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by Wood D

(Spontaneous Abortion)



Miscarriages often occur for the following reasons:
In some cases, the cause of miscarriage is unknown.

Risk Factors

Miscarriages are more common in women 35 years and older. Other factors that may increase your chance of having a miscarriage include:
A miscarriage during your first pregnancy may place you at a higher risk for complications during your next pregnancy. These complications may include:


You will be asked about your symptoms, the length of your pregnancy, and when you first noticed a change in your condition. The doctor will perform physical and pelvic exams.
Prior to miscarriage, tests may include:
  • Ultrasound—to assess the health of the fetus
  • Blood tests—to check the exact amount of the hormone (called human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG) important to sustain an early pregnancy
After miscarriage, tests may include:
  • Examination of the tissue that has passed through the vagina
  • Blood tests—to check for a chromosomal error in the man or the woman or to check hormone and antibody levels
  • Endometrial biopsy—to check the uterine lining to see if it can support a pregnancy
Imaging tests may be used to evaluate the uterus and surrounding structures. These may include:


The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

March of Dimes



The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada

Women's Health Matters



First trimester pregnancy loss. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated October 25, 2013. Accessed August 19, 2014.

Miscarriage. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: Updated June 2014. Accessed August 19, 2014.

Miscarriage. March of Dimes website. Available at: Updated July 2012. Accessed August 19, 2014.

Second trimester pregnancy loss. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated February 28, 2014. Accessed August 19, 2014.

Recurrent pregnancy loss. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated August 11, 2014. Accessed August 19, 2014.

12/2/2008 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance Winther JF, Boice JD Jr, Svendsen AL, Frederiksen K, Stovall M, Olsen JH. Spontaneous abortion in a Danish population-based cohort of childhood cancer survivors. J Clin Oncol. 2008;26:4340-4346.

4/16/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance Bhattacharya S, Townend J, Shetty A, Campbell D, Bhattacharya S. Does miscarriage in an initial pregnancy lead to adverse obstetric and perinatal outcomes in the next continuing pregnancy? BJOG. 2008;115:1623-1629.

6/25/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance Nakhai-Pour HR, Broy P, Bérard A. Use of antidepressants during pregnancy and the risk of spontaneous abortion. CMAJ. 2010 May 31.


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