Spontaneous Abortion

  • Cassandra Wasson
  • Albert Kelly
  • David Ninan
  • Quy Tran


This chapter discusses the etiology of spontaneous abortion. It also discusses the various types of abortion (e.g., threatened, inevitable, complete, and incomplete).


Etiology of spontaneous abortion Threatened abortion Inevitable abortion Complete abortion Incomplete abortion 
  1. 1.

    Occurs before 20 weeks’ gestation or when fetus weighs <500 g

  2. 2.

    Etiology: chromosomal (50–80%), remainder are immunologic mechanisms, maternal infections, endocrine abnormalities (e.g. poorly controlled DM), uterine anomalies, incompetent cervix, debilitating maternal disease, trauma, and possibly environmental exposures (e.g. irradiation, smoking, certain drugs)

  3. 3.

    Threatened abortion: uterine bleeding without cervical dilation <20 weeks gestation

  4. 4.

    Inevitable abortion: cervical dilation or rupture of membranes without expulsion of fetus or placenta

  5. 5.

    Complete abortion: total, spontaneous rupture of fetus and placenta

  6. 6.

    Incomplete abortion: partial expulsion of uterine contents

  7. 7.

    Rh negative mothers must receive Rho(D) immune globulin to prevent Rh sensitization


Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cassandra Wasson
    • 1
  • Albert Kelly
    • 1
  • David Ninan
    • 2
  • Quy Tran
    • 3
  1. 1.Riverside University Health System - Medical CenterMoreno ValleyUSA
  2. 2.Riverside University Health System - Medical CenterLoma LindaUSA
  3. 3.Harbor–UCLA Medical CenterTorranceUSA

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