You’ve had a missed miscarriage – now what?

If you’re finding this article because you’ve just had a missed miscarriage – I’m so sorry this has happened to you. It’s likely that you’ve been to an ultrasound and have been told that your baby has no heartbeat, or that there is something wrong with your baby and they aren’t going to survive. Now you’re faced with the lose / lose decision of how to end this pregnancy.

missed miscarriage

What are your options after a missed miscarriage?

  1. Wait for your body to miscarry naturally.
  2. Take medication to get your body to miscarry.
  3. Have surgery to remove the pregnancy.

Unfortunately I can tell you from too much experience that all three options suck. There really is no ‘right’ choice here. Though I do think it’s worth talking about the emotional and healing side of each to help you make the best decision for you.

I’m going to try and lay out the pros and cons of each option and give you an honest explanation of each. Though of course, I will have my own bias’, so please take what you can from this and make your own decision.

Which option after a missed miscarriage is right for you?

Option 1 – Wait

Why choose to wait?

+ Waiting for a miscarriage to occur naturally can be the most intervention free option.

+ You will miscarry at home.

+ This option may give you time to prepare yourself to miscarry (just like you would for a birth).

+ For some women, waiting gives them time to say goodbye and start healing before the process of miscarriage.

+ Can be confronting as you may be able to recognise your baby and the placenta.

Why you might choose not to wait?

+ As with all three options, you may not expel all of the pregnancy during the miscarriage and may end up having to use the medication or having surgery anyway.

+ You have no control over when it will happen.

+ It may not happen for four to six weeks (or it could happen the very next day).

+ For some women, waiting can prolong the emotional toll that miscarriage creates.

Option 2 – Medical

Why you might choose to take the medicine?

+ More control over when the miscarriage happens (this usually happens 4 – 6 hours after taking the medication).

+ You will miscarry at home.

+ Can be confronting as you may be able to recognise your baby and the placenta.

Why you might choose to not use the medication?

+ For some women the medication doesn’t do anything. You can’t really know this until you try it, so this can be really frustrating as you wait for a miscarriage to happen and it doesn’t. This may also prolong the emotional experience of miscarriage.

+ There can be physical side effects (like nausea) to the medication that make a shitty experience even worse. Your doctor will tell you all about these and they are worth considering when making your decision.

+ Just like the other options, using the medication may not release all of the pregnancy tissue and you may have to repeat the process or have the surgery after all.

Option 3 – Surgery (Dilation and Curette)

Why you might choose to have surgery?

+ The actual surgery is very quick (usually 5 – 10 minutes). Though you will be in the hospital for around 5 + hours for recovery.

+ Physically may be less confronting as you won’t see your baby, placenta or blood.

+ Bleeding afterwards is usually light.

Why you might choose to not have surgery?

+ As it is a surgery, there is a small chance that you may have complications. Your doctor will advise you of all of these before you make your decision.

+ Being unconscious for the process may require a different type of healing, as your body was present for it but your mind absent.

+ Just like the other options, using the medication may not release all of the pregnancy tissue and you may have to repeat the process or have the surgery after all.

+ Can increase the risk of postpartum hemorrhage in future pregnancies

Like I said, three shitty options and I’m so sorry you’re here having to choose between them. Right now, make your choice. Breathe through the heartbreaking sadness and unfairness of it all. When you’re ready reach out. There are many of us who have been through this before you and you will get through this.

When you’re ready for healing – you might like to try my book – “Watering the flowers – A guide to find healing and hope after losing a baby.”

Or if you would like someone to sit beside you, sign up to work one-on-one with me.

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