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Whether to wait and have a natural miscarriage or straight to surgery

(26 Posts)
upto11 Wed 19-Sep-12 11:38:06

Sadly I found out today that my pregnancy is not viable. The embryo was about 8 weeks and had no heartbeat. Now I need to decide whether to let nature takes its course, or whether to go in for surgery (the managed miscarriage is not an option for me for various reasons) and I was wondering whether anyone has any advice.

Part of me just wants to get it over and done with. I have two DC and being more in control about when it was going to happen would be helpful in that sense too.

But part of me thinks natural is better, no intrusive procedures etc.

I very much hope to be able to get pregant again in the future - does anyone know whether the surgical option would be a risk to future pregnancies in any way?

Thank you.

upto11 Wed 19-Sep-12 11:45:32

Sorry, I've just thought of something else, which I stupidly forgot to ask the nurse. I am breastfeeding DC2 - will the surgical option mean that I can't breastfeed for a while, or is it safe to carry on? DC only feeding twice a day now so it's fine for me to be away from him for 12 hours or so.


Haylebop12 Wed 19-Sep-12 11:52:32

Hi, sorry to hear your loss. I had a natural miscarriage at 9 week the end if June. Honestly I found it very distressing but I didn't know what to expect. I too have another DC, but fortunately have family close by and dh was off work. Unless I had this support I don't think I could have coped. I ended up in a and e due to blood loss. However, my decision for natural was the risk if anything happening to my baby making bits as I'm not finished having children.
I can't comment on the BF side but I'm sure someone will.
Only you can decide what's right for you.

upto11 Wed 19-Sep-12 12:27:46

Thanks Hayle. I don't have any family nearby and DH is v busy with work, which is another reason that I am considering the medical option. It's a difficut decision though and my desire for more DC is making me nervous about surgery.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 19-Sep-12 12:31:12

I chose the surgical option, having had a medically managed miscarriage before which I found v distressing.

It was over quickly, I was home the same day and have no worries about trying again that are related to the procedure. I know there are theoretical risks involved in a GA, but were this to happen again I would still choose the surgical option.

Sorry this has happened to you, it is utterly shit.

bushymcbush Wed 19-Sep-12 12:50:35

So sorry you're going through this.

A good friend of mine went through the same earlier this year and she chose the surgical option. I know she is very keen to try for another pregnancy and I'm sure she wouldnt have had (or been offered) the surgery if there was any risk to future conception, especially as it was her first pregnancy.

You should talk it through with the medical professionals looking after you though, and ask them specifically what the risk is, if any. Don't be afraid to ask doctors questions.

Good luck.

CheckItOutFartShoes Wed 19-Sep-12 13:00:38

So sorry you are going through this upto. I am in a very similar situation at the moment - found out last Thursday I have a blighted ovum, so my pregnancy ended very early but sac kept growing. I need to go back tomorrow for a final scan to confirm and then to choose what option I want to go for.

It's been a long week and I've spent that time reading up on all the options available to me and I have decided that a d+c is the best option for me. I can't bear the idea of sitting waiting on nature taking its course. I've hardly gone out since last Thursday as I'm scared I could start bleeding heavily at any moment. I also want to get back to normal ASAP for my DD - she is 8 so is old enough to know when things aren't right and I'm worried she will start to notice soon that mum isn't herself.

Sorry I can't help with the breast feeding question but I'm sure someone here will be able to help.

Sending you big hugs and best wishes for whatever road you go down xx

messtins Wed 19-Sep-12 13:15:35

Hi upto11 I'm so sorry that you find yourself joining us. I've had a natural miscarriage at 10 weeks and a managed miscarriage at 8 weeks and both times it has been pretty physically distressing and I have ended up back in hospital for heavy bleeding, meaning plenty of "intrusion". I had the equivalent of an ERPC after having my DS2 and it was fine. Obviously in that situation I didn't have the negative emotions to deal with, but it was not too unpleasant. I was breastfeeding at that point and was able to breastfeed again as soon as I came round from the GA. You need to say to the anaesthetist that you are BF if you decide to go down this route and they can select the drugs appropriately. There is more info on breastfeeding and surgery on kellymom here
There is a small risk of causing damage to the womb with an ERPC, but I guess the majority of women who miscarry will be hoping to TTC again. There is lots of info on the options at the miscarriage association website here
In your shoes the thing that would be the decider for me is not knowing how long you'll be in limbo-land if you decide to wait to miscarry naturally and having to put your life on hold until it happens.
We're here for you whatever you decide. Jen xx

PostmanPatsBlackandWhiteCat Wed 19-Sep-12 13:17:53

If I had a choice I would gone for a D+C because I found a natural m/c very distressing. All the mess from a natural m/c where if you have an op you know that usually every thing is gone and its all over and done with. Saying that I have only had a natural m//c so no experience of a D+C.

upto11 Wed 19-Sep-12 13:27:11

Thank you so much everyone for the advice and the kind words - it means a lot actually (strange thing to say about words from people I don't know and have never met, but true all the same).

I think, having thought some more about my circumstances and read about your experiences, I am going to go with the surgery option.

