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Health & Pregnancy

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Miscarriage - Topic Overview

If you have Rh-negative blood, you will need a shot of Rhogam. This prevents problems in future pregnancies. If you have not had your blood type checked, you will need a blood test to find out if you are Rh-negative.

Many miscarriages complete on their own. But sometimes treatment is needed. If you are having a miscarriage, work with your doctor to watch for and prevent problems. If the uterus does not clear quickly enough, you could lose too much blood or develop an infection. In this case, medicine or a procedure called a dilation and curettage (D&C) can more quickly clear tissue from the uterus.

A miscarriage doesn't happen all at once. It usually takes place over several days, and symptoms vary. Here are some tips for dealing with a miscarriage:

  • Use pads instead of tampons. It is normal to have mild or moderate vaginal bleeding for 1 to 2 weeks. It may be similar to or slightly heavier than a normal period. The bleeding should get lighter after a week. You may use tampons during your next period, which should start in 3 to 6 weeks.
  • Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) for cramps. Read and follow all instructions on the label. You may have cramps for several days after the miscarriage.
  • Eat a balanced diet that is high in iron and vitamin C. You may be low in iron because of blood loss. Foods rich in iron include red meat, shellfish, eggs, beans, and leafy green vegetables. Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, tomatoes, and broccoli. Talk to your doctor about whether you need to take iron pills or a multivitamin.
  • Talk with family, friends, or a counselor if you are having trouble dealing with the loss of your pregnancy. If you feel very sad or depressed for longer than a couple of weeks, talk to a counselor or your doctor.
  • Talk with your doctor about any future pregnancy plans. Most doctors suggest that you wait until you have had at least one normal period before you try to get pregnant again. If you don't want to get pregnant, ask your doctor about birth control options.
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