What will happen at hospital if I think I have miscarried?

If you’re less than 18 weeks’ pregnant, you will probably be referred to the early pregnancy unit at your local hospital.

After giving your medical history and explaining your symptoms, you may be offered an ultrasound scan. This may be done through your tummy, or vaginally if the pregnancy is very early on. Both are completely safe.

Sometimes, a scan may not show what’s happening. This may be because it’s early on in your pregnancy, when it’s not always possible to detect a fetal heartbeat.

Sometimes you may be offered a blood test to detect levels of pregnancy hormones, which should indicate whether or not you’re still pregnant. If the results of the scan and blood test show that you are miscarrying, the doctors and nurses looking after you will explain what treatment you need might need.

You may also be offered a blood test to check your blood group, because if you have a Rh (rhesus) negative blood group, you may be given an injection ‘anti-D’ to protect future pregnancies if you are 12 or more weeks pregnant or if you need surgery as a result of the miscarriage.

Sources

1. NICE (2012) Ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage: diagnosis and initial management in early pregnancy of ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage, clinical guideline CG154, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

2. Stillbirth (Definition) Act 1992, Definition of stillborn child, Section 1(1), London The Stationery Office, 1992

3. RCOG (2008) Early miscarriage: information for you, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, , 2008

4. RCOG (2008) Bleeding and Pain in early pregnancy: information for you, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, 2008

5. RCOG (2012) Recurrent and late miscarriage: tests and treatment of couples, information for you, London Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

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Last reviewed on August 1st, 2016. Next review date August 1st, 2019.

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