Management of Miscarriage

If a pregnant woman feels pain in the tummy, or notice vaginal bleeding, she should seek medical consultation without delay.

  • She can go to her family doctor, private obstetricians, gynecologists or emergency departments of hospitals for assessment.
  • Ultrasound scan will be used to assess the foetus’ condition and this causes no harm. Diagnosis of miscarriage is confirmed if the foetal heart is not beating or if the foetus does not grow. Therefore, several scans for foetal growth monitoring may sometimes be necessary before the doctor can confirm a diagnosis.

What can be done before a miscarriage is confirmed?

Medical Treatment

No medical evidence has shown that medication including hormones of any type is effective.

Bed Rest

Staying in bed cannot prevent spontaneous miscarriage. However, bed rest is still advisable when a pregnant woman bleeds heavily.

What should be done if miscarriage has been confirmed?

Admission

If miscarriage is confirmed, evacuation of the uterus is usually suggested to remove the non-viable foetus in order to stop bleeding and to avoid infection.

Evacuation of Uterus

  • A narrow suction cannula is inserted into the womb to suck the tissues out.
  • It can be performed under local or general anaesthesia.
  • Variable degrees of pain may be experienced after the operation, in which case painkillers can help.

Physical Recovery after Miscarriage

  • It is normal to have some vaginal bleeding in the first few days after complete miscarriage or evacuation of uterus.
  • Normal daily activities and physical activities can be resumed once the woman feels physically recovered, that is, usually a week or two after the miscarriage.
  • Sexual intercourse can be resumed after bleeding has stopped completely.

Reminder after Operation

If there is heavy bleeding, prolonged vaginal bleeding lasting for more than two weeks, fever, or pain in the tummy after operation for miscarriage, immediate medical attention should be sought.

Psychological Recovery after Miscarriage

  • It is crucial to understand that no one, including the woman herself, is to be blamed.
  • It is common to have mood disturbances like shock, sadness, depression, anxiety, sense of failure and loss of self-esteem after miscarriage.
  • She is encouraged to share her feelings with someone she can trust, e.g. partner, relatives, good friends or medical and paramedical staff to help her recovering from her grief.
  • Good days always follow stormy and rainy days. One should always adopt an optimistic attitude and never be overcasted by the shadow of miscarriage.

Planning for Next Pregnancy

It may be better to wait for two or three months before trying to get pregnant again. This gives time for the woman to recover to her best possible shape for the next pregnancy, both physically and emotionally.

(This leaflet is prepared by the Department of Health and the Hospital Authority)

(Content revised 02/2013)