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Threatened Miscarriage


A threatened miscarriage occurs when you have vaginal bleeding within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. It suggests that a miscarriage may happen. Miscarriages that occur during the first 3 months of pregnancy are usually due to a problem in the way the baby develops. Many women who have vaginal bleeding or spotting during early pregnancy go on to have healthy babies.



  • Acetaminophen: This medicine decreases pain. You can buy acetaminophen without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly. Do not use medicine containing ibuprofen. Ibuprofen can increase your risk of miscarriage.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or obstetrician within 2 days or as directed:

You may need to return to check your pregnancy and have another ultrasound or more blood tests. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.


  • Keep track of bleeding: Use sanitary pads to keep track of how much vaginal bleeding you are having. Do not use tampons. Keep a record of how many pads you use each day.
  • Ask about activity: You may need to rest, limit certain activities, or not have sex until your symptoms are better. Ask what exercise and activities are okay for you to do.

Stay healthy during pregnancy:

  • Eat a variety of healthy foods: These can help you get extra protein, water, and calories 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 primary healthcare provider for more information about an eating plan that is right for you.
  • Take prenatal vitamins: 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: If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking can cause your baby to be born too early, too small, or have problems growing. Ask your primary healthcare provider for information if you need help quitting.

Contact your primary 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.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You feel weak or faint.
  • You have worsening cramping in your abdomen or lower back, or pain in your shoulder.
  • You have vaginal bleeding that soaks a sanitary pad every hour for 3 hours in a row.
  • You pass material that looks like tissue or large clots. Collect the material and bring it with you.

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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.