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Spontaneous Miscarriage


A spontaneous miscarriage is the loss of a fetus (unborn baby) within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.


Seek care immediately if:

  • You have foul-smelling drainage coming from your vagina.
  • You have heavy vaginal bleeding (soaking 1 pad or more each hour).

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have severe abdominal pain.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Use sanitary pads if needed. You may have light bleeding and then spotting for 8 to 10 days. Do not use tampons. Use sanitary pads instead. This will help prevent a vaginal infection.
  • Rest as needed. Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your daily activities as directed.
  • You may have sex when you feel ready. Stop if it causes pain. If you do not want to get pregnant again, ask your healthcare provider which type of birth control is best for you.
  • Emotional support can help you manage your feelings. A miscarriage may be difficult emotionally. You may feel grief for the loss. You may feel angry or blame yourself, even if there was no known cause. It may be helpful to talk to a friend, family member, or counselor about your feelings. You may also feel worried that you could have another miscarriage. Talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns. He may be able to help you take steps to reduce the risk of another miscarriage.

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:

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

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.