Threatened Abortion: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention Tips

Threatened abortion (threatened miscarriage) – such weighty words. What does it actually mean? If you’re not too sure, it’s time to find out the causes, the symptoms that indicate you’re facing a threatened abortion, and the treatment methods. You will need to act fast, so let’s not waste any precious time.

What is a threatened abortion/threatened miscarriage?

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A threatened abortion, also known as a threatened miscarriage, is the state in which the fetus is still in the uterus and the pregnancy is still continuing, but there is a possibility that the pregnancy can terminate naturally before the pregnancy reaches a full 20 weeks. Should the pregnancy end before Week 20, it is termed a miscarriage or a spontaneous abortion. However, even when you are facing a threatened abortion (threatened miscarriage), it doesn’t mean that the pregnancy will definitely end.

Causes of a threatened abortion/threatened miscarriage

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An early pregnancy loss in the very early stages of pregnancy is usually due to chromosomal anomalies in the embryo, and threatened abortion or threatened miscarriage is also due to them, but can also be caused by the following factors:

  • An incompetent cervix, uterine fibroids, inflammation of the villi, and other illnesses or conditions

  • Intrauterine inflammation

  • Chills, fatigue, stress

  • Having many children (multiparity)

An early pregnancy loss happens in about 10% of all pregnancies – so know that if a miscarriage happens, you’re not alone in your pain and sadness. You’re not to blame if a miscarriage happens.

Threatened abortion/threatened miscarriage: Symptoms

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The expectant mom is said to be facing a threatened abortion when either of the two symptoms, bleeding or spotting and lower abdominal pain, are present.

In the first three months of pregnancy, the fetus isn’t in a stable condition and the mom might notice bleeding or spotting at times. Bleeding can mean that there are abnormalities in the uterus. If you’re bleeding, try not to diagnose it yourself and inform your practitioner.

Lower abdominal pain as a sign of a threatened abortion usually goes on for a long time and is a dull, throbbing pain. Inform your practitioner immediately if you’re experiencing such pains.

Threatened abortion/threatened miscarriage: Treatment and hospitalization

woman bedrest

No specific treatment exists to stop a threatened abortion from progressing into a miscarriage. What your practitioner might order you is to be on bedrest until your pregnancy reaches term. If there are abnormalities in the fetus, or if there are signs of hematoma (blood collecting outside the blood vessel), there might be a need for the mom to be hospitalized. Hospitalization might not be necessary if the fetal heartbeat is detected and appears to be beating strong.

Medicine for threatened abortion/threatened miscarriage

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Tocolytic agents, medication that can slow down or stop the contractions of the uterus, or hemostatic drugs to stop bleeding can be used for threatened abortion, but they only help to stop the contractions or bleeding. Bedrest is the only method you can use to effectively bring your pregnancy to term.

Preventing a threatened abortion/threatened miscarriage from happening

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There isn’t a foolproof way to prevent a miscarriage from happening if you’re seeing the signs of a threatened abortion, but you might want to note the following recommendations.


1: Reduce stress levels through exercise

It’s said that stress from the workplace or over things, in general, can lead to a threatened abortion, and eventually lead to a miscarriage. Reduce stress levels by exercising and taking time off to refresh yourself! This will help your growing baby.


2: Avoid standing for long periods of time

If you’re at risk of a threatened abortion, avoid standing for long periods. This is because standing can cause the baby to drop. Even if you have to take an extended break from work, do what the doctor says. Let everything else be, and focus on helping your baby stay in the uterus until your pregnancy reaches term.


3: No to alcohol and smoking

Stop smoking or drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Both hinder the growth of the fetus, and can contribute to a miscarriage. Tobacco can also cause sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in infants less than a year old. Don’t wait for the signs of a threatened abortion to appear before regretting your decision not to quit smoking!

Under threat? Remain calm in the face of danger

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First, take time to calm down even if you experience bleeding or have lower abdominal pains in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Remain calm even in the face of danger or when under threat from a threatened abortion.If you suspect something is wrong, get yourself checked. Even if you have bleeding or abdominal pains that indicate a threatened abortion before Week 20 is up, it doesn’t mean that your pregnancy is over – not yet. Follow your OB-GYN’s advice, and rest as much as you can.

Remember that how you act or react to a threatened abortion can help turn the situation around. It’s not over yet – how it will end depends on what you can do from now on, so stay strong!