Miscarriage procedures

Going through a miscarriage is very upsetting and can be quite traumatic. It really helps to be well informed about your miscarriage procedure so you can understand and be prepared for it.

Miscarriage is hugely emotional, please refer to my other pages on healing after miscarriage for emotional advice and support.

The type of miscarriage procedure you will need to have will depend on how far along you were in your pregnancy and if your body has already started to expel pregnancy tissues naturally.

Natural Miscarriage (Expectant Management)

Remember you were carrying a baby and your body will go through many postpartum symptoms. Some of which can be surprising and unexpected. I experienced many postpartum symptoms after miscarriage, including hair loss, changes to my breasts and heavy sweating.

If you have had a miscarriage during the second trimester or a stillbirth, you may find that your breasts start to produce milk, you may have had stitches and you need to be aware of postpartum hemorrhoids. Refer to my postpartum section to see what kind of symptoms are normal after a pregnancy.

Miscarriage Using Medication

For miscarriages that have happened within the first ten weeks. You doctor will discuss the side effects of managing your miscarriage medically. This miscarriage procedure involves taking a tablet orally or vaginally. The tablet causes your cervix to open and your womb to contract. It could be quite painful and you could bleed quite heavily so you would need some good pain relief.

The advantages of taking medication are that you can go home and be in your own space. Bleeding could last up to three weeks.

Your doctor will need to check you regularly to ensure that the miscarriage process is going as expected. There is a small risk with using medication, that the pregnancy tissues are not completely expelled, meaning that you may have to have further procedures in case of any risk of infection.

Dilation & Curettage

A surgical miscarriage procedure performed under general anesthetic to remove pregnancy tissues. A dilation & curettage procedure is commonly performed for missed miscarriages, molar pregnancies, in the case of heavy bleeding, or to remove any remaining pregnancy tissues in the case where your body has not expelled pregnancy tissues completely and you are at risk of infection.

You may be given a tablet to take before the dilation & curettage surgery. This tablet will start the dilation of your cervix. Make sure you have some good pain killers as the dilation of your cervix could be quite painful.

A dilation & curettage surgery removes pregnancy tissues by using sucking instruments and by scraping pregnancy tissues from the lining of your uterus.

You may bleed lightly for a few days or up to a week following the surgery.
Your doctor will most likely need to perform a follow up scan to ensure that all tissues have been removed.

Dilation & Evacuation

The surgical procedure for a dilation & evacuation is similar to a dilation & curettage, except the pregnancy is within the second trimester and the surgery requires extra instruments such as forceps to remove the baby.


Your doctor will discuss your options with you. You may choose to wait for a natural labour to happen, or you may decide to be induced. In some cases, where your doctor perceives some risks, you may need to have a caesarean or a dilation and evacuation surgery.

With a natural labour, a mother is advised that she has up to 48 hours to wait for it to happen. The appearance of the baby may start to change in that time, so you may prefer to be induced.

Induction will always be advised if you are at risk of pre-eclampsia, of infection or if the amniotic sac has broken.

Make sure you take time to think things through and how you would like to proceed after you have given birth.


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