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Understanding Miscarriage -- Diagnosis & Treatment

What Are the Treatments for Miscarriage? continued...

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.

Recovering Emotionally After Miscarriage

It's common to feel sad after losing a pregnancy. Many couples feel the grief of losing a child. This is normal, so allow yourself time to grieve. Consider joining a support group where you can talk about your experience and feelings with others who have had a miscarriage. Family and friends may want to be comforting, but they may feel like they don't know how best to respond. If you can, let them know that you need their support, tell them what they can do, and rely on their help.

Miscarriage can be a physical and emotional challenge for you and your partner. The stress in a relationship can be high. Some people may be tempted to blame themselves or their partner for the miscarriage -- even though it's highly unlikely that either of them did anything to cause the miscarriage or could have done anything to prevent it.

Keep in mind that there is a good chance that you will give birth to a healthy baby in the future. Only about 20% of women who have had a miscarriage have another miscarriage the next time they become pregnant.

Although it's possible to become pregnant right after a miscarriage, most experts recommend waiting until after you have had one or two normal menstrual cycles before trying to get pregnant again.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD, FACOG on March 11, 2014

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