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miscarriage - 'natural' or D and C

(15 Posts)
Cl Thu 15-Nov-01 16:03:55

A friend has, very sadly, been told that her 8 week old foetus has died and she will miscarry. She's been offered the choice of going home and letting nature take its course or having a D and C. She's asked me for advice ( cos she knows I've been there ) but I don't know what to say. I went the natural route both times with mine. The first was fine- like a heavy period,the second was awful, very painful, heavy bleeding, having to 'flush' the baby away down the loo and then an infection that meant the bleeding continued for the best part of a month. I kind of wished at the time I'd opted for a D and C but Ive no idea what that's like either and maybe my experiene of the natural way is not typical. Not a great thing to be reminded of I know, but if anyone can shed any light on this I'd be grateful - I'm sure it's a common dilemma I know I was in a quandary about it. I think as things stand she's leaning towards natural, but the hospital have said she can come in at any time if she changes her mind - what do you think?

Suedonim Thu 15-Nov-01 17:09:48

Cl, maybe the Miscarriage Association could give your friend some support and information. HTH

Enid Thu 15-Nov-01 17:28:10

Personally I'd try the natural route. I was very torn about this when it happened to me. I opted for the natural route and although it was quite unpleasant, painful and depressing, it was a massive relief when it was all over and I didnt have to take antibiotics or have a d&c. I didn't see anything that resembled a baby, which was my main fear. The only thing that really shocked me was how bloody painful it was!! Almost like being in labour. I found a certain amount of positivity in the fact that my body was getting on with the job and doing it properly. If, God forbid, it should happen again, I would definitely go 'natural' again - of course it would depend on what the midwives said.

Tigermoth Thu 15-Nov-01 17:32:44

About 8 years ago I had a miscarriage at 10 weeks and went in for a D&C. It was not a very painful procedure and I did not have to cope with seeing quantities of blood or tissue coming out of me. I was left with something like a heavy period, that was all. I physically recovered in a day or two.

To my surprise, I fell pregnant again within three months. I then went on to have a normal pregnancy.

The midwife told me that a D&C can increase the chances of you getting pregnant by 'clearing you out'. Not sure how. Anyone like to take up this point?

I like to think this was true for me. I had been trying to get pregnant for two years, on and off, using little or no contraception. It had taken six months worth of ovulation prediction kits to get me pregnant the first time round. After the D&C it took three months.

That's my personal experience. Hope it helps.

Condolences to your friend. If she logs on here she'll find a lot of help and sympathy.

Mima Thu 15-Nov-01 21:19:06

There is another thread on this subject on this site. I contributed to it when I miscarried at the beginning of this year. I opted for natural but when you read my message on that thread the hospital did not prepare me for what came out ie the whole little fetus intact. It was yuk, worst experience of my life.

Chanelno5 Thu 15-Nov-01 21:37:55

A friend of mine had a D&C following a miscarriage at 12 wks. Like Tigermoth, the midwife told her that it would 'open everything up' and the next month she fell pregnant again and gave birth to a healthy baby. It's a difficult decision for your friend to have to make, so she's lucky to have a supportive friend like you to turn to, Cl.

Cl Sat 17-Nov-01 18:59:50

She opted for the 'natural' method, though what's natural about losing a baby down the toilet when it goes against all your instincts I don't know - just brings it all back, it's so very sad. Took a couple of days and of course she's still bleeding. Thanks anyway for your help and kind words. I know why she did it this way - inspite of my gloomy advice/experience - natural sounds better than an op - but I have to say I'm still unclear what exactly happens with a D and C (sorry if I'm dense) - can it really be worse than this? With a bit of luck I'll never need to find out - but for anyone else out there who might need this info one day - can anyone shed any light? Does it hurt? How long are you under Gen anaesthetic? Do you still bleed afterwards? I was always worried by that bit in Cold Feet (oh the power of TV) when they told her she couldn't have babies cos of the abortion she'd had - and I was petrified that that was the same as a D and C...Again apologies for being ignorant - but just wondered if anyone had anything to add.

