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What is Miscarriage?

Miscarriage is a pregnancy loss in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Miscarriages happen in about 10 to 20 percent of pregnancies, most often in the first trimester (the first 13 weeks of pregnancy). If you have a miscarriage, it's important to know that it did not happen because you did something wrong. Most miscarriages are beyond your control.

About half of early pregnancy losses are from chromosome defects in the embryo or fetus. Other causes may include:

  • Abnormal embryo development.
  • Hormone problems in the pregnant person. These include low levels of progesterone or a thyroid problem.
  • Diabetes in the pregnant person, especially poorly controlled blood sugar.
  • Problems in the uterus. These include scar tissue inside the uterus, an abnormally shaped uterus, or fibroids.
  • Opening of the uterus can't stay closed during pregnancy (incompetent cervix).
  • Infection from germs. These include cytomegalovirus (CMV), mycoplasma, chlamydia, listeria, and toxoplasma.
  • Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, in which the body attacks its own tissue. 
  • Injury (trauma).
  • Exposure to toxic substances and chemicals, such as anticancer drugs.

Increased Risk for Miscarriage Includes: 

  • Being pregnant over the age of 35
  • Smoking
  • Consuming alcohol
  • Some preexisting conditions

Common Symptoms of a Miscarriage Can Include: 

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Mild to severe pain in back
  • Cramping in the stomach

When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider?

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any bleeding during your pregnancy. If have other symptoms, such as severe cramping, in addition to bleeding, see your provider as soon as possible. 

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UR Medicine's Treatments for Miscarriage

We understand how heartbreaking pregnancy loss can be. Our goal is to help you identify and manage any conditions that can contribute to pregnancy loss so that you have the knowledge and hope to conceive a healthy pregnancy.

Prenatal Testing

If you are considering pregnancy at an older age or have a family or personal history of fertility concerns, you may wish to explore prenatal testing. UR Medicine Maternal-Fetal Care offers exceptional reproductive genetic counseling as well as testing and screening. You may be referred to the Strong Fertility Center for treatment. 

Miscarriage Treatment Before 20 Weeks

If tests show a miscarriage has occurred within the first trimester, your healthcare provider can help you decide the next step that’s best for you. Your options include:

  • Expectant management: This means waiting to let the miscarriage happen on its own. You will be checked often during this time.
  • Medical management: This includes medical treatment to help the uterus pass the pregnancy.
  • Surgical management: Surgery may be needed if the uterus does not pass the pregnancy.

Miscarriage Treatment After 20 Weeks

Pregnancy loss after 20 weeks may need different procedures or medications, such as prescribed medications to help open the cervix. 

Post-Miscarriage Care

After the pregnancy has passed, you may choose to test for gene or chromosome defects. Pregnancy loss doesn't often cause other serious health problems unless you have an infection.

A miscarriage is a significant loss to the pregnant person and their family. It is appropriate and normal to grieve this loss, and UR Medicine’s Maternal-Fetal team is here to support you.

What Sets Us Apart?

The Strong Fertility Center is a compassionate and trusted leader in fertility care, helping families grow for over 30 years. We can help patients with complicated medical conditions who are at a higher risk for complications with conception, pregnancy, and more. 

All of our providers are highly experienced and certified in treating conditions relating to pregnancy and conception. In addition to providing exceptional patient care, our providers are also active in research to find new and better treatments. You will receive the latest treatments with a personalized approach.

UR Medicine's Obstetrics and Gynecology Division is ranked among the top 25 in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Our providers are board-certified experts in complex family planning care.


Our care team is here for you. Find a UR Medicine expert and get care now.

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7 locations

Strong Fertility Center - Henrietta
Part of Strong Memorial Hospital

Red Creek (Calkins Corporate Park)
500 Red Creek Drive, Suite 220
Rochester, NY 14623

Maternal-Fetal Medicine - Henrietta
Part of Strong Memorial Hospital

500 Red Creek Drive, Suite 210
Rochester, NY 14623

Maternal-Fetal Medicine - Rochester

Lattimore Medical Center
125 Lattimore Road, West Entrance, Suite 150
Rochester, NY 14620

Maternal-Fetal Medicine - Rochester
Part of Highland Hospital

Highland Perinatal Center
990 South Avenue, Suite 103
Rochester, NY 14620

Highland Women's Health - Rochester
Part of Highland Hospital

909 Culver Road
Rochester, NY 14609

Maternal-Fetal Medicine - Rochester
Part of Highland Hospital

Highland Perinatal Center
909 Culver Road
Rochester, NY 14609

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