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Choices for Miscarriage Treatment

Having a miscarriage can be a very difficult and emotional time. Many women have experienced these losses as up to 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. It is important to spend time with you health care provider discussing your miscarriage. We are there to be emotionally supportive, answer all your questions, provide information and help you understand your treatment options.

Most miscarriages occur during the first few months of pregnancy and, in fact, some women experience a miscarriage before they even know they’re pregnant. If you think you are experiencing a miscarriage, it’s important to seek medical care.

There are three different ways to manage and treat a miscarriage once it has been diagnosed.

Expectant Management (‘Wait and See’)

For some women, the body recognizes there has been a pregnancy loss and naturally expels the tissue. Cramping, bleeding and passing clots is part of this process and can start at any time. The bleeding will most likely be heavier than a period and will last for 2-6 hours. Lighter bleeding may lasts 1-2 weeks and could stop and start a few times. You can manage intense cramping with pain medication and a heating pad.

Medication Use

The medication “misoprostol” will stimulate the uterus to pass the pregnancy tissue. To use this medicine, the patient places the misoprostol pills in her vagina outside the clinic setting.

There will heavy cramping and bleeding for about 2-6 hours after using the pills and the bleeding may be much heavier than a period. Lighter bleeding often lasts 1-2 weeks and may stop and start a few times. You can manage intense cramping with pain medication and a heating pad.

Surgical Procedure

An Ob/Gyn doctor can do a minor surgical procedure that will remove the pregnancy tissue. This is done under anesthesia in an outpatient surgical center. The procedure is done by inserting a small instrument through the vagina and into uterus to remove the tissue. There will be light bleeding and cramping for 3-7 days and you may have mild to strong cramps after the procedure.

The decision as to which option is best for you will be made with you and your provider. All three options are safe, have very few complications, and will not affect future pregnancies.

miscarriage treatment options print out from the reproductive health access project