Missed Abortion

Question

What causes a missed miscarriage?
Kylie

Answer

A “missed miscarriage” (also called a “missed abortion” by most doctors) means that the unborn child has died in the uterus, but the uterus has not started to contract to expel the tissue. It is unclear why this occurs. If a woman is treated to prevent miscarriage, then the treatment (progesterone for example, or medications to prevent contractions) may be contributing to the prevention of the onset of uterine contractions. Or perhaps the placenta is continuing to produce enough progesterone to prevent the expulsion of the dead child. There may be other reasons that are not known. Most of the time, the body will eventually expel the tissue in the form of a miscarriage. Other times, the remains will remain in the uterus for a prolonged period, increasing the risk of infection, or other serious medical problem. When this occurs, a “D & C” is recommended to clean out the uterus. There is minimal risk in waiting a few weeks for the miscarriage to occur spontaneously–but any fever, severe pelvic pain or cramping, or heavy, prolonged bleeding should be evaluated by your doctor. Some doctors will let you go longer under close observation to allow the miscarriage to occur, if that is what the woman prefers.

Dr. John Gisla

Answered By:

John Gisla, MD
Dr. John Gisla, Board Certified by the American Academy of Family Physicians, pracitces in the Sacramento Region.

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