How is a miscarriage diagnosed and treated?

Your healthcare provider will perform a pelvic exam and an ultrasound test to confirm the miscarriage. If the miscarriage is complete and the uterus is clear, then no further treatment is usually required. Occasionally, the uterus is not completely emptied, so a dilation and curettage (D&C) or dilation and extraction (D&E) procedure is performed. During these procedures, the cervix is dilated and any remaining fetal or placental tissue is gently scraped or suctioned out of the uterus. You will usually resume your menstrual period in about 4-6 weeks.

If a miscarriage was not confirmed, but you had symptoms of a miscarriage, bed rest is often prescribed for several days, and you might be admitted to the hospital overnight for observation. When the bleeding stops, usually you will be able to continue with your normal activities. If the cervix is dilated, you might be diagnosed with an incompetent cervix, and a procedure to close the cervix (called cerclage) might be performed.

Blood tests, genetic tests, or medicine might be necessary if a woman has more than 2 miscarriages in a row (called repeated miscarriage). Some diagnostic procedures used to evaluate the cause of repeated miscarriage include:

  • Endometrial biopsy.
  • Hysterosalpinogram (an X-ray of the uterus and fallopian tubes).
  • Hysteroscopy (a test during which the doctor views the inside of the uterus with a thin, telescope-like device).
  • Laparoscopy (a procedure during which the doctor views the pelvic organs with a lighted device).

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