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Miscarriage: Expectant Management for Incomplete Miscarriage

Topic Overview

Traditionally, an incomplete miscarriage has been treated surgically with dilation and curettage (D&C). This practice is based on the concern that an incomplete miscarriage, in which a woman's uterus retains tissue, can lead to excessive bleeding or infection. But expectant management is a safe treatment option for many early, uncomplicated miscarriages. If you choose expectant management, your doctor will watch you closely for problems during miscarriage.

Expectant management may be a treatment choice for you if you:

  • Are having a first-trimester miscarriage.
  • Have stable blood pressure and a stable heart rate.
  • Are not bleeding excessively and are not anemic.
  • Do not have a fever or other signs of infection.
  • Are not experiencing a high level of pain.
  • Can keep frequent medical and blood work appointments during and after your miscarriage.

Some women choose medical treatment or surgical treatment (D&C) instead of expectant management. Expectant management takes longer for the miscarriage to resolve. So it takes more time for bleeding to stop.

In some cases a miscarriage that is being treated with expectant management will still require surgical treatment, such as when excessive bleeding occurs.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised February 1, 2013

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