Threatened Abortion


Abortion is when a pregnancy is ended so that it doesn’t result in the birth of a child. It is also called termination of pregnancy.

We have different types of abortion which include complete abortion, septic abortion, safe abortion, missed abortion, inevitable abortion, incomplete abortion, threatened abortion etc.

Symptoms of a threatened abortion

The following are the symptoms of a threatened abortion

  1. Scanty to moderate painless vaginal bleeding
  2. Mild pelvic discomfort

Signs of a threatened abortion

The signs of a threatened abortion include the following

  1. The uterine size is compatible with the gestational age
  2. There is no cervical effacement or dilatation


  • FBC and sickling
  • Ultrasound scan (to confirm viable foetus in utero with closed cervix)
  • Other investigations for potential underlying causes e.g. malaria

Treatment for a threatened abortion

Treatment objectives

The treatment objective of a threatened abortion is:

  • To maintain a viable pregnancy to term if possible

Non-pharmacological treatment

  1. Bed rest at home or hospital
  2. To abstain from sexual intercourse
  3. To report back if bleeding or pain increases

Pharmacological treatment

  1. No specific treatment required
  2. Treat any underlying illnesses e.g. malaria

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