Medical Treatment for Miscarriage

This leaflet explains more about medical treatment for miscarriage, including the benefits, risks and when to seek medical advice.

  • A medical treatment of a miscarriage involves the use of oral tablets and vaginal medication to start and/or speed up the process of a miscarriage
  • Your doctor may give you oral tablets to break down the lining of the womb. This is not required for every patient but the doctor will discuss with you if it is necessary.
  • You will need to come back to the hospital  after 1-2 days
  • You will be admitted to the hospital where you will be given medication vaginally to make your womb contract and push out the pregnancy tissue. The nursing team will monitor your progress and you may require further doses before the treatment is complete. You may need to stay overnight.
  • You may experience some cramping/period type pain and will start bleeding vaginally. This can include large clots which can be distressing but the nursing tem will be there to support you.
  • The medication may make you feel sick and can cause diarrhea
  • You can eat and drink as normal throughout the treatment.
  • Following the procedure you may continue to experience some mild cramping/period type pain and bleeding for a few days.

What are the benefits?

  • You can chose the day to start the treatment to suit you
  • You can avoid surgical treatment requiring anesthesia

What are the risks?

  • Infection is uncommon
  • Hemorrhage )Bleeding)
  • You may require surgical management if the miscarriage is not complete (very rare)

What to expect after discharge?

  • You can return to normal activities 1-2 days after the treatment or as advised by your doctor.
  • You may bleed for 7-10 days
  • Avoid sexual intercourse during the bleeding
  • You will expect your period after 4-6 weeks once treatment is complete

What are the emotional effects?

The emotional effects of a miscarriage may be difficult for both parents. Grief is normal and if you wish to talk to someone please let the staff know and they will contact the social worker for ongoing support.

Many couples wish to try for another pregnancy straight away, it is advisable to have 1-2 normal periods to help your body recover before you try again

When to seek medical advice?

Go to women’s urgent care (WUC) if you experience the following:

  • Heavy vaginal bleeding (soaking 2 pads / towels in 1 hour)  
  • Severe pain in stomach/back/pelvis
  • Any smelly vaginal discharge
  • fever

Follow up care

You will usually return to the hospital 2-3 weeks later to see the doctor for a follow up visit.

 At this time your doctor may arrange for a repeat ultrasound scan or pregnancy test, if required.