Thank you again.

surroundedbyblondes Wed 19-Sep-12 13:27:21

So sorry to hear of your loss.

My experience is that we lost our first pregnancy at 11 weeks. I chose to have a surgical procedure. We weren't in the UK, so I don't know how the care compares, but I was very satisfied with how everything was handled. It was very pragmatic, calm and extremely professional. I was given clear information and practical advice. Personally I would have found waiting, uncertainty and the actual messy side of a natural miscarriage to be very upsetting.

We waited three months after our miscarriage, then started TTC again and became pregnant three months after that. Have gone on to have two healthy pregnancies and healthy DDs.

PicaK Wed 19-Sep-12 14:40:44

Hi. Someone told me about Ashermans syndrome the other day where potential scarring from the op causes fertility problems. I haven't had chance to read up about it though (as I knew we weren't going to do ivf again) so I don't know how much of a risk it is.

I chose the op because I found the bleeding so distressing. Physically it's all over v quickly, minimal pain and the bleeding after is light.

Emotionally you may find that although it's all over you need recovery time. I am lucky enough to have a DS. But I found myself shocked at how I didn't seem to have time for him the day after the op. It was like I needed to focus on myself and the baby we lost for 24h and heal. I felt the same this time (had op yesterday) but without the guilt and horror. My DH has had time off to be with DS so he's ok and having allowed myself to mend in my way i'm much much more ok than last time.

Not saying that's what u need but am saying that when people say " be kind to yourself " it's really, really good advice. Just listen to your gut instinct about what will help you.

The Dr yesterday wanted me to have pessaries inserted before the op to soften the cervix - with the side effects of contractions and bleeding but the benefit of improving the operation eg less risk of scarring. I said no to this*- again because I wasn't worried about scarring but sounds like a good option for you. Just wanted you to be aware of it cos took me by surprise.

*umm well actually I collapsed in sobs, started hyperventilating and just kept repeating no blood, no blood. It was the lovely nurse who said I didn't have to have it and gave me the courage to refuse (having considered the pros and cons properly).

lotsofcheese Wed 19-Sep-12 18:39:12

So sorry to hear about everyone's losses - I've had 2 miscarriages, both treated with ERCP & have had a good experience ( well, maybe that's not the correct term sad) both times.

First time, it was because of a suspected molar pregnancy - second time a mmc at 11.5 weeks. I was frightened of the blood & pain of a natural m/c and worried about the unpredicability of natural m/c while looking after a 3 year old with no family nearby. Plus time off work was a factor.

I also wanted to be able to move on & couldn't face days/weeks waiting for "nature to take it's course". It hadn't for 2 weeks since my baby died & I just wanted it over.

Both times I found the pessaries, procedure & hospital staff were all ok. A bit tired for 24-48hours & wasn't up to looking after DS for that time. Light bleeding (less than a period) for 2 weeks.

I'm now 5 weeks pregnant (gulp) after the m/c in early June. My cycles were up the creek after, but that's to be expected with any m/c

FatFaced Wed 19-Sep-12 18:54:04

Sorry for your loss OP. i miscarried at 12 weeks. I went for the surgery option because I wanted it done and out the way. I'll briefly explain what happened, but stop reading if you don't think it will help.

It's basically the same procedure you would have if you were having an abortion (i had one in my teens so can confirm it's v similar). I went to the hospital late morning and got in a gown. I had my pulse and blood pressure done. When they were ready for me they walked me to a room by the theatre and laid me on the bed. I was very upset but the nurse was lovely and comforting. They put a needle in my arm and made me count down as I was out to sleep. I woke up with some period pain feelings. Because they need to dilate your cervix I was still feeling a few twitches which was a bit odd. Had an oxygen mask on and they wheeled me back to bed. I was desperate to go home which I think woke me up very quickly! Doc came round to say everything had gone well and made the point I could try again the next month if that's what I wanted. He was lovely. A nurse came to take my pad and paper knickers as I changed into my own and then I went home. I bled for a few days, very light and dark, like towards the end of a period. I found the whole thing OK and really wouldn't have wanted to wait for things to happen. I went in for the surgery two days after I found out. HTH smile

mumtoaandj Wed 19-Sep-12 21:16:17

I havent been given the option, i started to miscarry 12 days ago and was in hospital for 3 of them initially because they thought it was ectpoic, then they sent me has been awful. i have 2 children and have dreaded school runs etc incase i fall to the ground etc. i have had to have blood tests every 2 days and my blood pressure has gone from very low to high. i spent last week in a complete haze and cant remember much of it, i started to bleed on friday 7 days after it started. this has been a nightmare which isn't over yet.

Geekster Wed 19-Sep-12 21:26:12

Ive had both ways ie waiting for nature to take its course and a D&C and given a choice I would have a D&C. It was over with in a day, much less pain, hardly any bleeding, and not the horrible wait for it to start or know if it had all come away. It also didn't stop me from getting pregnant again.

Sorry you are going through this and I hope you are okay whatever you decide.

