Medical management

If you have a missed or incomplete miscarriage, you will be offered the option to take some medicine to help the miscarriage to get underway.

If you have a missed or incomplete miscarriage, you will be offered the option to take some medicine to help the miscarriage to get underway.

This involves taking some oral tablets  or using a vaginal pessary to help the entrance to the womb to open up and allow the pregnancy to pass.  You may  be admitted to hospital for a few hours to be monitored whilst the process starts, or you may be able to go home straight away, dependent on your circumstances and the policy of your local unit. You can then go home, but you will have to monitor the bleeding. If this becomes very heavy you will need to return to hospital urgently for an emergency admission. 

It normally takes a few hours for things to happen and you will feel some cramps and bleeding too.  This bleeding may continue for up to three weeks.

Medical management of miscarriage is effective for about 85 percent of women. For a small number, this method doesn’t succeed, and in this case, surgery may be needed.

The risk of infection is similar for medical and surgical management.

It’s not easy to deal with miscarriage on your own and so the hospital will offer you some options for counselling and support for you and your partner.

 

Read more about miscarriage management

  • Sad woman talking to health professional.

    Expectant management

    Letting your miscarriage happen naturally is also called ‘expectant management.’

  • Woman being comforted by healthcare professional.

    Surgical management

    If the medical option hasn’t been completely successful, or if you are bleeding heavily or have an infection, you may be advised to have surgery.

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

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