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After Your Miscarriage

Care for miscarriages

Options for care after miscarriage - Under 12 weeks

  • A natural miscarriage is when your baby or tissue passes on its own. This can start at any time and be complete within hours or it could take several weeks. You may have cramps and bleeding like a very heavy period. You can take acetaminophen (like Tylenol) or ibuprofen (like Advil or Motrin) for the pain. Follow the directions on the package when taking any medicine.
  • A medical option is to induce (cause) contractions. A medicine called misoprostol is put in your vagina. You can do this in the privacy of your home. Sometimes more than 1 insertion is needed. You may feel cramping when the medicine starts to work. The intensity of cramping is different for everyone. For some it feels like menstrual period cramps. For others the cramps are stronger and painful. If you have a lot of pain, contact your healthcare provider.
  • A procedure or surgical option is a dilation and curettage (D&C). This may be needed depending on your situation. A D&C is a short procedure done in the operating room or procedure room. Usually it’s done by a gynecologist, a doctor that specializes in care and treatment of female reproductive concerns. Medicine to control pain and help you relax are usually given. Your cervix is dilated and a special instrument is used to scrape the lining of your uterus. After the procedure you’ll feel a little sleepy, and have some cramping and bleeding. You’ll usually go home on the same day.

Care after a medical or surgical procedure for miscarriage

If you’ve been given a medicine to start your labour (induction) or had a D&C, you can expect some light bleeding or spotting for up to 4 weeks. After your miscarriage keep using sanitary pads. Don’t use tampons or put anything in your vagina until your doctor says it’s safe to do so.

It’s important to keep your genital area clean to help prevent infections. Use a spray bottle with warm water in it to rinse yourself. Change your pads often. If you’re still bleeding or have vaginal discharge, don’t go in a swimming pool or hot tub. Showers and short baths are fine.

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