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Miscarriages and Bleeding after Miscarriage

A miscarriage involves the loss of pregnancy in the first 20 weeks. Miscarriages can occur for many different reasons, and none of them should be a cause for feelings of guilt in women, especially considering many women then continue on to carry a healthy pregnancy afterwards.  An estimated 15% registered and 50% unrecognized pregnancies end in miscarriage.

Bleeding after miscarriage should normally last up to two weeks, and if continuing longer than this or if the bleeding is especially heavy, it can signify that there is a problem. Consulting a gynecologist if the two weeks have not yet passed but there are symptoms such as a smelly vaginal discharge, fever or extreme pain and discomfort in the lower abdomen is strongly advised.

Causes and Treatments

The treatment for post miscarriage bleeding includes an examination that serves to determine the cause of the bleeding, as well as subsequent treatment aimed at resolving the issue.

If bleeding after miscarriage does indeed persist, a blood test can be recommended in order to test the HCG levels. In case the HCG levels are elevated, it may signify that the woman in question has a molar pregnancy, or that there still remains fetal or placental tissue in the uterus. Ultrasound can also be utilized to detect possible signs of material that should not be present in the uterus, and a colposcopy can also be performed.

Unexpelled material is the most common cause of bleeding after miscarriage, and this is treated by dilation and curettage (D&C) that removes the unexpelled tissue from the uterus. D&C is usually performed under general anesthesia, and it is worth noting that some material may remain even in the case of an astute operation, in which case the D&C procedure must be repeated. The same procedure can be used for treating molar pregnancy.

In the case of lack of unexpelled material in the uterus, the prolonged bleeding could be the result of hormone imbalances, usually monitored with blood work. Usually the bleeding will resolve by itself due to the hormones stabilizing.  Any women with a history of irregular menstrual periods can experience prolonged or recurrent bleeding after miscarriage as their bodies recover.

Heavy bleeding can also be caused by the miscarriage not being complete, which may require medication or surgery. The surgery might be necessary to remove pregnancy tissues, and while some might be hesitant to undergo these procedures, it is critical to realize that there are chances of heavy bleeding re-occurring. There are, however, slight chances of infection during any surgery.

Any extended bleeding after a miscarriage should not be ignored or neglected and emotional recovery after a miscarriage should be valued just as high as the physical. Vacation, as well as quality time with the family, can assist in the emotional recovery, as well as the emotional outlook for future pregnancy. Any intention for another pregnancy should be followed by a doctor consultation.

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