After a miscarriage, it's hard not to have feelings of emptiness and despair.
Women who experience them jump from bursting with joy, when they get a positive result in their pregnancy tests, to getting terrible news: losing their babies unexpectedly, which can be devastating. Technically, miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a baby before the 20th week of pregnancy, and it can be caused by many factors, though there are times when doctors can't even tell what goes wrong. That's how complex it is!
As if it weren't tough enough per se, miscarriage can also entail physical problems in the aftermath of losing the baby, which makes the situation even worse to cope with. Other times, though, it doesn't take long for women to recover.
Do you want to know what happens after a miscarriage? Then, don't miss this post.
After a miscarriage: Different symptoms, different options
As you may already know, miscarriage symptoms include vaginal bleeding, lower abdominal pain and even sore breasts, but the way they affect you also depends on how far along you were as an expectant mum. However, after a miscarriage, there are different treatments to help you feel better:
- No treatment: yes, as easy as it sounds. When there's no tissue remaining in your uterus, you don't need any treatment. Just try to rest for a few days, but that's all.
- Expectant Management: this is no more than waiting for the pregnancy tissue to be expelled naturally from your womb, which usually takes around one to two weeks. When your bleeding is over, you can most likely assume that miscarriage has come to an end. However, you'll still need to have a home pregnancy test after three weeks to confirm that you are no longer pregnant.
- Medical management: if you don't want to wait, you can choose to have medication to help the tissue pass out by opening your cervix. For example, you may be offered pessaries, tablets that can either be inserted into the vagina or swallowed. Medical management is also based on taking drugs such as mifepristone and misoprostol, which can make you experience different symptoms, from heavy vaginal bleeding to cramping. You may bleed for several days, but if you feel like the vaginal bleeding gets too heavy, contact your healthcare provider. Again, you'll be advised to take a pregnancy test around three weeks after the treatment. If you get a positive result, you may have to undergo further tests to rule out complications, such as an ectopic or a molar pregnancy.
- Surgical management: when medication doesn't succeed to remove the remaining pregnancy tissue, you may undergo surgery as soon as possible. You may be advised the same option in case you are experiencing continuous heavy bleeding or if the pregnancy tissue has become infected. And how does surgery work? Generally, doctors use a dilator, a small tube that has a suction device to remove any tissue left in your uterus.
How can I prevent infection?
During your recovery, you should be careful with your bleeding to avoid getting an infection after miscarriage. For example, you should choose sanitary pads over tampons, have showers instead of baths and avoid going into swimming pools. You should keep yourself from douching and having sex as well.
If you suspect that you may have an infection after miscarriage because you have a fever, among other symptoms, contact your doctor right away. He or she'll prescribe you antibiotics, which you'll have to take exactly as indicated by the doctor. Otherwise, they could turn out to be ineffective.
After a miscarriage, the least desirable thing is to go through all of this recovery process. However, it's necessary to prevent you from having any complications that can be a pain in the neck given such a difficult moment for you and your couple. Remember that coping with miscarriage isn't easy, so the faster you physically heal, the sooner you'll be able to focus on your emotions.