Miscarriage: its symptoms, causes, course

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Miscarriage: its symptoms, causes, course

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It scares us, it asks a lot of questions. Miscarriage is a painful experience that affects almost 15% of pregnancies. We answer all your questions here.




  1. What are the symptoms of a miscarriage?
  2. When can it take place?
  3. Should you consult a doctor?
  4. What exams are needed?
  5. First-trimester miscarriage, should you be hospitalized?
  6. How does a miscarriage happen after more than three months of pregnancy?
  7. What are the causes of miscarriage?
  8. How long to wait before a new pregnancy?


The spontaneous termination of a pregnancy when the woman knows that she is pregnant represents a test that is not always easy to overcome. Medical, and sometimes psychological, support is essential.

What are the symptoms of a miscarriage?

Your pregnancy was going well, and suddenly you notice vaginal blood loss. Called "metrorrhagia", they are not necessarily synonymous with miscarriage.

You may experience cramps in the lower abdomen which are actually uterine contractions.

What can also put you in the ear is the disappearance of the signs of pregnancy (more nausea, relaxed breasts).

When can it take place?

This "spontaneous termination of pregnancy", in medical terms, corresponds to the expulsion, before its six months, of an unsustainable fetus.

The child would not have been able to live outside the mother's womb. The majority of miscarriages take place during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Should you consult a doctor?

Yes, from the first bleeding a medical consultation is required. Only your doctor can determine the cause. A vaginal exam is performed by your gynaecologist to check if the cervix is open.

What exams are needed?

In all cases, a control ultrasound is performed to see the progress of the miscarriage.

Sometimes you have to wait a few days to confirm or not this condition. A blood test is often necessary to calculate the level of the pregnancy hormone (beta HCG).

Hormonal treatment for the mother under the threat of miscarriage was previously prescribed. Today, we are patiently awaiting a precise diagnosis.

First-trimester miscarriage, should you be hospitalized?

It depends on the type of miscarriage you are having.


  • The course of the miscarriage is correct: the expulsion of the fetus is spontaneous and complete. It must be confirmed by a control ultrasound. There is no medical intervention, you can go home.



  • The expulsion is incomplete: your doctor prescribes prostaglandin tablets (misoprostol) to cause contractions and analgesic treatment (painkillers).


If the entire fetus is not rejected within twenty-four hours, intervention is necessary. It is an endo-uterine aspiration (a pump to empty the uterus) under general, local or spinal anaesthesia. Note that curettage (scraping the uterine lining) should no longer be done.

How does a miscarriage happen after more than three months of pregnancy?

When the miscarriage occurs after the first trimester, hospitalization is necessary because there may be risks of bleeding. The rejection then takes place under general or epidural anaesthesia.

Women who are more than four months pregnant must prepare for a real birth.

What are the causes of miscarriage?

It is legitimate to ask yourself why you had a miscarriage in order to avoid another one.


  • Most often, the cause is completely accidental. For 80% of miscarriages, the (clear) egg has chromosomal abnormalities and is therefore not viable. Hence a spontaneous termination of pregnancy.



  • In other cases, the cause is infectious, such as toxoplasmosis or listeriosis, which damages the fetus. These cases can be amplified by age. At 40, there is a 40% risk of having a miscarriage.



  • Sometimes there are repeated miscarriages due to a malformation, for example of the uterus, or to hormonal insufficiency.


The cause must be investigated to avoid a new layer. Many studies have shown that too much stress or too heavy loads can also promote it.

How long to wait before a new pregnancy?

After a miscarriage, everything goes back to normal fairly quickly. Medically, a new pregnancy is, therefore, possible from the time your period has returned (count about a month).

Recently, gynaecologists have even recommended attempting a new pregnancy quickly, without waiting several months. This recommendation relates only to early miscarriages and provided that they are not repeated.

But it's not just the body, your mind is also very important. The couple must grieve for this pregnancy, which can take a month to a year. Take time to build a new pregnancy. Learn to regain self-confidence.

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