Alternate Names : Incomplete Abortion
A miscarriage occurs when a pregnant woman's
womb expels the fetal tissue before the infant is fully-grown. This may result from
natural causes within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. In an incomplete miscarriage,
part of the fetal tissue stays inside the womb.
What is going on in the body?
Eighty-five percent of miscarriages take place in the first 12 weeks of
pregnancy. This time is called the
first trimester. These
early miscarriages are most often the result of
problems with the fetus. For example, the fetus may have abnormal chromosomes,
or a genetic defect, that affects health and development. Miscarriages in the early
part of the second trimester
of pregnancy, which is from 12 to 20 weeks, are most often caused by factors related to the
A miscarriage takes place after the fetus and placenta stop growing, which causes
pregnancy hormone levels to fall. The following symptoms of pregnancy may disappear:
A miscarriage occurs when the uterus, or womb, starts to contract. This causes
cramping, discomfort, and vaginal spotting or bleeding. A miscarriage is complete
once the womb expels its contents. An incomplete miscarriage occurs
when some of the tissue remains in the uterus and the cervix stays open. This may
increase a woman's risk of infection and continued bleeding.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
A fetus that fails to develop or that is malformed most often causes
miscarriages in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Miscarriages in the second trimester are most often caused by factors
related to the mother, such as:
an abnormal-shaped womb, including one with a wall down the middle of it
an age of 35 years or older
in which the woman's body creates antibodies to its own tissue, including fetal tissue.
Systemic lupus erythematosus, an autoimmune disorder that involves many organ
systems and is linked with a high risk of miscarriage, is one example.
bacterial infections, such as the sexually transmitted disease
certain conditions and diseases, such as diabetes
or hypothyroidism, a
condition caused by low levels of thyroid hormones
which means that the opening from the womb does not stay closed through the whole
eating foods, such as chocolate and drinking liquids, such as coffee, that have
caffeine in them
noncancerous tumors in the womb, called
exposure to chemical solvents and other toxins, such as paint thinners
which can cause birth defects as well as miscarriage. The March of Dimes
advises that pregnant women avoid all dietary supplements, over-the-counter
medicines, and prescription medicines unless recommended by their doctors.
hormonal disorders, such as a low level of the female hormone progesterone
longer than 1 year
polycystic ovary syndrome,
a condition in which abnormal hormone levels cause growths within the ovary
posttraumatic stress disorder,
called PTSD, which occurs in some people who have gone through a major traumatic
viral infections, such as herpes,
and cytomegalovirus, known as CMV,
in the first trimester
A woman who has had three or more miscarriages in a row has a
condition called habitual abortion.