Mumsnet Campaign For Better Miscarriage Care - can you help with next steps?

(39 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 24-Nov-11 20:50:21

Thanks again for all your work so far - we've had some great coverage and loads of support. Now the difficult bit - actually changing things - begins.

You probably remember that our Miscarriage Code of Care stresses the importance of communicating sensitively with miscarrying parents. In particular, many of you found the term "evacuation of retained products of conception", used to describe the surgical management of miscarriage, very upsetting.

Following on from our campaign, the Department of Health have agreed to consider alternative terms suggested by MNers. We do understand that this might be distressing but, if you can, please do post your thoughts here - it could be an important first step to real progress.

The DH are interested in all suggestions, though bear in mind that the language needs to be very precise and clear; parents have to formally consent to this procedure, so it's crucial that the phrase isn't open to misinterpretation.

As an example, in some of their literature the RCOG use the term 'pregnancy tissue'. Is this preferable, do you think, or is there a better term?

And if you don't want to suggest an alternative, please do check if your MP has signed up. It would be really powerful if we could get a 100 signatures before Christmas.


piprabbit Thu 24-Nov-11 21:07:06

Reposting my comment from the other thread:

For a start, could they not use removal instead of evacuation. AFAIK they are synonyms and I personally don't find removal quite such a repulsive word.

I slightly prefer pregnancy tissue to retained products of conception as it implies that the situation is being recognised formally as being an actual pregnancy, not just a sort of medical blip.

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 24-Nov-11 21:08:18

Thanks for reposting piprabbit, that's very useful.

Marking place.
I will get on to the scanning and emailing tomorrow smile

Please can you remind me how to check if my MP has signed up? Thanks

eaglewings Fri 25-Nov-11 00:46:49

Removal of Retained Pregnancy Tissue?

Removal of Misscarried Pregnancy Tissue?

Agree removal is a better term but there could be a better phrase than PT

piprabbit Fri 25-Nov-11 00:58:30

Is material any better than tissue?

Not IMO, material suggests rubbish to me.
How can I check if my MP has signed up please?

LynnCSchreiber Fri 25-Nov-11 12:17:30

I think that the word "conception" is hurtful to some, because it is such a great moment, when you know you have conceived, that you have made that baby.

"products" sounds very clinical, but the same could be said of "tissues".

Which is understandable, as they have to use "medical language".

"evacuation" for me suggests moving someone to safety - not a connotation that is correct here.

Removal of non-viable pregnancy?

Medical Conclusion of Non-Viable Pregnancy

Taffeta Fri 25-Nov-11 17:32:11

I don't know what the background is on why it was changed to ERPC from D&C (dilation and curettage). My first MMC I was told I was having a D&C ( 8 years ago ) and my second MMC I was told I was having an ERPC ( 6 years ago ). Nobody explained there was no difference.

Personally, I much prefer the term D&C - as it is technical enough not to have me overthinking it, if that makes sense. I prefer it, on reflection, to any other terminology that describes the process more specifically. I realise its a very personal thing though.

The Miscarriage Code of Care is on the agenda locally, being raised at an upcoming meeting with the SHA and local councillors.

Crumblemum Fri 25-Nov-11 17:36:24

I think I agree with Taffeta, I know it sounds a bit silly in this day and age when we're meant to face everything head on, but I think there is value in being a bit euphemistic. I'm if if there's a layer of protection for people who've lost a pregnancy to think 'lost foetus' rather than 'lost baby', but maybe I'm wrong?

KatieMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 25-Nov-11 17:39:00

Thanks for all the comments. You can find out if you're MP has supported the campaign here

eaglewings Fri 25-Nov-11 21:07:19

Written to MP

I agree, I prefer D&C to ERPC too.

WhoKilledLauraPalmer Sat 26-Nov-11 08:48:10

Agree with Taffeta - Having just gone through my second miscarriage I would have much rather heard the term D&C or even, as MmeLindor suggested, "medical conclusion of non-viable pregnancy".

Will contact local MP for signature -

Thank you, MN.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 26-Nov-11 09:08:12


The Miscarriage Code of Care is on the agenda locally, being raised at an upcoming meeting with the SHA and local councillors.

That's great, Taffeta - please keep us informed!

Surely surgical conclusion would be the proper term. Sorry to be pedantic.

BelleCurve Sat 26-Nov-11 09:27:31

I agree that ERPC is unnecessarily distressing and confusing - don't get me started on incompetent cervix and ovarian drilling. I'm pretty sure they would have more sensitive terminology if relating to male body parts.

Also, it can be confusing as I often get the acronym muddled up (if giving medical history for example). I don't want to think through each of the words to remember the correct acronym and apparently there is a procedure called ERCP for gallbladders

onholidaywithbaby Sat 26-Nov-11 12:04:07

DH and I have both thought about this and we would have preferred "surgical conclusion of miscarriage" or "surgical completion of miscarriage" to ERPC.

Our preferred term would be "surgical completion of miscarriage".

I have really mixed feelings about the use of the term "non-viable pregnancy"and if I'm honest don't really like it. That's because in our case we had karyotyping and our baby was absolutely fine - completely normal. There was nothing at all wrong with my placenta etc either. The pregnancy would have been viable. The conclusion of the testing was that my missed mc was probably caused by one of/a mix of my PCOS, my uncontrolled underactive thyroid and a virus that I caught while pg. Sorry if this sounds like splitting hairs.

