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Expectant miscarriage management

Letting nature take its course

This means waiting for the miscarriage to happen on its own and is available to women up to 13 weeks of pregnancy. Some women feel this is the most natural form of managing a miscarriage. There is no medicine provided, or any surgical procedures involved.

You will be sent home with information and contact numbers for medical support while you are waiting for the pregnancy to pass. It can take time for the bleeding to start and can continue for up to 3 weeks. This method is successful in 50 out of 100 women (50%). 

It is uncertain exactly when the pregnancy will pass and how long you will bleed for and the level of pain involved. Bleeding is likely to be heavier than a normal period and contain clots and you will likely experience strong cramping pain; you will need pain medication.

Sometimes the miscarriage will be incomplete, meaning you may need a medical or surgical procedure.

You may have spotting for up to 2-3 weeks following the miscarriage. For some women light spotting can continue until the next period. You should use sanitary pads as it makes it easier to keep track of your bleeding.

You should start to feel better each day after the pregnancy has been passed. Mild abdominal cramping is normal and can be managed with painkillers such as ibuprofen. 

Follow up

If you choose expectant management, any pain or bleeding should lessen or stop completely withing 7-14 days.  This usually means that the miscarriage has finished.  If pain and bleeding havn't started within 7-14 days, or is continuing or worsening, this could mean that the miscarriage hasn't begun or hasn't finished.  In this case you should contact us for a check up appointment.  

You will be given a home pregnancy test to take after 3 weeks if the recovery is progressing as expected.  If the test is positive you will need to contact us for an appointment.

More information about your recovery including important warning signs to look out for