Types of Abortion

An abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo, resulting in or caused by its death.

Causes of Abortion

Abortion may be occur due to various factors such as fetal, placental, or maternal.

  1. Fetal Causes – The most common cause of early spontaneous abortion is abnormal development of the zygote, embryo or fetus. These abnormalities are incompatible with life and would have resulted in severe congenital anomalies had pregnancy not been aborted spontaneously.
  2. Maternal Factors – These are congenital or acquired conditions of the mother and environmental factors that had adversely affected pregnancy outcome and led to abortion. Such conditions include diabetes mellitus, incomplete cervix, exposure to radiation and infection.
  3. Placental Factors – Placental factors usually cause abortion around the 14th week of gestation. These factors includes premature separation of the normally implanted placenta and abnormal placental implantation.

Abortion Types



Threatened Abortion
  • occurring before the 20th week of gestation
  • characterized by cramping and vaginal bleeding with no cervical dilation.
  • it may subside or an incomplete abortion may follow.
  1. Bedrest
  2. No coitus up to 2 weeks after bleeding stopped
Imminent or Inevitable Abortion

  • membranes rupture and the cervix dilates
  • characterized by lower abdominal cramping and bleeding.
  1. Hospitalization
  2. D and C
  3. Oxytocin after D and C
  4. Sympathetic
  5. Understanding and emotional support
Incomplete Abortion
  • is characterized by expulsion of only part of the products of conception (usually the fetus).
  • severe uterine cramping
  • bleeding occur with cervical dilation.
  1. D and C
  2. Oxytocin after D and C
  3. Sympathetic
  4. Understanding and emotional support

Complete Abortion
  • characterized by complete expulsion of all products of conception
  • light bleeding
  • mild uterine cramping
  • passage of tissue
  • closed cervix
  1. There is no treatment other than rest is usually needed.
  2. All of the tissues that came out should be saved for examination by a doctor to make sure that the abortion is complete.
  3. The laboratory examination of the saved tissue may determine the cause of abortion.
Missed Abortion
  • intrauterine pregnancy is present but is no longer developing normally
  • the cervix is closed, and the client may report dark brown vaginal discharge.
  • pregnancy test findings are negative.
  1. Usually treated by induction of labor by dilation (or dilatation) and curettage (D & C).
Recurrent or Habitual Abortion
  • characterized by spontaneous abortion of three or more consecutive pregnancies
  1. Trace the cause of recurrent abortion
Septic Abortion
  • abortion complicated by infection
  • foul smelling vaginal discharge
  • uterine cramping
  • fever
  1. Antibiotics as prescribed by your Obstetrician

What Do You Think?