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Campaign for Better Miscarriage Care - have you got two mins?

(62 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 28-Mar-12 15:04:34


You might remember that, as part of our Campaign for Better Miscarriage Care, we called for a change to the term 'evacuation of the retained products of conception' to describe the surgical procedure which some women undergo following a miscarriage.  

Great news - following discussions with the Dept of Health, a consultation has been launched by the Association of Early Pregnancy Units and the Miscarriage Association with a view to officially replacing ERPC with an alternative term.  One term being considered is 'surgical completion of miscarriage', as suggested by MNers on a previous thread, along with 'surgical removal of miscarriage' and 'surgical treatment of miscarriage'.

It's terribly exciting that the campaign is starting to galvanise change - so if you've got a mo, do go to the survey site and let them know which term you think is the most suitable. And don't forget to come back and tell us that you've done it!  We'll be sure to keep you informed of progress as things move forward. 

Tee2072 Wed 28-Mar-12 15:13:43

Answered. I'd like to see the word surgical removed but honestly can't think of anything to replace it! It just seems not much better the ERPU to me!

MrsMicawber Wed 28-Mar-12 15:20:13


Why are we referring to the embryo as 'miscarriage'? It was a baby. I would want that to be acknowledged.

WhatWouldFreddieDo Wed 28-Mar-12 15:30:35


I prefer 'surgical treatment' - somehow 'removal' and 'completion' are more negative, tho don't ask me to analyse why ...

Tee2072 Wed 28-Mar-12 15:43:44

I think that bugs me as well, MrsMicawber.

LeninGrad Wed 28-Mar-12 15:47:36

Done, prefer surgical assistance with miscarrriage so suggested that.

BIWI Wed 28-Mar-12 16:00:05

Oooh - snap-ish, Len! Surgical assistance for miscarriage.

HettyKett Wed 28-Mar-12 16:02:37


To me 'surgical treatment of miscarriage' implies some hope of cure sad

'surgical removal of miscarriage' is surely referring to the dead embryo as a miscarriage, which also seems objectionable.


Out of the options given I prefer 'completion' and don't like 'removal'

MrsMicawber Wed 28-Mar-12 16:25:57

I agree that treatment implies a cure.

My mum calls it a 'scrape' and avoids this discussion entirely.

nappymaestro Wed 28-Mar-12 16:30:59

Done - DH and I still prefer completion because we understand what a complete mc is and by surgery you get to a complete mc.

Really agree with what is said up thread - to me I lost a baby and didn't like any other terms being used.

jaffajiffy Wed 28-Mar-12 16:32:44

Agree 'treatment' sounds like there's hope. I voted for 'completion'

Thanks, MN.

Gigondas Wed 28-Mar-12 16:40:51

Tbh this was not something that crossed my mind. The lack of specialist services , sharing facilities with ante natal or the lack of referral (no one should have to chase their Gp repeatedly for this) were more of an issue.

The difference in experience of mc where referred to specialist mc clinic/staff and not was like a different world.

Gigondas Wed 28-Mar-12 16:41:06

But agree treatment not good wording

CMOTDibbler Wed 28-Mar-12 16:49:34

I prefer completion.

Agree that there are much bigger problems, but it costs nothing for everyone to start using a gentler term, so its good that they are interested enough to move forward on it, then maybe other things will follow

KatAndKit Wed 28-Mar-12 17:03:30

Any of the options are better than using "products of conception" although I voted for the surgical completion one. I don't like the word "removal" for some reason.

"completion" has a nice final sense to it, perhaps it will help people to see the procedure as the end of the miscarriage and a starting point for moving on.

I disagree with those who are saying it is necessary to use the word "baby" in a description of the surgical procedure. Whatever is picked still has to be medically accurate and I doubt the medical profession would go for "surgical removal of dead baby" in any case. In many cases of blighted ovum there is no embryo - that happened to me. Of course, personally to me, I had lost my baby, but I am sure that the medical profession need to use appropriate language for their purposes too.

I agree with Gigondas that there are more pressing issues, however this is a good start. Next step is to make sure that women who are miscarrying are not subjected to the waiting room for the antenatal clinic with its fecking BabyTV screens.

ChippingInNeedsCoffee Wed 28-Mar-12 18:10:13


I chose completion as it seem 'softer' than 'removal' and less promising than 'treatment'. I would have liked to have offered and alternative, but couldn't think of anything suitable sad

AmandinePoulain Wed 28-Mar-12 18:17:54

I prefer 'complete' because essentially that is what happens - the mc is incomplete so the procedure completes it, which hints at the fact that the woman in question needs it for her own wellbeing, whereas 'removal' sounds more brutal I think. And as someone said earlier, 'treatment' implies a cure, when there is nothing to be done for the baby in question. To be honest though all of the options are better than the original, the dr that went through my consent form for medical management of my mc seemed almost embarrassed to have to use the term 'products of conception'. Another alternative might be 'surgical management of miscarriage'? As we use 'medical management' now maybe it would contrast well with that and patients would instantly see the difference?

