Products of Conception

Definition - What does Products of Conception mean?

Products of conception is a medical term that refers to any tissues that developed during pregnancy. A term often used after pregnancy loss, such as miscarriage, products of conception can identify fetal tissue, placenta tissue, or other material that comes from fertilization.

In the case of pregnancy loss, products of conception describe material expelled from the vagina or surgically removed from the uterus.

FertilitySmarts explains Products of Conception

When a pregnancy ends through miscarriage, surgical abortion, or preterm delivery, the fetal tissue and pregnancy matter are called the products of conception.

If material remains in the uterus following the pregnancy loss, the material is called retained productions of conception (RPOC). When RPOC occurs following a miscarriage, it is called an incomplete abortion or incomplete miscarriage.

In the case of an incomplete miscarriage, the retained products of conception are removed using a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure. A D&C is a minimally invasive procedure that removes tissue from the uterus using a small suction, a scalpel, or a spoon shaped tool. In pregnancy loss that occurs prior to 12 weeks gestation, a medication called misoprostol may be prescribed to expel the remaining material.

Miscarriage is a common condition, that impacts up to 20% of all pregnancies. Most women who experience a miscarriage are able become pregnant again and carry a healthy baby to term. However, experiencing two or more consecutive miscarriages, called recurrent miscarriages, may indicate a health completion that is preventing pregnancy from progressing. Women who experience recurrent miscarriage may be tested for the following conditions:

  • Hormone tests
  • Structural tests, to check the shape, size, and health of the uterus
  • Karyotype blood tests for both parents, to check for genetic conditions or chromosome abnormalities
  • Immunologic blood tests for the mother, including antithyroid antibodies, lupus anticoagulant factor, or anticardilolipin antibodies

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