If the miscarriage is complete and all pregnancy tissue has been cleared naturally by your body, no further treatment will be required. The earlier you are in the pregnancy, the more likely that your body will clear all the pregnancy tissue by itself and that you won’t require further medical procedures.
When your body doesn’t clear all the tissue it is called an incomplete miscarriage.
Treatment options for incomplete miscarriage can be conservative, medical or surgical. If not cleared, an incomplete miscarriage can make you very ill and may also have an effect on future pregnancies.
Conservative (also known as expectant management)
This is a where you wait for nature to take its course and clear the tissue from your body naturally. This could take days or weeks to occur and you will need to see your GP for monitoring. If your womb doesn’t empty completely you may require medical treatment.
This involves the use of medicine call misoprostol to speed up the natural process of miscarriage. Misoprostol is a medicine in the same group as prostaglandin, which is used to induce labour. Misoprostol stimulates your womb to contract and empty itself. Most women experience moderate to severe abdominal pain and heavy vaginal bleeding. Sometimes bleeding begins straight away, but sometimes it can take 2 to 3 days or longer. You will be given the medicine in hospital then can go home, so long as you have an adult with you. You may need to take another dose of the medicine by mouth the next day and have a blood test 2 weeks later.
An evacuation of your uterus, also known as a D&C, is a surgical procedure to remove the pregnancy tissue. The procedure can be done under either general or local anaesthetic. You need a hospital visit of about 3 hours for the procedure. Some of the reasons this may be recommended are if you have:
- very heavy bleeding with low blood pressure or low blood count
- signs of infection
- not been able to clear the pregnancy tissue through conservative or medical management
- an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) in your uterus
- recurrent miscarriage (3 or more)
- a history of severe illness
- lost a pregnancy of more than 12 weeks.
Read more about the treatment options, what to expect and how to manage your miscarriage(external link).