LynnCSchreiber Wed 28-Mar-12 18:33:38


I went for 'completion' too cause it is often referred to as a missed or incomplete miscarriage, and this seems to bring it to a close.

alana39 Wed 28-Mar-12 19:10:51

Have done, prefer completion (not sure you can remove a miscarriage can you, isn't it a process not a thing?). I'd have preferred any of those to ERPC tbh when I was having one. Thanks for doing this.

LeninGrad Wed 28-Mar-12 19:20:34

Actually surgical management of miscarriage is good but for me it would have been assistance, I was already miscarrying. I chose to manage at home but it was very hard. Medical assistance would probably work too.

KatAndKit Wed 28-Mar-12 19:24:51

I think completion covers all eventualities. When I had mine I wasn't actively miscarrying. So the procedure covered the whole process to completion (actually it didn't complete it but that's a different story). If someone had already started miscarrying at home, the procedure would complete it. I think "surgical management" is a good term too.

only4tonight Wed 28-Mar-12 19:45:43

Treatment or completion were both not ideal but ok. It was the term miscarriage that got me so I suggested "miscarried pregnancy". I think that acknowledgement is important.

Taffeta Wed 28-Mar-12 20:06:28

I voted for "completion".

Great work, MN.

missorinoco Wed 28-Mar-12 20:21:12


omarlittlest Wed 28-Mar-12 21:10:49

I also prefer completion - it removes an idea of blame (of oneself) or intervention in case of endless hoping for something hopeful . i really feel it gets as near to an idea of closure or a feeling of putting an end to the emotional agony as one can get.

EmptyCrispPackets Wed 28-Mar-12 21:20:17


Also forwarded the details of this onto one of my lovely colleagues who is a epac sister,and was fantastic to me last year when I was a patient.

I didn't like completion, as mine was a MMC and I wasn't showing any signs (after nearly 4 weeks) of my body actively rejecting anything. So there was nothing to complete as it hadn't started yet, IYSWIM? And without needing a viability scan for other reasons at about 7 weeks, I wouldn't have known till my dating scan.

I don't know, it's a tough call and I went for "treatment" in the end.

Done, went for completion. For me, that's what my ERPC did; completed my MMC. thanks for this, it's appreciated. smile

MyDogShitsShoes Wed 28-Mar-12 22:12:40


FunnysInLaJardin Wed 28-Mar-12 22:26:14

done it

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 28-Mar-12 22:27:11

oh and went for completion too. Much more accurate IMO

granule Wed 28-Mar-12 22:28:46

Done. Thanks MNHQ.

Bunnyjo Wed 28-Mar-12 22:38:59

I opted for completion. In terms of a MC and MMC, I think the idea it completes the miscarriage is preferable to the listed alternatives, having suffered a MC myself. As a previous poster said; the term 'treatment' is somewhat hopeful, whilst the term 'removal' is harsh. My MC was 'medically managed' and I guess the term 'Surgical Management of Miscarriage' could be another alternative...

SESthebrave Wed 28-Mar-12 23:30:57

I also chose completion.

realhousewifeofdevoncounty Thu 29-Mar-12 00:39:59

The only difficulty is that "miscarriage" is not a medical term in itself, so will it realistically be adopted by the medical profession? I can see why erpc can cause upset though. sad

I think I prefer completion for the reasons stated: a real sense of closure to that term.

Whilst I understand the emotive reasons behind some wishing for an actual baby to be acknowledged it wouldn't be accurate in many instances (I'd already delivered my baby and the retained placenta was causing me to hemorrhage so emergency erpc performed). Surely, through all the pain we suffer we can see it would BU to expect a plethora of different terms to cover the various possibilities when it comes to the procedure. A more general 'kindness' to the term is, I think, reasonable and acceptable.

But, perhaps I'm a bit 'different' as I don't really have a problem with the 'ERPC' and can easily seperate its use by medical professionals as the anatomical procedure it is from how I feel. So long as their demenour with me isn't similarly 'cold' (and again perhaps I was lucky - such incredibly caring staff from the surgeons down to the tea ladies!) then I don't mind.

HappyHippyChick Thu 29-Mar-12 07:49:30

What I found worse was at one appointment, I can't remember if it was during/after my miscarriage or during a subsequent ante natal appointment they told me they had to call it an abortion on the form as the foetus had been aborted - albeit unwillingly. That was awful as I had lost my precious baby, not aborted it sad

CuppaTeaJanice Thu 29-Mar-12 08:06:35

Completion is the most correct term. Afaik, my ERPC didn't remove the embryo (that had been removed with forceps the previous day), but other pregnancy-related tissues - mixed echoes as the sonographer called them.

