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After Your Miscarriage

What you may expect

Vaginal bleeding

It’s expected that you’ll have some bleeding after a miscarriage. Because everyone’s body is different, the amount of bleeding isn’t the same for everyone. You might have:

  • little or no bleeding
  • spotting or bleeding that starts and stops over a few days or weeks
  • bleeding like a regular period for 1 to 2 weeks
  • clots or tissue that pass with the bleeding

The light bleeding can last can last for up to 4 weeks.

Don’t use tampons or douche for the first 2 weeks. There’s a greater risk of infection if you put anything into your vagina during this time. If you have questions, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider.

You can expect to have a menstrual period 4 to 6 weeks after your miscarriage.


You may have cramps for up to 10 days. These can be mild or like the cramps you may have with your menstrual period. To help with the pain, take ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Follow the directions on the package carefully. You may also use a heating pad or hot pack on your abdomen to relieve cramps.

Breast tenderness and milk supply

After a pregnancy loss, you can expect that your nipples and breasts will be tender. This can be difficult as it can be a reminder of your loss. If your pregnancy was over 14 weeks, breastmilk may come in 2 to 5 days after your miscarriage. When the breastmilk comes it can feel like pressure or fullness and can last for a few days or weeks.

To help make yourself more comfortable:

  • wear a supportive bra – breast-binding is not recommended
  • use breast pads in your bra to soak up leaking milk
  • take pain medicine like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) for discomfort
  • take a shower and let your breasts leak to relieve pressure – don’t let the water get too hot or your breasts may hurt more

Currently there’s no medicine approved to suppress milk production.

To lower your milk supply put a cold compresses on your breasts for 15 minutes, then leave the compress off for at least 45 minutes. For a cold compress you can use a cloth-covered ice pack or bag of frozen peas. You can do this a few times a day as needed.

If you would like to have your milk supply dry up, it’s best not to pump or regularly express milk. This causes your body to keep making milk. Some people want to donate their breastmilk. If you find that you have a lot of breastmilk you may choose to donate some to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for infants who need more breastmilk. If you choose to donate your milk, you can contact the Northern Star Mother’s Milk Bank.

Nausea and Diarrhea

After a miscarriage, you may have nausea or diarrhea. This is caused by hormone changes or from medicine given during a D&C. It usually gets better within 1 or 2 days. If you have severe nausea, talk to your pharmacist about an over-the-counter medicine you can take.

Fatigue and emotions

Some of the feelings of sadness after your miscarriage can also be caused by the sudden change in body hormones. You may also feel tired as your body recovers. If the fatigue and feelings of sadness continue, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about how you’re feeling.

If you have questions or are worried about how you’re feeling or what’s happening, you can call Health Link at 811 for nurse advice or general health information any time of the day or night (24/7).

Activity and Sex

You can do all of your regular activities like work, school, exercise, and driving as soon as you feel ready.

Due to a higher risk of infection during the first 2 weeks after a miscarriage, don’t have sex during this time. It’s a good idea to let yourself heal physically and emotionally before you think about trying to get pregnant again. When you start having sex, think about using a form of birth control. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions.

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