Treatment After Miscarriage

Medically Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on November 11, 2022
4 min read

The first thing your doctor will try to do is prevent you from having a miscarriage. If the doctor thinks you’re at risk for having one, they may tell you to cut back on activity, including sex, until the signs are gone. Some recommend bed rest, although there’s no scientific evidence it’ll prevent a miscarriage. It can also raise your risk for other health issues. More often than not, there isn’t a lot your doctor can do to stop a miscarriage.

Treatment of a miscarriage, once it starts, depends on your symptoms. The main goal of treatment during and after a miscarriage is to prevent heavy bleeding (they’ll call it hemorrhaging) and infection.

If vaginal bleeding fills more than one super sanitary pad an hour for 2 hours, call your doctor. Heavier bleeding and cramping often indicate that a miscarriage is happening. Most of the time, your body will pass all of the pregnancy-related tissue. The earlier you are in the pregnancy, the more likely your body will complete the miscarriage on its own.

If all of the tissue didn’t come out, 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 widening your cervix and scraping the uterine lining, or endometrium. Sometimes the doctor uses suction along with scraping. This procedure can be uncomfortable, so you’ll probably get general anesthesia to put you to sleep if you need it. Another option is to take medication (misoprostol), which will help your body pass the tissue. Talk to your doctor to figure out what’s right for you.

You may get antibiotics or other medications afterward to slow the bleeding. Let your doctor know if you have any additional vaginal bleeding. You should also find out whether you have Rh-negative blood. If you do, you’ll probably need a shot of Rh immune globulin to prevent problems in future pregnancies.

Call your doctor after a miscarriage if:

You have a fever or chills. Septic (infected) abortions are rare in cases of miscarriage, but a fever or chills could mean you have an infection. The doctor will make sure they remove any remaining pregnancy-related tissue, and you should take antibiotics to prevent serious illness.

Most of the time, chances are good that the next pregancy after a miscarriage will be healthy. But if you have two or more miscarriages in a row, the doctor may suggest tests to find out if there’s a problem that you should treat before you try again. These could include:

  • Imaging tests. There may be something wrong with the structure of your uterus that’s keeping you from carrying a baby to term. The doctor can check for this with an ultrasound, an X-ray or a hysteroscopy.

  • Endometrial biopsy. During a hysteroscopy, your doctor may take a small piece of the lining of your uterus to look for abnormal cells.   

  • Genetic tests.Chromosome problems are a common cause of miscarriages. You and your partner may get a karyotype test, which checks your chromosomes for anything unusual.

Blood tests. The doctor may check levels of certain hormones. Blood tests can also reveal risk factors for miscarriage, like diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and blood clotting problems.

It usually doesn’t take long for your body to recover from a miscarriage. You may feel better within a few hours, or it could take a few weeks. Doctors recommend you don’t have sex or put anything in your vagina, like a tampon, for 2 weeks. That’s to lower the chances of an infection. You‘ll probably have your period again in 4-6 weeks. 

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’ve had a miscarriage. Family and friends may want to comfort you, but may feel like they don't know how. 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. It can put a high amount of stress on your relationship. You may be tempted to blame yourself or your partner for the miscarriage. Don’t. It's highly unlikely either of you 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.