What is the pathophysiology of threatened miscarriage?

Updated: Nov 05, 2018
  • Author: Slava V Gaufberg, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Vaginal bleeding, abdominal/pelvic pain of any degree, or both during early pregnancy represents a threatened miscarriage. Approximately a fourth of all pregnant women have some degree of vaginal bleeding during the first 2 trimesters. About half of these cases progress to an actual miscarriage. [4] Bleeding and pain accompanying threatened miscarriage is usually not very intense. Threatened miscarriage rarely presents with severe vaginal bleeding. On vaginal examination, the internal cervical os is closed and no cervical motion tenderness or tissue is found. Diffuse uterine tenderness, adnexal tenderness, or both may be present. Threatened miscarriage is defined by the absence of passing/passed tissue and the presence of a closed internal cervical os. These findings differentiate threatened miscarriage from later stages of a miscarriage.

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