Irishmammybread Wed 19-Sep-12 23:56:38

Hi, sorry you're going through this.
My experience is only of natural miscarriages, I've had three this year.
I started spotting at 10 wks in March,by the time I was seen at the EPU 5d later I had progressed to heavy bleeding. Baby was gone by then on the scan but the rest of the pregnancy remained. I was given the option of surgical or medical management but encouraged to have natural management. It was painful(at one stage felt like contractions) and distressing but manageable. The placenta etc passed 2d later but bleeding was prolonged.I was scanned again 2 wks later but MC was still incomplete so had to be rescanned 2 weeks after that.
We waited for the next AF then tried again, conceived but I miscarried at 6 weeks in June. This was more like a heavy painful period and when I was scanned a week after the bleeding began it was complete.
I conceived immediately in the wtf cycle, had a scan at 7 weeks that showed good heartbeat, another at 8 wks that showed normal growth but a scan at 10wks showed baby had died at 8w6d. Again we were given all options.
Because my dc didn't know about the pregnancy this time(they were so upset the first time) I didn't want to go into hospital .Also I was concerned about the increased risks of infection or any scarring affecting my dwindling fertility in case we decided to try again(I'm 44) so we decided to take the natural route .It is very surreal when you still feel pregnant but are in limbo waiting to miscarry, especially as we had to act like everything was normal for the DCs. It took 2 weeks before I started to bleed though this time I was getting very severe cramps for a few days before, then it started as a sudden gush of blood and clots(sorry if tmi) the day I was due a rescan. On the scan the baby was still there but as I'd started we didn't intervene at that stage and I went on to pass a lot of pregnancy tissue the next day and then continued to bleed over the next week. At my rescan 10d later the miscarriage was still incomplete so I'm going back again nxt week for another scan.Bleeding has been stop start.It does feel like it's been going on forever, it's now almost 5 weeks since we found out there was no heartbeat. I'm on first name terms with staff at the EPU by now.
So I think ERPC is probably a quicker and more efficient way of dealing with MC but having had the natural experience before I knew I could deal with it again and it seemed the best option for us.

uggmum Sun 23-Sep-12 12:45:14

Sorry you are going thru this. I can only speak from my own experience.

I have had 2 miscarriages. With the first one I had an erpc. Although this was upsetting I did find that my hormones settled down really quickly and the bleeding was minimal.

With the next one I had to have a natural miscarriage, it was ectopic but at the top of the ovary. As it wasn't in the tube and was failing I didn't need surgery but I had to be monitored every 2 days and the whole process took 3 weeks. I found this mentally and physically draining.

I hope you make the decision that is best for you.

upto11 Tue 02-Oct-12 10:49:47

In case anyone comes back I thought I would update. I had my ERPC 1 1/2 weeks ago. Everything went 'well' and I was out of hospital by lunchtime. Although I found that I felt very sad for a few days after (was more affected than I thought I would be) I feel I definitely made the right decision for me.

Thank you all for your advice and kind words.

bushymcbush Wed 03-Oct-12 09:23:39

Big unmumsnetty hugs to you upto11.

Take good care of yourself.

cupcake78 Wed 03-Oct-12 09:34:19

Really sorry for your loss. I've had a few miscarriages at diff stages. If it happened again and I had a choice is go for surgery.

My reasoning being its done and over with faster, natural miscarriages can take weeks are can be quite distressing. It can drag on and you can feel quite ill as a result of it. One of my miscarriages was at 11wks and I was in and out of hospital for 3wks due to pain and the amount of blood lost. 5wks was a big heavy painful period that lasted 7days and wiped me out completely. Later stage miscarriages (2nd trimester) are a different issue all together and the choices aren't their.

This is not in all cases. I'd go with getting it over with as quickly as possible. Good luck

Geekster Wed 03-Oct-12 15:02:18

Glad everything went as well for you as it can in the circumstances I think it hits you more afterwards because before hand you are thinking about your options and even though you know you are no longer pregnant there is still the thought what if they got it wrong in the back of your mind. It will get a easier to deal with in time, look after yourself and good luck for the future.

PostmanPatsBlackandWhiteCat Thu 04-Oct-12 11:11:17

I am glad everything went well for you. How are you feeling OP?
I am sorry for everyones losses.

Midwestmom Fri 05-Oct-12 03:30:42

Second pregnancy for me, but found out yesterday (at 7 weeks) at my first ultrasound that baby had stopped growing, was detaching and had no heartbeat. Scheduled D and C and had it this morning. Was nervous about anesthesia, etc - but nurses and Drs were SO kind and helpful. Went to sleep for 30 min and woke up as if I had never moved. No physical pain, just a minor bit of spotting today..intermittent crying here and there when I think about the expectations and loss. Grateful for the kindness of medical staff, loving husband, for the joy of looking into my toddler's shining eyes - and the realization that if this was going to happen I am glad it happened now instead of months done the road. All of your posts are exceedingly helpful and supportive. biggest hugs* to all of you who are hurting and finding ways to cope. So incredibly sorry for your loss.

messtins Fri 05-Oct-12 08:11:00

Big hugs for midwestmom and upto11. Hope you are both recovering ok.

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