Treatment Options for Miscarriage
Having a miscarriage can be a devastating experience, but it is important for a woman who has had a miscarriage to ensure that she receives proper treatment to remain healthy and prevent further complications. Because different types of miscarriages exist, and the potential dangers after a miscarriage vary, different treatment options are available to accommodate each individual case. In consultation with a health professional, a woman has the option of choosing what the best and most comfortable treatment is for her.
Types of Treatment Available
The main goal of miscarriage treatment is to prevent infection and excessive blood loss. The treatment options that are recommended depend on the type of miscarriage that has occurred. There are three types of miscarriages that a woman can experience:
- Complete Miscarriage. The body has naturally expelled the fetus. This process usually takes 3-7 days to be completed, but in some cases it can last for weeks.
- Incomplete Miscarriage. Tissue has been partially expelled by the body, but some contents remain in the uterus.
- Missed Miscarriage. The fetus and placenta remain in the uterus without signs of being expelled and a woman may not be aware that a miscarriage has taken place.
There are three treatment methods available depending on each case:
- Expectant Management involving watchful waiting and medical observation
- Medical Management involving medication treatment to help complete a miscarriage
- Surgical Treatment that usually involves dilation and curettage (D&C)
Surgical Treatment After Miscarriage
The fastest treatment available to assist the process of a miscarriage is a minor surgical procedure known as D&C (dilation and curettage). This is usually recommended if an incomplete or missed miscarriage has taken place, or if dangerous symptoms such as severe pain, heavy bleeding, or infection are experienced.
During D&C, a woman is put under a general or local anesthesia. The cervix is then dilated and the uterus is suctioned to remove any remaining tissue. This usually does not require an overnight stay, and the patient can return to her normal daily activities within a few days.
Other Treatments Available After Miscarriage
Many women are uncomfortable with the idea of surgery, and the side effects can potentially be dangerous, including a slight risk of uterine or cervical injury. Unless surgery is absolutely necessary, some women may want to seek alternative treatments.
Expectant Management involves waiting for a miscarriage to progress naturally while being regularly monitored by a health professional. For many women, the miscarriage process may naturally be completed within 72 hours.
Expectant management is usually recommended in cases of an uncomplicated miscarriage. The woman must have a stable blood pressure and heart rate and not be experiencing high levels of pain, fever or excessive bleeding. In some cases bleeding may last for weeks and result in an incomplete miscarriage.
Medical Management is usually offered to women who have experienced an incomplete miscarriage with no serious complications. Medication is prescribed to allow the uterus to push out all remaining tissue.
Medical management is most effective during the first trimester, but it can cause unpleasant side effects such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some women opt for this treatment if a miscarriage is deemed inevitable and they would like to speed up the natural process.
No matter which miscarriage treatment option you decide to follow, it is important to consult a health care professional if you are experiencing miscarriage symptoms or have experienced a complete miscarriage. Being informed of your treatment options and receiving advice from a medical expert will ensure that you get the treatment you require so that you can be on your way to a healthy physical and emotional recovery.