Also I would hate for the miscarriage to have been referred to as a baby at any point. The fact it was my embryo that died before it developed into a baby minimised my sense of loss and kept me sane at that traumatic time. If people had referred to it as a 'baby', it would have forced the whole experience into the dark realms of stillbirth and I would have found it much harder to cope. I understand this will be different for later miscarriages.

flapperghasted Thu 29-Mar-12 08:07:57


worldgonecrazy Thu 29-Mar-12 08:14:23

I voted for completion too.

When I had my ERPC I asked for the remains so that I could do a formal farewell at home - we had a cremation and my vicar friend said a few words, it was very emotional but very healing too. I did have to ask the nurse to stop calling the remains 'the product' as it felt too harsh, though she did mention that some women didn't like to call it 'baby'. I think that is something that the HCPs need to learn to play by ear.

realhousewifeofdevoncounty Thu 29-Mar-12 09:06:35

Yes happy, unfortunately the correct term for miscarriage is spontaneous abortion, abortion meaning just a premature end o of pregnancy for whatever reason in the medical world, but obviously has other connotations in every day language, and can be quite a distressing word to hear. Don't worry noone was trying to imply you had a termination. X sad

tasmaniandevilchaser Thu 29-Mar-12 09:11:48

Done, I also voted for completion. I had a MMC, so although I understand the poster who said she didn't like completion as it hadn't started, in my mind, it all started when my baby died sad, so needed to be completed so I could move on....try to move on sad. Don't like removal and treatment does suggest some hope, so not appropriate.

StellaAndFries Thu 29-Mar-12 10:46:28

Done. I went for completion.

woollyjo Thu 29-Mar-12 12:33:46

Done, I went for completion.

bubby64 Thu 29-Mar-12 12:52:41

Definatly "Compleation" as far as I am concerned. Nice to see that the people who are involved in this unhappy event are finally being asked their opinion.


tunnocksteacake Thu 29-Mar-12 18:35:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PestoPenguin Thu 29-Mar-12 18:56:56

I've done it.

I don't buy this whole "medical profession must use correct medical language" argument. The correct medical term is whatever is agreed by the profession to have the meaning assigned. There is no reason at all that spontaneous abortion cannot be renamed miscarriage in formal medical terminology. For doctors to suggest otherwise is pompous, insensitive and frankly up their own arses IMO.

KatAndKit Thu 29-Mar-12 19:02:12

I agree with you about renaming "spontaneous abortion" - there's no reason not to rename that miscarriage, and guidelines already tell them that miscarriage is the term they should use with patients anyway.

My point about using correct language was that it would not necessarily be appropriate for any terminology to replace ERPC to make reference to a "baby".

toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Thu 29-Mar-12 20:53:27

Done, thank you MN and the Miscarriage Assoc, one step on a long road forward.

MrsLovelyPants Thu 29-Mar-12 22:21:34

Done. I always thought that term ERPC sounded horrid, glad they are doing something about it.

Chocolatebrowniequeen Thu 29-Mar-12 23:02:48


realhousewifeofdevoncounty Fri 30-Mar-12 00:12:52

I wasn't for a minute arguing that the term spontaneous abortion (god, don't even like typing it) should be kept, I too find it abhorrent. Just saying that I hope the med profession don't fail to adopt the new name because it isn't "technical" enough iyswim, which if course is wrong. Anyway, not going to post about that again as I don't like using the term. sad

Solo Fri 30-Mar-12 01:04:23


LineRunner Fri 30-Mar-12 10:20:55


done, preferred completion.

PestoPenguin Fri 30-Mar-12 13:21:27

Sorry realhouse and kitkat, I didn't mean to upset you further sad.

I find the term miscarriage quite hard myself actually, as it suggests to me that my body was at fault sad. Pregnancy loss is how I would refer to it.

I agree that I wouldn't want the word 'baby' in there, even though I viewed my two early miscarriages as the loss of a baby each time sad.

nappymaestro Fri 30-Mar-12 14:45:46

Pesto thank you for posting that - I think pg loss is best.

ICutMyFootOnOccamsRazor Fri 30-Mar-12 15:31:52

Done. I went for the completion option.

Completion sounds the best IMO
Treatment sounds like hope which you want above anything else at that time
And I too wish that I could think of something better than surgical!

Lynzw75 Mon 16-Apr-12 21:29:52

I suggested Surgical assistance with miscarriage too as suggested previously as miscarriage does occur naturally but some women need assistance.

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