Threatened Miscarriage

1. What is threatened miscarriage?

  • Threatened miscarriage means vaginal bleeding within the first 24 weeks of a continuing pregnancy.
  • It is especially common in the first 3 months of pregnancy – 1 in 4 women will experience threatened miscarriage.

2. Will I miscarry?

  • Mild vaginal bleeding, abdominal discomfort and backache are common in early pregnancy. They do not always mean you are going to miscarry and therefore you need not worry.
  • More than 85% of pregnant women who have experienced threatened miscarriage will get well and go on with the pregnancy successfully. Only a minority will progress to miscarriage.
  • Threatened miscarriage will not affect the growth and well being of your baby.

3. How can I prevent and treat threatened miscarriage?

  • There is no effective means to prevent or treat threatened miscarriage.
  • Bed rest is not necessary. It will only put you at risk of having clots in your blood vessels.
  • It is generally advisable for pregnant women to avoid strenuous work or dangerous activities.
  • You can have sex as usual after your vaginal bleeding has stopped. Sex during pregnancy is not harmful and it will not increase your risk of miscarriage.

4. Do I need to follow up?

  • If your baby’s heartbeat has already been shown on ultrasound, all you need to do is to have your routine antenatal check.
  • If your pregnancy is still too early for the ultrasound to pick up your baby’s heartbeat, a follow up appointment will be arranged for you in 2 weeks’ time, when another ultrasound examination will be performed.

5. When should I seek help?

  • You should seek help immediately if the following occurs, which may be a warning sign of miscarriage:
    • persistent or increasing vaginal bleeding
    • persistent or increasing abdominal pain
    • passage of suspected pregnancy tissue


  • Bleeding and pain in early pregnancy: information for you. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. January 2008.
  • Early miscarriage: information for you. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. January 2008.
  • The management of early pregnancy loss. Green-top Guideline No.25. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. October 2006.
  • Guidelines 2007. The Association of Early Pregnancy Units.