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 Reference Rh-negative Opens New Window blood type, you will need a shot of low-dose Reference Rhogam. This Reference prevents problems Opens New Window 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 Reference dilation and curettage, or D&C Opens New Window) to clear the uterus.
An Reference obstetrician Opens New Window, a Reference family medicine doctor Opens New Window, or a Reference certified nurse-midwife Opens New Window can manage a 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.Reference 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.Reference 5 (Progesterone has only shown promise for preventing preterm birth later in a high-risk pregnancy.Reference 6)
- 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.
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:
- Watchful waiting. This period of waiting, called Reference expectant management, allows the miscarriage to end naturally while your doctor watches for and treats any complications.
- Medicine. Reference Mifepristone and/or misoprostol cause the uterus to empty.
- Dilation and curettage (D&C). Reference Dilation and curettage or Reference vacuum aspiration clears the uterus of tissue. These surgeries offer the quickest treatments for a miscarriage.
Additional treatment concerns
If you are bleeding heavily, you will be tested for Reference anemia Opens New Window and treated if necessary.
In very rare cases, removal of the uterus (Reference hysterectomy Opens New Window) 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 Reference menstrual period Opens New Window 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.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference April 18, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology