JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Abortion. Illustration of the threatened abortion of a human foetus. Above centre, within the preg- nant female uterus, can be seen the amniotic sac (blue) surrounding a developing foetus. The foetus is about 12 weeks old. Both its male sex, eyes and ears, and umbilical cord attachment are apparent. The placental attachment to the wall of the uterus (at top) has partly broken away, due to uterine contractions, with subsequent blood loss. Blood is leaving the uterus through the cervix, into the vaginal canal (at lower left). Abortion, at this quite early stage in pregnancy, may be spontaneous due to developmental abnormalities of the foetus; or the bleeding may be less serious.
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