Threat of abortion, how to recognize it and what to do

Threat of abortion, how to recognize it and what to do
Fonte: shutterstock

More or less abundant blood loss, alone or accompanied by pain in the lower abdomen and in the kidney area, as from upcoming menstruation. Or persistent pain, even in the absence of bleeding. Are the symptoms of the threat of abortion, a rather frequent condition in the first trimester, since it affects 14-21% of pregnancies.

In the presence of these symptoms it is natural to be alarmed, with the thought that immediately runs to the possibility of an abortion in progress. In reality this is not necessarily the case: the causes of bleeding and pain can be numerous. To remove any doubts, however, it is best to consult your doctor.

In this article

  • what to do
  • possible remedies
  • when it is a false alarm
  • threat of late abortion or preterm birth

What to do

"If we notice blood loss or we feel rather persistent pains in the lower abdomen and kidney area, as a precaution it is good consult your gynecologist or, if it is not possible to find it quickly, go to the hospital for a check-up "advises Maria Antonietta Totta, obstetrician and host of the birth accompaniment courses at the Casa Sollievo della Soflievo in San Giovanni Rotondo (FG).

"In fact, only the doctor can assess whether it is actually one threat of abortion and immediately check the fetal well-being through an ultrasound ".

Possible remedies

Depending on the case and the extent of the abortion threat, the doctor may recommend various treatments and in particular:

  • taking drugs. Often in such cases it is prescribed progesterone, which promotes the maintenance of pregnancy by relaxing the uterus and promoting proper implantation. Also used antispasmodics or decontracting agents, which have the task of blocking uterine contractions. The dosage and duration of therapy must of course be evaluated case by case by the doctor;
  • rest and abstention from sexual intercourse. In reality, the available data do not confirm with certainty that these behaviors are really useful in reducing the risk of abortion and in fact absolute bed rest is less and less recommended. "But you have to be careful to avoid all efforts, such as lifting weights, doing particularly demanding housework or practicing sports" underlines Totta.

  • recovery. In some cases it may be necessary to stay in hospital for a few days, to check that everything is going well. If the threat of miscarriage has occurred in the second trimester and is caused by cervical incontinence, cervical cerclage may be indicated.

In many cases, these remedies help and the pregnancy goes on without further difficulty. Unfortunately, however, there are no effective therapies to stop an ongoing abortive labor.

Sometimes it's a false alarm

Certainly the appearance of discharge and pain in the abdomen during pregnancy is worrying, but it is not certain that the cause is necessarily a threat of abortion. "Maybe it was just a false alarm, for example because we got a little too tired"underlines Maria Antonietta Totta." Often these pains appear as bells to warn that we need to acquire more peaceful rhythms ".

Furthermore, the pains in the lower abdomen could be due to small intestinal disorders, especially in those suffering from colitis and constipation. As for losses, if they are limited they could be caused by hemorrhoids or fissures, especially if there has been a difficult evacuation in the previous hours, or from one gynecological examination. "The doctor's internal inspection can cause some capillaries to break," explains the midwife. "But that's nothing to worry about.

Threat of late abortion or preterm birth

In the second quarter they can happen signs that may herald a threat of late abortion or, if symptoms occur from week 24 onwards, a threat of preterm labor.

What to do?

The two main signs are:

  • uterine contractions 
  • blood loss

However, it must be said that mild uterine contractions they are normal in the second trimester of pregnancy.

When to go to the doctor

If the woman feels an unusual hardening of the belly or premenstrual spasms, rather intense and repeated, it is always good to consult a gynecologist.

Read the insight into Threats of Late Abortion or Preterm Delivery.

(Original article dated May 17, 2022).

The testimonies on the threat of abortion

Small blood loss, some pain in the lower abdomen and the thought immediately runs to the threat of abortion. Here are the most emotional stories of moms who have experienced an abortion threat and overcome it.


Sources for this article: website; web page of the Careggi University Hospital in the city; counseling by Maria Antonietta Totta, midwife and host of birth accompaniment courses at the Casa Sollievo della Soflievo in San Giovanni Rotondo (FG).

On the topic

  • Threat of late abortion
  • Repeated miscarriages
  • Getting pregnant after a miscarriage
  • Losses in the first trimester of pregnancy
  • Implantation losses or onset of menstruation
  • How to overcome a miscarriage
  • Myths and truths about miscarriage
  • Miscarriage: False Beliefs

  • termination of pregnancy
  • threatens abortion
  • pregnancy blood loss
  • abortion threats
  • weeks 1-13
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