A miscarriage is the spontaneous termination of a pregnancy before 20 weeks gestation. 

The term miscarriage is preferred by many over 'abortion' due to the use of the latter for therapeutic pregnancy termination, and the perceived stigma attributed to it by some.

Terminology varies greatly, as do the definitions of these terms. Commonly it is divided into:

Approximately 20-25% of all pregnancies experience a threatened miscarriage. Of these, 15-50% result in fetal demise. The rate of fetal loss is significantly lower in pregnancies which do not threaten to miscarry (only 2-7%). A miscarriage often occurs very early in the pregnancy, often without any alteration of the menstrual cycle and thus not perceived by the woman. 

When a woman has had 3 or more miscarriages, the term habitual miscarriage is used.

Typically presents with vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, and cramping.

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Article information

rID: 1681
System: Obstetrics
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Spontaneous miscarriage
  • Miscarriages
  • Pregnancy miscarriage

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Cases and figures

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    Case 1: incomplete miscarriage
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