Ultrasound Diagnosis and Management of Miscarriage

  • George Condous
  • Emeka Okaro
  • Tom Bourne


Miscarriage is known to occur in at least 10-20% of clinical pregnancies.1 The majority occur before the 13th week. The risk of miscarriage is reduced to 3% if a viable embryo has been seen by ultrasonography. In recent years, early pregnancy units have been introduced in order to improve the efficiency of dealing with women with early pregnancy loss.2 Management of these women has since changed in many units, with a shift away from a surgical approach to one based on an expectant or “watch and wait” policy.3 Despite this, in the UK the majority of women with miscarriage are referred to a hospital for assessment and 88% currently undergo surgical evacuation of retained products. The assumption has been that retained products of conception increase the risks of infection and haemorrhage. In fact, less than 10% of women who miscarry experience excessive vaginal bleeding or have infected products of conception within the uterine cavity. In a randomised study, Neilson et al. showed that there was no increased risk of complications for women who underwent expectant management of incomplete miscarriage compared to a surgical approach.4 The use of non-surgical approaches to the management of miscarriage seems logical


Early Pregnancy Spontaneous Abortion Expectant Management Surgical Evacuation Ultrasound Diagnosis 
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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Condous
  • Emeka Okaro
  • Tom Bourne

There are no affiliations available

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