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Miscarriage - Treatment Overview

There is no treatment that can stop a miscarriage. As long as you do not have heavy blood loss, fever, weakness, or other signs of infection, you can let a miscarriage follow its own course. This can take several days.

If you have an Rh-negative blood type, you will need a shot of low-dose Rhogam. This prevents problems in future pregnancies. Your doctor can do a blood test to see if you are Rh-negative.

If a miscarriage is causing intense pain or bleeding or is taking longer than you are comfortable with, talk to your doctor about using medicine or surgery (such as a procedure called dilation and curettage, or D&C) to clear the uterus.

An obstetrician, a family medicine doctor, or a certified nurse-midwife can manage a miscarriage.

dplink.gif Miscarriage: Should I Have Treatment to Complete a Miscarriage?

Threatened miscarriage

If you have vaginal bleeding but tests suggest that your pregnancy is still progressing, your doctor may recommend:

  • Resting. You will be advised to temporarily avoid sexual intercourse (pelvic rest) and heavy activity. Your doctor may recommend bed rest. But most research shows that bed rest does not prevent miscarriage.4
  • Taking progesterone. You may be treated with the hormone progesterone to help maintain the pregnancy. This treatment, though, may serve only to delay a miscarriage and has not been proved effective for preventing a miscarriage.5
  • Avoiding NSAIDs. You will be advised to avoid aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen. Use only acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, for nonprescription pain relief.

Incomplete miscarriage

Sometimes all or some of the fetal tissue stays in the uterus after a pregnancy miscarries. This is called an incomplete miscarriage (incomplete or missed spontaneous abortion). If your doctor determines that you have had an incomplete miscarriage, you will have one or more treatment options:

dplink.gif Miscarriage: Should I Have Treatment to Complete a Miscarriage?

Additional treatment concerns

If you are bleeding heavily, you will be tested for anemia and treated if needed.

In very rare cases, removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) is needed for women who have severe, uncontrollable bleeding or a severe infection that is not cured with antibiotics.

After a miscarriage

If you plan to become pregnant again, check with your doctor. Most doctors and nurse-midwives recommend waiting until you have had at least one normal menstrual period before trying to become pregnant.

Your chances of having a successful pregnancy are good, even if you've had one or two miscarriages.

If you have had three or more miscarriages (recurrent miscarriage), your doctor may suggest further testing to help find the cause.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 01, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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