetus (such as a genetic abnormality) is the most common cause.

Symptoms of a miscarriage or threatened miscarriage include vaginal bleeding and pain. The bleeding may be mild or severe. Pain and cramping in the lower abdomen, lower back, buttocks, and genitals may be present. Other symptoms associated with a true miscarriage include passage of blood clots and tissue fragments.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.