Early Complete Miscarriage


1. What is early complete miscarriage?

  • Early miscarriage – refers to a loss of pregnancy in the first 3 months.
  • Complete miscarriage – means that all the pregnancy tissue has been passed and the womb is empty, and therefore you do not need any further treatment.

2. Why does early miscarriage occur?

  • Much is still unknown about why early miscarriages occur.
  • The most common cause is chromosome problems, rendering the baby unable to grow and develop normally.
  • Early miscarriage is very common – 2 in 10 pregnant women will experience this.
  • The majority of early miscarriages occur as a “one-off” event, and it will not affect your chance of having a successful pregnancy in the future.
  • The risk of early miscarriage increases with a woman’s age. It can also be increased if a woman has significant health problems, or if she smokes or drinks a lot.

3. What will happen next?

  • Vaginal bleeding and mild abdominal cramps may last 2-3 weeks.
  • Your next period will be in 4-6 weeks’ time. However, ovulation occurs before this, and you should still use contraception.
  • The tissue you passed out can be sent for analysis in the laboratory. This is to confirm it is normal pregnancy tissue.

4. When can I try to get pregnant again?

  • The best time to try again is when you and your partner feel physically and emotionally ready.
  • In general, it is advisable to await your period to return to normal for 2-3 cycles before trying to get pregnant again.

5. When should I seek help?

  • You should seek help immediately if the following occurs:
    • heavy vaginal bleeding
    • severe abdominal pain
    • smelly vaginal discharge
    • fever
    • faint

References:

  • Bleeding and pain in early pregnancy: information for you. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. January 2008.
  • Early miscarriage: information for you. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. January 2008.
  • The management of early pregnancy loss. Green-top Guideline No.25. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. October 2006.