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A miscarriage

is the loss of a fetus within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. A miscarriage may also be called a spontaneous abortion or an early pregnancy loss.

Signs and symptoms of a miscarriage:

You may not have symptoms of a miscarriage, or you may have any of the following:

  • Vaginal spotting or heavy bleeding
  • Pain or cramping in your abdomen or lower back
  • Discharge of bloody fluid, tissue, or blood clots from your vagina
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have foul-smelling drainage or pus coming from your vagina.
  • You have heavy vaginal bleeding and soak 1 pad or more in an hour.
  • You have severe abdominal pain.
  • You feel like your heart is beating faster than normal.
  • You feel extremely weak or dizzy.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever greater than 100.4°F or chills.
  • You have extreme sadness, grief, or feel unable to cope with what has happened.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


for a miscarriage may include medicine or surgery to help pass tissue from your uterus, control bleeding, or prevent infection.


  • Do not put anything in your vagina for 2 weeks or as directed. Do not use tampons, douche, or have sex. These actions can cause infection and pain.
  • Use sanitary pads as needed. You may have light bleeding or spotting for 2 weeks.
  • Do not take a bath or go swimming for 2 weeks or as directed. These actions may increase your risk for an infection. Take showers only.
  • Rest as needed. Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your daily activities as directed.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about birth control. If you would like to prevent another pregnancy, ask your healthcare provider which type of birth control is best for you.
  • Join a support group or therapy to help you cope. A miscarriage may be very difficult for you, your partner, and other members of your family. There is no right way to feel after a miscarriage. You may feel overwhelming grief or other emotions. It may be helpful to talk to a friend, family member, or counselor about your feelings. You may worry that you could have another miscarriage. Talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns. He may be able to help you reduce the risk for another miscarriage. He may also help you find ways to cope with grief.

For more information:

  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
    P.O. Box 70620
    Washington , DC 20024-9998
    Phone: 1- 202 - 638-5577
    Phone: 1- 800 - 673-8444
    Web Address:
  • March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
    1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
    White Plains , NY 10605
    Web Address:

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to see your healthcare provider for blood tests or an ultrasound. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.