Spontaneous abortion (also known as a miscarriage) occurs naturally in 15% of pregnancies, often so early that the woman may not even realise that she was pregnant. However, spontaneous abortion may sometimes lead to heavy bleeding and threaten the woman's life. Sexually transmitted infections, injury, violence, malaria and stress all can cause a pregnancy to end early. Sometimes miscarriages happen because a woman has been near poisons or toxic chemicals. It is not easy to know why a miscarriage happens all the time, but some causes of miscarriage are preventable. Some miscarriages can be prevented by treating women for illness and infection and by helping them to avoid chemical poisons and violence. But some women have one miscarriage after another, and you may not know why.

Women with a history of repeated miscarriages should be treated in a health facility with specialised services to find the cause and to help them carry this pregnancy all the way through.

Last modified: Monday, 14 July 2014, 10:18 AM