Bloss Sat 17-Nov-01 20:10:51

Message withdrawn

Bloss Sat 17-Nov-01 20:11:38

Message withdrawn

Helenmc Sat 17-Nov-01 21:31:35

My miscarriage was very similar to Bloss's, I sailed thro the first preganacy and expected the same again but I started bleeding heavily ( a super-duper sanitary towel EVERY hour!) and I ended up having an emergency D&C. I went to hospital to find out what was happening and had an internal scan (after I had drunk gallons of water). Interogated about my dates the doctor announced the baby was too small and had died and there were bits left and would need a D&C. They did the op after lunch (well no lunch for me!) , the worse it was being wheeled down to theatre...horrible lying on your back - you just want to sit up.I remember the cold ice going down my arm and woke up back on the ward with my husband next to me. I went home about 6pm (nurses weren't too happy as I hadn't really eaten or gone to the toilet). The bleeding stopped immediately, and I had the best nights ever sleep that night. Felt miserable about losing the baby. I was told not to try for a baby for 3 months. But we went away for a long weekend and forgot the condoms - and I now have twin girls.
The thing that hurt was people's reactions as if nothing had happened. Just a oh and then a change of subject. Wishing your friend all the best for whatever the future holds.

Smew Mon 19-Nov-01 10:42:47

CI, I haven't seen Cold Feet so I don't know under what circumastances someone was told that they couldn't get pregnant after an abortion but I'm sure there's nothing to worry about. It's very unusual not to be able to conceive again after either a miscarraige or an elective termination of pregnancy. Unless there's been some serious infection associated there should be no problems.

D&C (dilation and curettage) and ERPC are the same procedure done for different reasons; ERPC after a pregnancy and D&C diagnostically for investigation of abnormal bleeding. It just means that the inside of the womb is cleaned out. It's very quick and pretty safe, so hopefully not much to worry about.

Smew Wed 21-Nov-01 14:27:15

I thought I'd add this - I heard the start of Woman's Hour this morning and they played a clip from Cold Feet where he says that she can't have children as she's previously had an abortion. They were going to discuss attitudes to abortion and why, as in this case, fictional women are often punished in some way as a result, often by infertility. I didn't hear the rest of the program but it reinforced the point I was trying to make - that it's rare to be infertile after abortion, miscarriage etc but that there is this prevailing myth that terrible things happen to you as a consequence. It just makes me cross, it's sometimes hard enough to go through these things without the extra stigma and anxiety that society attaches.

Chelle Wed 21-Nov-01 23:54:24

Not a pleasant topic of conversation but as I have had both "natural" and D&C I thought my experiecens may help someone.

Many years ago I had a pregnancy where the foetus died at around 8 weeks (I found this out at about 10 weeks) and had a D&C. I did not have a general anaesthetic but just a local and was awake the whole time, recovery is supposed to be quicker that way with fewer complications (general anaesthetic is always a risk). The procedure was not painful, not even the local anaesthetic to the cervix, and took only a few minutes. I could not see anything and a lovely nurse was holding my hand the whole time telling me that everything was going fine and I would be alright. Afterwards, I had to sit around for a while until they were sure I was not going the heamorrage and was then sent home. I can honestly say that, apart from being very upset that the baby had died, I felt only relief that it was "all over" so quickly. For the next 2-3 days I suffered pain and bleeding similar to a very heavy period and then very light bleeding for about 3 weeks more. I did not try to fall pregnant again for many years after that.

Earlier this year I had an early miscarriage, at about 6 weeks, and didn't really get the choice because everything just all came out on its own. Fortunately there's not alot there at only 6 weeks. This time there was also pain and bleeding like a very heavy period but the bleeding stopped in about 5-6 days. I fell pregnant again right away (no period after miscarriage) and am now 18 weeks!

Chelle Wed 21-Nov-01 23:57:50

Forgot to add.....two and a bit years before the second misscarriage I had a successful pregnancy resulting in ds, now 2.5 years old.

Jojobarny38 Mon 22-Feb-16 01:47:08

Sorry for this long thread, want to give as much info as possible.
I'm sat here after having a D and C procedure at 10.30 this morning.
On the 11th Feb my uterus size showed that I was 8 wks 2 day, measuring 31.7 mm. The foetus sadly only showed 6 wks 3 days and measured 6.8 mm. The nurses and the doctor was sure that it was a miss miscarriage until 2 seconds before he was about to pull the pole out we all thought we saw a flicker of bright light on the screen. Finally a bit of hope for me, I was convinced that it was a heartbeat. The previous two scans I had, the first being 3 weeks previous 21st Jan, showed a growth of 5/6 weeks, second scan, two weeks after that showed 6 weeks and no growth in foetus. My last scan on the 18th Feb there was no heartbeat and still no growth. I'd had a silent miscarriage. I was taken into a room to talk about what was next, not being able to decide on that day, just all too much to take in, I remember thinking the d and c was the surest, quickest and least painful way to go.

