Skip to Content

Threatened Miscarriage


A threatened miscarriage

occurs when you have vaginal bleeding within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. It means that a miscarriage may happen. A threatened miscarriage may also be called a threatened abortion.

Signs and symptoms of a threatened miscarriage:

  • Vaginal spotting or bleeding
  • Pain or cramping in your abdomen or lower back

Seek care immediately if:

  • You feel weak or faint.
  • Your pain or cramping in your abdomen or back gets worse.
  • You have vaginal bleeding that soaks 1 or more pads in an hour.
  • You pass material that looks like tissue or large clots.

Contact your healthcare provider or obstetrician if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have trouble urinating, burning when you urinate, or feel a need to urinate often.
  • You have new or worsening vaginal bleeding.
  • You have vaginal pain or itching, or vaginal discharge that is yellow, green, or foul-smelling.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


The following may help you manage your symptoms and decrease your risk for a miscarriage:

  • Do not put anything in your vagina. Do not have sex, douche, or use tampons. These actions may increase your risk for infection and miscarriage.
  • Rest as directed. Do not exercise or do strenuous activities. These activities may cause preterm labor or miscarriage. Ask your healthcare provider what activities are okay to do.

Stay healthy during pregnancy:

  • Eat a variety of healthy foods. Healthy foods can help you get extra protein, water, and calories that you need while you are pregnant. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Avoid raw or undercooked meat and fish. Ask your healthcare provider if you need a special diet.
  • Take prenatal vitamins as directed. These help you get the right amount of vitamins and minerals. They may also decrease the risk of certain birth defects.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use illegal drugs. These can increase your risk for a miscarriage or harm your baby.
  • Do not smoke. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can harm your baby and cause miscarriage or preterm labor. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Do not use these products.
  • Decrease your risk for an infection. Always wash your hands before eating or preparing meals. Do not spend time with people who are sick. Ask your healthcare provider if you need immunizations such as the flu or hepatitis B vaccine. Immunizations may decrease your risk for infections that could cause a miscarriage.
  • Manage your medical conditions. Keep your blood pressure and blood sugars under control. Maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy.

Follow up with your obstetrician as directed:

You may need to see your obstetrician frequently for ultrasounds or blood tests. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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.