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Miscarriage recovery
What to expect

What to expect

You should start to feel better each day after the pregnancy has passed - please call your BPAS Clinic (during opening hours) or the Aftercare Line 0300 333 68 28 (at any time) if you are unsure about anything.

Bleeding

Most women bleed for around 1-2 weeks after treatment for miscarriage or if they have chosen expectant management. It is best to use sanitary towels during this time. You should expect the bleeding to be like a normal menstrual period, but you may pass some small blood clots. Your bleeding should lessen over time, but you may have some spotting until your next period.

If your bleeding soaks 2 or more sanitary towels per hour for 2 hours in a row, then you should contact the clinic or Aftercare Line urgently for advice. If you cannot call, go to A&E.

Pain

Most women experience cramping on and off for about a week afterthe procedure. Take ibuprofen and paracetamol if needed. These can be bought over the counter without a prescription, from pharmacies, supermarkets and other shops.

There are 2 strengths of ibuprofen tablets - follow the directions for the one you have. Always read the patient information leaflet that comes with these medicines and take them as directed.

You can take paracetamol and ibuprofen together if the recommended dose of either medicine alone is not controlling your pain.

If the medicines do not control your pain - call the clinic or Aftercare Line on 0300 333 68 28 (or +44 01789 508 210)

Feelings

you may experience a variety of emotions regarding the miscarriage and this is normal. You may feel like talking to someone if these feelings remain for a long time. The Miscarriage Association and Relate can provide information about counselling.

Physical symptoms as your body recovers

If you have pregnancy symptoms such as nausea or fatigue, these will go away within a few days of treatment. If you lost a pregnancy after 12 weeks, your breasts may feel firm and tender and leak milk after your procedure. Your breasts will return to normal after 3-4 days of swelling. You will feel more comfortable if you wear a supportive bra and apply cold ice packs to yoru breasts. Take ibuprofen or paracetamol if necessary for the pain.

Unexpected or unusual symptoms
  • heavy bleeding that soaks through 2 sanitary pads an hour for 2 hours or more in a row
  • abdominal tenderness, pain or discomfort which is not helped by medication, rest, a hot water bottle or heating pad
  • a fever of 38°C or higher
  • an unpleasant smelling discharge from your vagina
  • no bleeding at all after 24 hours of taking the medication
  • a general feeling of being unwell or still feeling pregnant

If you have any of the above symptoms, you should phone the BPAS clinic where you had your treatment, or the Aftercare Line on 0300 333 68 28 (or +44 1789 508 210) immediately. Alternatively, you should go to A&E or see your GP urgently.

What can I do?

Bathing

You can have a bath or shower as normal. Take care if you have a bath in the 24 hours after a general anaesthetic - make sure someone is around to keep an eye on you in case you still feel drowsy.

Work and other activities

Most women are fit and well enought to return to normal activities within a day or two. Rest until you feel able to return to your usual routine.

Sex

You may resume sexual activity when you feel ready. You can get pregnant almost immediately following miscarriage, so it is important to use contraception if you do not want to get pregnant.

Travel

It's best not to travel within 24 hours of treatment. If you must travel, make sure you know how to get emergency treatment at your destination in case of complication. Please be aware that, if you are having medical management and choose to travel soon after taking the second medication (misoprostol), you could start to have cramps and bleed heavily whilst you are travelling.


Your next period

Your next period should come about 4 weeks after miscarriage. If it hasn't or you are concerned, contact us. Remember that any bleeding immediately after treatment is not a period.

Click here for miscarriage treatment follow-up information by treatment type