It can be emotional and jarring to read “cold” medical information and jargon during this time, so please be kind to yourself. You do not have to read this part; especially right now. I’ve softened up my language somewhat, but it is still a medically heavy section.
Please remember the statistics/”facts”/information about miscarriage are sorely lacking, so this is what research knows right now. (i.e. take it with a grain of salt and listen to your body!)
Miscarriage: The spontaneous loss of a fetus before the period of viability.
Incomplete miscarriage: Some of the products of conception have been passed but some remain in utero.
Complete miscarriage: All the products of conception have been expelled
Inevitable miscarriage: The cervix has already dilated open, but the fetus has yet to be expelled
Missed miscarriage: Nonviable intrauterine pregnancy has been retained within the uterus without spontaneous abortion
Miscarriage is a common event in women of reproductive age and the incidence of clinically recognized miscarriage remains around 10-20%. Many miscarriages are not clinically recognized, for example, if it happened early or the woman did not know she was pregnant, so the real percentage is much higher. This is just the reported percentage- many many miscarriages happen early before the woman realizes, or are early and unreported.
The majority of miscarriages occur early, before 12 weeks of pregnancy. Second trimester pregnancy loss contributes to less than 4% of pregnancy losses.
Traditionally, surgical curettage was the gold standard for the management of miscarriage because of the fear of uterine infection and bleeding. However, we now know the risk of infection or hemorrhage is low with spontaneous miscarriage, even if no treatment is given.
The introduction of medical and expectant management of miscarriage has increased options for women and clinicians alike for the management of this unfortunately common occurrence.
Surgery is the method of choice for excessive bleeding, if vital signs are unstable or the woman has either suspected infection or gestational trophoblastic disease.
Where suitable, patients choice (your choice!) should be taken into consideration for how to manage the miscarriage.