Treatment after miscarriage

Miscarriage is when a baby dies in the womb before 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Most women who have an early miscarriage (in the first trimester) don’t need treatment afterwards. Instead, the uterus empties on its own, like if you were having a heavy period.

Some women have severe heavy bleeding after a miscarriage. Or they may have tissue left in the uterus after the miscarriage. In these cases, treatment is needed.

What treatment is recommended after a miscarriage?

Your health care provider may recommend:

  1. Dilation and curettage. This is also called D&C. This is a procedure to remove any remaining tissue from the uterus. Your provider dilates (widens) your cervix and removes the tissue with suction or with an instrument called a curette. The cervix is the opening to the uterus that sits at the top of the vagina.
  2. Medicine. Your provider may recommend medicine that can help your body pass the tissue that’s still in the uterus.

Do you need any tests after a miscarriage?

If you miscarry in your first trimester, you probably don’t need to have any tests. We often don’t know what causes miscarriage that happens in the first trimester, so tests aren’t really very helpful.

If you have more than one miscarriage in the first trimester, or if you have a miscarriage in the second trimester, your provider usually recommends tests to help find out what’s causing them. Tests can include:

  • Chromosome tests. Chromosomes are tiny, thread-like structures in cells that carry genes. Most miscarriages are caused by chromosome problems. You and your partner can have blood tests to check for chromosome problems. Your provider also can test the tissue from the miscarriage for chromosome problems, if tissue is available.
  • Hormone tests. Hormones are chemicals made by the body. Having too many or too few of certain hormones can cause problems that may lead to miscarriage. You may have your blood tested to check for problems with hormones. Or you may have a procedure called endometrial biopsy that removes a small piece of the lining of the uterus (womb) to check for hormones.
  • Blood tests to check your immune system. Your immune system is what helps protect your body from infections. Problems with your immune system also may lead to miscarriage.
  • Looking at the uterus. You may have an ultrasound, which uses sound waves and a computer screen to show a picture of your baby inside the womb. Or you may have a hysteroscopy. This is when your provider inserts a special scope through the cervix to see your uterus. Or you may have a hysterosalpingography, which is an X-ray of the uterus.

Talk to your provider about these tests.

Last reviewed: July, 2012