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Understanding Miscarriage -- Diagnosis & Treatment

What Are the Treatments for Miscarriage?

If your health care provider determines that you are at risk for a miscarriage, he or she may recommend that you stay in bed, restrict activity, and abstain from sexual intercourse until the signs are gone. Some health care providers recommend this kind of bed rest, although there is no scientific evidence that it will prevent a miscarriage. It can also lead to increased risk for other health issues. More often than not, little can be done to stop a miscarriage.

Treatment of a miscarriage, once it has begun, depends on your symptoms. The primary goal of treatment during and after a miscarriage is to prevent hemorrhaging and infection.

If vaginal bleeding fills more than one super sanitary pad in an hour for 2 hours in a row, you should contact your health care provider. Heavier bleeding and cramping often indicate that a miscarriage is progressing. In most cases, a woman's body expels all of the pregnancy-related tissue. The earlier you are in the pregnancy, the more likely that your body will complete the miscarriage on its own.

After a miscarriage -- if all pregnancy-related tissue wasn't expelled, a condition known as an incomplete miscarriage -- you may need treatment to stop the bleeding and prevent infection. The most common procedure is a dilation and curettage (D&C), which involves the widening of the cervix and scraping of the uterine lining, called the endometrium. Sometimes suction is used along with scraping. This procedure can be uncomfortable, so it is most often done under general anesthesia. Another option is to take medication (misoprostol), which will help your body expel the tissue. Talk to your health care provider to determine the best treatment for you.

You may be given antibiotics or other medications afterward to minimize bleeding. Any additional vaginal bleeding should be monitored closely. You should also find out whether you are Rh negative. If you are, you probably will need a shot of Rh0 immune globulin vaccine to prevent problems in future pregnancies.

Call Your Doctor About Miscarriage If:

You have a fever or chills. Septic (infected) abortions are rare in cases of miscarriage, but a fever or chills may indicate infection. Any remaining pregnancy-related tissue must be removed, and you should take antibiotics to prevent serious illness.

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