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"What happens during a miscarriage?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat happens during a miscarriage?


My partner and I are trying to get pregnant, but we lost our first child to miscarriage. I still don't understand exactly what went wrong. What happens when a pregnant woman miscarries?


The evaluation of miscarriages should involve the care of obstetrician / gynecologists, internists, and others. A spontaneous abortion, or miscarriage, refers to the loss of a fetus prior to a viable gestational age (typically less than 22 weeks). It is common and approximately 10-20% known pregnancies result in miscarriage prior to 20 weeks, and most of these occur within the first 12 weeks. There are a number of risk factors for miscarriage. These include maternal age, previous miscarriage, smoking, alcohol, cocaine, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen, naproxen, etc), low folate levels, extremes of maternal weight. They may be the result of genetic defects (chromosome problems), congenital defects (from genetic problems, toxins, or infections), trauma, certain infections, maternal endocrine problems (like diabetes), or clotting problems. The cardinal sign for a potential abortion is vaginal bleeding. If this occurs, consult your doctor or seek medical attention for further evaluation. This would include a clinical assessment (abdominal and vaginal exam), blood testing, and a pelvic ultrasound. It is impossible to generate a diagnosis or management plan without seeing the patient. It is, therefore, the strong recommendation to see an obstetrician/gynecologist for future planning.

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