Types of Loss

Miscarriage – This word is most often used by the general public to describe the very early delivery or loss of a baby.  The mother is in the early or middle stages of pregnancy.

Spontaneous abortion – This is the medical term for miscarriage.

Missed abortion – This occurs when your baby dies inside you and stays in your uterus.

Complete abortion – All products of conception (the baby and the placenta) leave the uterus.

Incomplete abortion – This occurs when the baby leaves the uterus, and the placenta stays inside.

Threatened/Inevitable abortion – You have signs and symptoms of miscarriage, which are bleeding and cramping.

IUFD – Intrauterine fetal death (IUFD) means the baby has died in the uterus.  Other terms may be stillbirth or fetal demise.

Neonatal death – The baby is born alive and dies during the first month of life.

D&C – Dilatation and curettage (D&C) are the actual words for this procedure.  First your cervix is dilated to allow access to your uterus.  Then there is curettage or scraping of the uterus by gentle suction to remove all the remains of the pregnancy.  This allows the uterus to return to its normal size.

Ectopic pregnancy – The baby begins to grow outside your uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes.  However, the baby cannot live outside the uterus.

Blighted ovum – Occurs early in pregnancy.  On ultrasound examination, no embryo is seen in the uterus.  Only a gestational sac is found.

Hydatiform molar pregnancy – Also called trophoblastic disease of hydatiform mole. This is an unusual condition that results in placental tissue growing rapidly and no fetus developing.

Induced abortion – This is the medical term for a termination that the mother chooses.

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