Authored by Revere Health

What to Expect After a Miscarriage

December 31, 2019 | OB/GYN

Although your body can recover quickly from a miscarriage, you and your partner may be grieving for quite some time. You might find comfort in knowing that most miscarriages are not preventable. About 1 in 5 pregnancies end in a miscarriage, and the loss is generally due to a chromosomal abnormality or an issue with fetal development, according to the American Pregnancy Association (APA)

Coping with the unexpected end of a pregnancy can be difficult. Your obstetrician is your best source of information and advice, but the following information may help.

Physical Symptoms of a Miscarriage

The amount of time it will take your body to heal depends upon how far along you were into the pregnancy. 

Most miscarriages occur within the first three months of pregnancy, and women who aren’t aware they were pregnant often mistake the event for an especially heavy menstrual flow. However, physical symptoms are not uncommon. You may experience any of the following after a miscarriage:

  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting 
  • Lower abdominal pain, much like menstrual cramps
  • Breast discomfort, engorgement or the leakage of milk
  • Mild to severe back pain and feelings of weakness

Pregnancy hormones may remain in your bloodstream for a month or two, but your menstrual cycle should resume in about 3 to 6 weeks.

What Doctors Do after a Miscarriage 

If you experience a miscarriage, you should see an obstetrician to confirm the end of the pregnancy (via pelvic exam and ultrasound) and determine if any additional treatment is necessary.

For a miscarriage early on in pregnancy, you will likely not need any further medical care. The same is true if your OB/GYN examination reveals that your uterus is completely clear of fetal and placental tissue. If any remain, however, your doctor may:

  • Prescribe medication that will help your body expel the tissues
  • Perform a dilation and curettage (D&C) to scrape the uterine lining
  • Perform a dilation and extraction (D&E) to suction the uterus

If your miscarriage is a stillbirth, which is a loss that occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy, your obstetrician may decide to induce labor and delivery. 

Avoiding Infection After a Miscarriage

Your OB/GYN may prescribe a course of antibiotics to help prevent infection. You can also take additional precautions to avoid complications, including:

  • Using sanitary pads, not tampons
  • Taking showers, not baths
  • Not using douches
  • Not going swimming
  • Not getting into a hot tub
  • Not having sexual intercourse

You should be able to resume your normal activities as soon as you feel ready. But talk to your obstetrician before engaging in any strenuous exercise.

Although having a miscarriage can be traumatizing emotionally and physically, talking to your doctor or medical practitioner can help you overcome the challenges you experience.

Obstetricians/gynecologists at Revere Health OB/GYN provide a full range of healthcare services to women throughout all stages of their lives including; puberty, child-bearing years, menopause.



“Physical Recovery After Miscarriage.”  American Pregnancy Association (APA). 

“Miscarriage.” Kids Health. 

The Live Better Team


The Live Better Team

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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.