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Spontaneous Abortion

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Updated October 26, 2007

Definition:

A medical term for a miscarriage. Spontaneous abortion is unrelated to the lay term "abortion," which refers to the elective termination of a pregnancy. Medical texts often use the term spontaneous abortion when discussing miscarriages, as do insurance companies' medical billing codes for miscarriage treatment.

Many women feel bothered by the term spontaneous abortion, so some doctors try to avoid using it when speaking to patients. But the term may still appear on medical bills and other related forms following a pregnancy loss.

Also Known As: Miscarriage, pregnancy loss
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