Spontaneous Abortion Signs & Reasons

Abortion refers to the termination of pregnancy either by a removal or the natural expulsion of the fetus or embryo from the womb. A spontaneous abortion can occur when complications arise in pregnancy or can be induced as well. Also referred to as a miscarriage, it refers to the expulsion of the fetus before the twenty second week of gestation due to accidental trauma or due to natural causes.

In most cases, the miscarriages occur due to environmental factors or due to problems with the replication of chromosomes. A spontaneous abortion is defined as the expulsion of a fetus or embryo that weighs less than five hundred grams and which matches with the gestational age of twenty to twenty two weeks.


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In most cases the woman who miscarries has no idea that she was even pregnant in the first place. Of all pregnancies, the percentage off miscarriage is as high as 50 percent and if the abortion occurs before the eight week of pregnancy, close to thirty percent women are afflicted by what is called a blighted ovum. In other words, there never was an embryo inside the sac. The moment fetal heart function is detected in the pregnancy, the chances of spontaneous abortion is as low as five percent.

Reasons for Recurrent Spontaneous Abortion

Recurrent spontaneous abortion can be caused by a variety of factors that include: genetic factors, endocrine factors, environmental factors, infectious factors, immunological factors and anatomic factors. As regards genetic factors, a chromosomal anomaly in the couple could lead to recurrent spontaneous abortions and unfortunately there is no treatment for this condition.

A prenatal diagnosis of the couple is essential as these anomalies fall in the high risk category of mental retardation and malformation in the fetus. The risk of the loss of the fetus increases from the first pregnancy to the next from twenty percent to almost forty percent, although it is unlikely that it will increase after that. Recurrent spontaneous abortion has a high chance of recurrence with the increase in maternal age. Studies show that a rapid increase is evident from the age of thirty five onwards and in fact the risk of spontaneous abortion is double at say, the age of forty than it was at twenty. An impending abortion in the first trimester is symptomized by vaginal bleeding. If bleeding from the uterus prior to the completion of twenty weeks occurs, it is known as a threatened abortion.

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Spontaneous Abortion
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