How do you confirm a miscarriage?

Sad woman
Photo © Blend Images/Getty Images

Question: How do you confirm a miscarriage?

It is estimated that about 1 out of 5 pregnancies will end before the 20th week of gestation. Most miscarriages occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Answer: If you or your practitioner thinks that you may be having a miscarriage several things may happen. These include:

    Sometimes you are not able to know immediately what is happening with your pregnancy and you may simply be having signs of a miscarriage, but not yet miscarrying, known as a threatened miscarriage. You may have to return in a few days to a week for more blood work or for a repeat ultrasound. These are necessary to ensure that a mistake is not made when your pregnancy is actually fine. These are usually done before a D & C would be scheduled.

    If it is determined that you are having a miscarriage, you will need to talk to your midwife or doctor about the next steps. This might include expectant management, waiting for nature to take its course or it may include surgery, a D & C.

    Management of miscarriage: expectant, medical, or surgical? Results of randomised controlled trial (miscarriage treatment (MIST) trial) BMJ 2006;332:1235-1240 (27 May).

    Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. Gabbe, S, Niebyl, J, Simpson, JL. Fifth Edition.

    Continue Reading