It is a really difficult topic and I know people will have different views.

WhoKilledLauraPalmer Sat 26-Nov-11 13:09:11

not pedantic, kreecher - just more accurate. smile

after talking a bit more with DP, we agree that using the term 'miscarriage' versus 'non-viable pregnancy' is better wording - clear and appropriate while also considerate of a myriad of causal factors.

'surgical completion of miscarriage'

LynnCSchreiber Sat 26-Nov-11 13:49:11

I liked to think of my miscarriages being a "non-viable" pregnancy, in that it gave me comfort to think that there was nothing that I could have done to prevent it. I can see thought that others would see it differently.

I think "surgical completion of miscarriage" is good.

Tanith Sat 26-Nov-11 21:02:17

I can't adequately describe the distress I felt at seeing my 6 miscarriages termed as "abortions" in my hospital notes. I think almost anything is better than that.

I don't think it's necessary to have over-complicated PC style references. Just a little empathy and consideration is all that's needed.

chobbler Sun 27-Nov-11 00:20:47

Agree with Tanith the abortion statement was numbing at the time, and makes me angry to still see it in my medical notes now. I actually asked for the word to be changed but got muttered procedures etc.

One natural completion of miscarriage without intervention
One natural completion of miscarriage with intervention
One surgical completion of miscarriage
One natural completion of miscarriage caused by a fall- it may have been a viable pregnancy we will never know.
and in hospital the houseman used ERPC on my notes but called it a D and C in conversation. (husband informs me I'm afraid I was sky high on Pethidine)

insertcleverusernamehere Mon 28-Nov-11 12:44:31

I like what chobbler said.

I also think that women waiting to hear results about whether or not they are miscarrying (initial bloodtest) should be informed of those results as soon as they are available, just as they would if they were waiting to hear if a child was still alive or not <sat for four hours before I stormed through those swinging doors demanding information only to be told 'yeah, you're still pregnant, course you are!'>

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bamboozled Mon 28-Nov-11 21:35:51

surgical conclusion to miscarriage?

iggi999 Mon 28-Nov-11 22:53:04

I would hate to see the term "non-viable" used, I think I have lost both viable and non-viable pregnancies, which I take to mean ones where there was something wrong with the baby and ones were there weren't. Much recurrent mc research is surely about stopping women miscarrying viable babies.

SparklyGingerbreadMuffin Mon 05-Dec-11 14:54:48

I prefer the term 'Surgical Completion of Miscarriage' from the suggestions so far.

I did get fed up with hearing the term 'Pregnancy Products' I must say.

I am sensitive though. I don't really like miscarriage either, as it sort of implies that I f**ked up, but it's such a common term I can't
imagine anything replacing it, nor can I think of an alternative <helpful>.

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 08-Dec-11 14:41:28

Thank you all very much for these suggestions. It looks as though there's a consensus forming around 'Surgical Completion of Miscarriage', with 'D&C' being the next preferred term. We're planning to send these suggestions to the DH early next week, so if you have any other comments or thoughts do post them here.


blackeyedsanta Fri 16-Dec-11 20:28:37

surgical completion of miscarriage.

can't think of anything else constructive to say.

one of the links on the page of mp's did not work.

musicposy Sat 17-Dec-11 22:28:29

Yes, I like Surgical Completion of Miscarriage, followed by D&C. Much better than ERPC.

I too don't like the term non-viable pregnancy much. I have an underactive thyroid that doctors knew about but couldn't be arsed to treat (said they would look at it at 12 weeks with the other blood tests). So I suspect it was very much viable, but someone else fucked up.sad For this reason, miscarriage was better for me.

nappymaestro Sat 21-Jan-12 16:04:06

Any more news on this MNHQ?

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 23-Jan-12 16:18:23

Hello nappymaestro - yes, quick update here.

We passed on your suggestions to the Dept of Health and have had a nice reply - their initial thinking is that 'surgical completion of miscarriage' is sensible, and the more so because it's been suggested by parents who've been through the experience of miscarriage.

Coincidentally, the Royal College of Obs and Gynae are also examining this issue at the moment - we're off to meet with them next week to find out more, and we'll keep you updated.


nappymaestro Tue 24-Jan-12 15:51:14

That's fantastic, Kate - thanks to you and all at MNHQ for the update. Will look forward to hearing what happens in the end.

nappymaestro Thu 15-Mar-12 08:25:37

Hi Kate and others at Mumsnet, just wondering what happened with this in the end?

Do you know if they have decided to rename the ERPC?

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 15-Mar-12 12:35:39

I'm not sure, nappymaestro, but I will def ask Those in the Know to come along and update you.

CBear6 Mon 19-Mar-12 12:53:40

I was wondering too what the latest news is with the campaign?

nappymaestro Mon 19-Mar-12 13:37:28

Thank you Helen. Still really pleased the campaign is happening btw - was thinking about my mc again this morning - it never really leaves you, I think.

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 29-Mar-12 11:04:03

Hello everyone

Just to let you know that we've posted about progress on the renaming of ERPC on over here.

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