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Dilation and Curettage

If you have vaginal bleeding, but the lab tests and ultrasound show that the pregnancy is OK, your healthcare provider may tell you to rest for a few days. You will be watched for more bleeding. You may have more hCG blood tests and ultrasound exams to check the growth of the fetus and the fetal heartbeat. 

If tests show that you have had a miscarriage in the first trimester, you may have several choices. Talk with your healthcare provider about the treatment that is best for you. Treatment choices include:

  • Expectant management. This means waiting to let the miscarriage happen on its own. You will be checked often during this time.  
  • Medical management. This is treatment with medicines to help the pregnancy tissues pass. You may get a medicine called misoprostol. It makes the uterus contract and push out the pregnancy tissues. 
  • Surgical management. You may need surgery to remove the fetus and other tissues if they have not all been naturally passed. The procedure is called a surgical evacuation of the uterus, or a dilation and curettage (D&C). Anesthesia is used because the procedure can be painful to the mother. The cervical opening is stretched open (dilated). The doctor uses either suction or an instrument called a curette to remove all the pregnancy tissues inside the uterus.  

Pregnancy tissues may be sent to the lab to test for gene or chromosome defects. 

 If you have an infection, your healthcare provider will give you antibiotics.

Pregnancy loss after 20 weeks may need different procedures. You may get medicines such as misoprostol or prostaglandin. These medicines help open the cervix and make the uterus contract and push out the fetus and tissues.