If you or someone you love is facing a possible miscarriage, the many medical terms can be confusing. This infographic provides some quick definitions of common terms care providers use to talk about miscarriage.
Terminology Around Miscarriage
Spontaneous abortion: The medical term for a miscarriage.
Chemical pregnancy: A very early miscarriage, usually due to chromosomal abnormalities. The miscarriage occurs at or slightly after an expected period because implantation has not occurred. After implantation, a miscarriage is called “clinical” rather than “chemical.”
Blighted ovum: An early miscarriage where conception and implantation occur but development to the point of a heartbeat does not. This type of miscarriage is identified by an empty gestational sac and is often called a “missed miscarriage.”
Threatened miscarriage: Vaginal bleeding before 20 weeks of pregnancy accompanied by a closed cervix. About half of threatened miscarriages result in live births.
Inevitable miscarriage: Vaginal bleeding before 20 weeks of pregnancy accompanied by a dilated cervix. This diagnosis means that the baby is very unlikely to survive.
Incomplete abortion: A medical condition where after a miscarriage delivery, some elements of the baby or of the tissue supporting pregnancy remain in the uterus. When the uterus is empty, the condition is a “complete abortion.”
Early/late miscarriage: A miscarriage that occurs before/after the beginning of week 14 of pregnancy.
Compiled by Abby Jorgensen, the Sociologist Doula
Medical information from https://progyny.com/education/female-infertility/types-miscarriage/ and https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/complications/miscarriage/types-of-miscarriage-every-woman-should-know/