What happens next if I have miscarried?

If you think you may be having a miscarriage, you’ll be offered some tests to confirm what’s happening.

Your healthcare professional will ask you about your medical history and symptoms. After that, 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 is too early on in your pregnancy, when it is not always possible to detect a fetal heartbeat.

Sometimes you may be offered a blood test to detect your pregnancy hormones levels. This should indicate if you’re still pregnant. If the results of the scan and blood test show that you are miscarrying, the healthcare professional looking after you will explain what treatment you might need.

You may also be offered a blood test to check your blood group. If you have a Rh (rhesus) negative blood group and you need surgery to manage a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, you may be given an injection called anti-D. If you decide to try for a baby again, this injection will protect your baby against rhesus disease. Rhesus disease is a condition where antibodies in a pregnant woman's blood destroy her baby's blood cells.

If a miscarriage is confirmed

As well as confirming if you are having a miscarriage, these tests can also confirm if all of the pregnancy has come away (a complete miscarriage). If so, you won’t any treatment. If the pregnancy has not come away completely, there are 3 options available:

Your doctor should discuss with you about what may be the best option for you. You should be given some time to think about the diagnosis and what you want to do.

How you are treated is your choice. However, you may be advised to have surgery immediately if:

  • you are bleeding heavily and continuously
  • there are signs of infection
  • medical treatment to remove the pregnancy has been unsuccessful.

Find out more about how your miscarriage will be managed.

 
 

Sources

Clinical Knowledge Summaries. Miscarriage https://cks.nice.org.uk/miscarriage#!topicSummary (Page last reviewed May 2018 Next update due: December 2023)

Clinical Knowledge Summaries. Miscarriage https://cks.nice.org.uk/miscarriage#!topicSummary (Page last reviewed May 2018 Next update due: December 2023)

Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (2016) Early miscarriage https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/patients/patient-information-leaflets/pregnancy/pi-early-miscarriage.pdf

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    Last reviewed on January 13th, 2020. Next review date January 13th, 2023.

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