Your Health After Miscarriage
Most women can expect their levels to return to a non-pregnant range about 4 – 6 weeks after a pregnancy loss has occurred. This can differentiate by how the loss occurred (spontaneous miscarriage, D&C procedure, abortion, natural delivery), and how high the levels were at the time of the loss.
Health care providers usually will continue to test HCG levels after a pregnancy loss to ensure they return back to 5.0.
It is normal to feel emotionally and physically drained following a miscarriage. If possible take a few days off work, and if you can’t, make sure you get to bed early, plan rests where possible and postpone anything that isn’t urgent.
Make yourself your first priority.
If your miscarriage is complete, you can expect your bleeding to taper off rapidly, i.e. over the next week it should get lighter and lighter and stop. All bleeding and spotting should have stopped by seven days. If it persists or is heavier than a normal period, this indicates something is wrong, see your medical professional. While you are still bleeding it is important that you shower, not bath, and that you do not swim in public pools because of the risk of contracting an infection.
When the miscarriage is complete, or after a D&C all pain should cease. Again, see your medical professional if you have continuing pain.
Temperature indicates infection which can result in infertility. If you have one see your medical professional urgently. You will be treated with antibiotics and possibly a D&C (or repeat D&C).
If you are having an offensive discharge this could also indicate infection so get checked out.
This is normal if the pregnancy has lasted longer than 12 weeks and will stop by itself.
You may resume a normal cycle immediately with the next period 28 days after the miscarriage but there is a great personal variation, and it can take up to 6 or 7 weeks for your period to return, especially if you had a “natural” miscarriage (i.e. no D&C or tablets).
It still may take a few cycles before your regular pattern is re-established.
Ovulation can occur 14 days after a miscarriage so you may wish to take precautions.
Sexual intercourse should be avoided until bleeding has stopped to prevent the risk of infection. Even though your cervix will be closed again, sperm can travel up through it and introduce infection into the uterus, which is still healing.
If you do not wish to become pregnant immediately, you should start using contraception straight after the miscarriage. Note: The pill should be commenced at the time of the miscarriage. You will not be safe until you have taken the tablets for 14 days.
The physical symptoms of grief
Many women find they experience physical symptoms of grief as well as the emotional aspects. These vary greatly from person to person, and include:
- disturbed sleep and eating patterns
- unexplainable tiredness
- unexpected tears
- disturbing dreams and mental confusion
Be gentle and patient with yourself during this time and take comfort in knowing that these symptoms are normal.