Medical Treatment for Early Miscarriage


1. What is medical treatment?

  • You will be given tablets to swallow or to put under your tongue, or pessaries to insert into the vagina.
  • The drug will stimulate your womb to contract, helping you to pass the pregnancy tissue.
  • The whole process may take more than one day.
  • Vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain will precede the passage of pregnancy tissue.
  • You may expect the amount of vaginal bleeding like a heavy period, and there may be clots.
  • You may take pain-killers if necessary.
  • Medical treatment is successful in 85% of women.
  • You do not need to stay in the hospital.

2. What are the risks of medical treatment?

  • Side effects of drugs, e.g. nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fever, chills, allergic reactions
  • Failed treatment
  • Incomplete miscarriage
  • Heavy bleeding, may need blood transfusion
  • Pelvic infection

3. How should I be followed up after medical treatment?

  • You can save any tissue passed and send it for analysis in the laboratory. This is to confirm it is normal pregnancy tissue.
  • A follow up appointment should be arranged in 1-2 weeks’ time, when you will be offered an ultrasound examination again to see the response to treatment.
  • If medical treatment fails, or if the miscarriage has not completed, you can have an option of repeating the medical treatment or having a suction evacuation, provided conditions allow.
  • If your bleeding is too excessive, or if your pain is too severe, or if there are signs of pelvic infection, it is advisable to have a suction evacuation.