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Miscarriage refers to the premature end of a pregnancy before the developing baby is able to survive outside the uterus. Miscarriage can occur during the first or second trimester, before 20 weeks. Most occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. They often are unexpected and isolated events. About 15%-20% of recognized pregnancies end this way.
Passing the fetus, placenta, and surrounding membranes through the vagina
While miscarriage usually is a one-time occurrence, up to 1 in 20 couples experience two miscarriages in a row, and 1 in 100 have three or more.
In some cases, these couples have an underlying problem. Couples who have experienced two or more miscarriages should have a complete medical evaluation to learn the cause and how they can prevent another one from occurring.
Immediate care usually involves observation only, especially in early or first trimester miscarriages. Medication may be indicated in the event of heavy bleeding or cramping.
A dilation and evacuation (D&E) may be needed if uterine contents are not spontaneously passed through the vagina. During a D&E, the doctor dilates the cervix, inserts a tool into the uterus, and suctions out remaining material.
To help you deal with your loss, the doctor may refer you to a counselor. You may also benefit from participating in a
First trimester pregnancy loss. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated October 25, 2013. Accessed August 19, 2014.
Miscarriage. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated June 2014. Accessed August 19, 2014.
Miscarriage. March of Dimes website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated July 2012. Accessed August 19, 2014.
Second trimester pregnancy loss. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated February 28, 2014. Accessed August 19, 2014.
Recurrent pregnancy loss. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated August 11, 2014. Accessed August 19, 2014.
12/2/2008 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) 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 ...(Click grey area to select URL) 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 ...(Click grey area to select URL) 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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