November 23, 2014
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Coping with Miscarriage

What happens after miscarriage?

What happens after miscarriage?

After a miscarriage, you may need to wait a few days and up to 2 weeks for all of the tissue to pass out of your uterus. Your doctor may ask you to save the tissue so that it can sent to a laboratory for testing.

Your doctor will also perform an ultrasound to check to see if any tissue remains in the uterus. If the ultrasound shows that there is tissue remaining, your doctor will usually recommend removing the tissue because there is concern about continued bleeding or infection. This is usually done by taking medication to help pass the tissue or by a procedure called a dilation and curettage to clear the tissue from your uterus. Dilation and curettage, also called D&C, involves dilating the cervix and gently removing the tissue from the uterus with an instrument called a curette. You and your doctor will discuss which option is best for you.

After removing the remaining tissue, your doctor will probably want to see you in a few weeks to check on how you are doing.

Your recovery period will take some time. Physically, you may still look pregnant and leak breast milk. Your menstrual cycle may return within a few weeks, and can occur as soon as 2 weeks after a miscarriage. If you do not want to become pregnant again right away, use birth control. If you want to become pregnant again, experts recommend waiting until you've had one normal menstrual cycle before trying again.

You are also grieving. It can be hard to go back to "normal." Take the time to rest and allow yourself to grieve. For more on the emotions you may be feeling and how to cope with them, read "Coping with the loss" and "Moving on from miscarriage" in this health feature.

What happens after a miscarriage can be difficult to understand. You may want to ask your doctor some questions. Write them down before your appointment so you are prepared. Here are some you can start with:

  • What tests are you going to perform?
  • Do I need to prepare for the tests?
  • What happens during the test?
  • What symptoms will I experience? Are there any signs to watch out for after the tests?
  • What happens during the recovery period?
  • When can I start trying to become pregnant again?
  • Is there someone I can talk to about my loss?
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