It has been a very rocky road from the start....In October 2013 I had a hysteroscopy and was told both of my Fallopian tube was blocked and that if the doctor was allowed to tell me I had No chance of conceiving then she would. But medically they're not allowed to say that so was told very very low chance. I also had a septum in my womb and was told if I ever did fall pregnant that my chances of miscarriage was high because of this and because of my age, I'm now 38.
Dec 2015, had signs and symptoms that was taken as possible stroke related, went into A&E had X-ray, head ct scan, but nothing showed up that it was a stroke. Went back to docs a few days later, I still felt heavily lethargic, was prescribed antibiotics as my X-ray showed inflamed sinuses, told to take antihistamines too. Still feeling tired and now nauseous on the antibiotics and someone close to saying I reckon your pregnant, I took a home pregnancy test (5 in total) which was all positive. Me and my partner was in a state of shock. I was completely flabbergasted, never believed it could happen form me, I spent that week with the most amazing feeling ever inside me and it was so so beautiful. I was internally happy, but freaking out also because of what I'd gone through. I minimised my active lifestyle, went on light duties at work and enjoyed this miracle that had happened.
Because of all I'd gone through I thought it best that I had a scan asap, the hospital was happy to do that for me, in retrospect I kinda wish I hadn't. As at my second scan with the fact my baby hadn't shown growth I now had major worry issues on top of already fearing that I was a high risk miscarriage patient. It has crossed my mind would I still be in this place now tonight if I'd of just waited for the 12 week scan like normal. But then on the other hand I'm gleam I did as I would of suffered a natural miscarriage.
From my own calculations I should of been 9/10 weeks pregnant, all of my 3 scans show baby to of been 6 week 3-5 days, so that means my body has held onto this pregnancy for at least 3-4 weeks, with NO signs of miscarriage, NO cramping, NO bleeding. I've read a lot about people's experiences of natural miscarriage, the thought of one happening anywhere and at any time too, and having to experience all that pain and all the bleeding and passing of the baby etc frightened the hell out of me. Especially as my body wasn't letting go, I didn't know when or where it could happen, or face the emotional turmoil of that being the case. I'd already spent enough time panicking 'will I see blood this time after going to the toilet' will I get bad cramps today, tomorrow etc. It's so worrying to know you could possibly miscarriage at any point, but after seeing no heart beat and knowing a miscarriage was going to happen, now that was unbearable.
My D&C op, The nursing staff and my surgeon was brilliant, kind, caring and considerate. Was told all I needed to know. I cried as I was going under and I cried as soon as I came round. The anaesthetic was sore as it was administered. I was in theatre for a hour, went back up to the ward where I was looked after for the rest of the day brilliantly. Spent 12hr in hospital due to low blood pressure. No pain after to op, first wee there was a lot of blood but by my third wee there was only blood when I wiped and has been like that since. I felt some discomfort in the afternoon and was given paracetamol.
Now this evening I felt a slight pain when I moved in a certain way but nothing major or constant. Had ibuprofen and paracetamol before bed and as I could feel very mild cramping. But nothing after pain killers kicked in.
Whilst I was laid there waiting to go into surgery I did feel very uncomfortable/embarrassed with what was about to happen and thought crap maybe I should of gone with the natural way, but up until that point the natural way was be far the scariest option, for me anyway.
Mentally, emotionally and physically the d and c route was my best option. It was the hardest thing to finally say goodbye to my miracle, Just when I was getting use to not ever getting pregnant in my lifetime, I fall pregnant...... Then just when I'm getting use to being pregnant, to wow I'm a mum, it all gets taken away from me. I don't understand and I will never forget.....

Thank you for reading my experience, I do hope the it helps others. I read what I wrote next so where and it brought me some small amount of comfort

When people say your expecting, they are wrong. The life of your baby has already arrived, when they say your going to Be a mum, they are wrong as you already are, you was the day life choose to be inside you.

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