Miscarriage Preparation

Comparing The Three Options For First Trimester Miscarriage

January 3, 2022

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I'm Arden -- CERTIFIED BIRTH &
BEREAVEMENT DOULA
 · TRAUMA SUPPORT SPECIALIST

Meet Arden

Miscarriage doesn’t always begin and end with the words I’m sorry but there’s no heartbeat and some pregnancies end shortly after they begin. When a pregnancy is confirmed by your doctor, normally they will sit down and explain three common options for going through the physical loss. Here’s a look into each option:


Natural Birth (usually happens at home)

It’s my understanding that prior to 10 weeks, this is allowed by most medical professionals. Speaking from my experience and knowledge, here’s a list of pros/cons for the option of allowing “nature to take its course.”

Pros:

  • Having the knowledge that your body can properly do something may make you feel empowered during a time where you feel failed by your body
  • The cost is either low or nothing unlike surgery or medication
  • You have the opportunity to be in the comfort of your own home and control what’s around you

Cons:

  • You are miscarrying your child, at home, without a medical professional
  • The miscarriage can be similar to a labor and delivery situation where you have contractions and are in intense pain
  • There’s a chance that the miscarriage will be incomplete and result in needed a D&C (procedure)

Induced Birth (usually happens at home)

There are a few medications that doctors may bring up when discussing the possibility of inducing your miscarriage at home. A common misconception is that the medication prescribed is the same as the abortion pill but that is not correct. When you’ve experienced a miscarriage and your baby is no longer living, you are giving a medication called Cytotec which induces labor by dilating your cervix and causing your uterus to contract, which in turn, births your baby. When someone has an abortion to terminate a pregnancy (wanted or unwanted) there is another medication given prior to inducing the labor. Many family members of clients of mine struggle with judgment from their family for choosing to take the medication but it’s very, very, very important to know the difference.

Pros:

  • You may have more control over the timing and location of your miscarriage
  • Taking the medication may give you a better chance to prepare for what’s ahead
  • The opportunity to take pain medication before your miscarriage starts (unlike when it happens on its own, at any given time)
  • Depending on your insurance plan, the cost for Cytotec is generally very low
  • You have the opportunity to be in the comfort of your home

Cons:

  • The medication may have side effects such as severe cramping, nausea, stomach issues, and more. Please review the possible side effects with your medical health professional or pharmacist
  • Risk of severe bleeding and/or complications
  • There’s a chance that the miscarriage will be incomplete and result in needed a D&C (procedure)
  • The miscarriage can be similar to a labor and delivery situation where you have contractions and are in intense pain

Procedures

A more effective but expensive route would be to schedule a procedure called a D&C which is considered an outpatient surgery to remove pregnancy tissue from your uterus. Like anything else, there are risks and because you are put under general anesthesia, some doctors will steer you in other directions. From my knowledge, if you miscarry between weeks 10-14, it is recommended that you get this procedure.

Something that many don’t know is that a D&C is not your only surgical option when it comes to miscarriage. Depending on your insurance coverage, it can be very expensive so never be afraid to ask your doctor what other affordable options there are. You can ask for an in-office D&C which may be referred to as a D&E (dilation and evacuation). The main difference between both procedures is that one you are under general anesthesia (therefore you have to be in an operating room which bears the great expense) but with the other, you are given pain management in the form of pills and may just feel “out” of it.

Pros:

  • The physical miscarriage can be over quickly and in most cases, you wake up after the procedure with no memory of the actual procedure
  • Bleeding afterward can be minimal (it differs from patient to patient)
  • There is an opportunity to test the tissue for chromosomal abnormalities or for a cause of death

Cons:

  • Affordability may differ from patient to patient or insurance coverages
  • Availability may be limited based on your doctor’s permissions at the hospital where the procedure will take place

Here’s my advice (speaking to you as one of my closest girlfriends)

  • Call your insurance provider and ask about your coverage in regards to a prescription for Cytotec, a scheduled D&C, and the cost of an emergency room visit. The reason why I suggest preparing for all options is so you can factor them into your decision. It’s important to know the cost of an ER visit on the off chance that miscarrying at home, ends with you having to go to the hospital.
  • If you can afford to have the D&C, schedule it as soon as possible. Why? The longer you wait the more you risk miscarrying at home while you wait for your procedure, the physical recovery is somewhat easier and gives you more time to focus on emotionally healing, and because you shouldn’t have to leave the experience with more trauma than you have to.

If this blog post was helpful to you, consider purchasing my eBook on miscarriage for more in-depth information on what to expect physically and emotionally and don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a virtual support session.

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