Miscarriage Options – Natural
I am hoping that by sharing the details of my experiences and my opinions, that others will gain an insight into the types of miscarriages available. I realize not everyone will want to read this, and that’s okay. Please skip this if you need to. And, if you are reading this, I understand that you are likely in need of some more information on miscarriages. Please know that I firmly believe no-one deserves this painful experience and my heart breaks for anyone going through this.
It is my experience that as you enter into the world of miscarriage, much of the medical language becomes very factual, harsh and cold. Expect to hear words like pregnancy products, abortion medication and fetal demise, For me, it was hard to hear the doctors refer to my baby as simply products of pregnancy, and to have doctors say that fetal demise is confirmed (i.e. my baby has died).
There are essentially 3 ways for the miscarriage to occur:
- induced through medication known as Misoprostol or Cytotec
- surgery known as Dilation and Curettage (D&C)
Typically (baring some sort of medical complication) it is the parents’ choice how they want to proceed.
Whatever you choose, make sure you are making the right choice for you. In most circumstances you do not have to make an instantaneous choice the second you find out your baby has died or is dying. Take a few days if you need to. And, remember, the majority of people do not go through this multiple times – in fact 3 consecutive miscarriages occur in 1 % of couples, so while you may have fear trying again, remember that odds are, your next one will work!
I have had 5 pregnancies that have all ended in miscarriage. More specifically my experience is as follows:
- Pregnancy 1 – Natural miscarriage
- Pregnancy 2 – Misoprostol (2 maximum doses) and emergency D&C on day 2
- Pregnancy 3 – scheduled D&C / abortion due to septic infection
- Pregnancy 4 – Misoprostol (4 maximum doses) and multiple in office procedures to suction remaining pregnancy products out of my uterus over the following 29 days.
- Pregnancy 5 – Biochemical Pregnancy/Natural Miscarriage which ended naturally within 48 hours
I have decided to do 3 separate posts on miscarriage options, one post on each type. Today I will focus on Natural. You can read about my D&C experience here, and my misoprostol experience here.
Please remember this is just my opinion and I am NOT a medical professional. Consult with your medical professional to determine the best course of action for your unique circumstances.
Natural miscarriages can happen at any point early in a pregnancy. They can happen on their own, before you are aware that the baby has died via an ultrasound, or they can happen after an ultrasound has confirmed that the baby has died. If you find out via an ultrasound that your baby has died, you may choose to wait for the miscarriage to occur naturally. It can take up to 6 weeks before your body will recognize the miscarriage and expel the pregnancy on its own.
I have had one natural miscarriage and one biochemical pregnancy, both of which ended in essentially the same way – a bad period. My very first pregnancy was a natural miscarriage at 5 weeks, and our biochemical pregnancy essentially ended 48 hours after the double faint line on the test strip appeared. At the time of our first miscarriage, I thought it was a horrible experience. I thought it was as bad as it could get. Little did I know, I would eventually consider these to be my easiest miscarriage. As it was early on, we never saw our baby on an ultrasound and we saw no heart beat. We had no warning that it was about to occur.
The actual miscarriage was essentially just a horrible period. I cramped for a few days, and then passed more clots then I normally would during a period.
That said, the emotional impact of our early natural miscarriage was tremendous. As it was unexpected, this meant that we were not prepared for it. It took us by surprise, and just as quickly as we were pregnant, we were not. It was hard to digest, and understand.
- As my natural miscarriages occurred without warning, I didn’t have a choice in terms of what procedure to use.
- At 5 weeks, it was unpleasant and uncomfortable, but the pain was easily numbed with extra strength Tylenol. I was able to work through the entire thing, with the exception of the first day when I was so emotionally upset that I didn’t want to go into my office for fear of crying at work. (I would assume that if you are further into your pregnancy, the experience would be significantly more unpleasant).
- If your miscarriage is confirmed by an ultrasound, you are may given the option of waiting for the miscarriage to occur naturally. This was not our experience with our natural miscarriage as it occurred unexpectedly.
- With our other miscarriages that were confirmed via an ultrasound we have not chosen the route of waiting for the natural miscarriages because:
- Waiting for a natural miscarriage to occur because it can take up to 6 weeks. The thought of carrying my dead baby around in me for weeks was too much for me to bare. And, the thought of waiting for my body to expel my baby is just too much. The idea of having to continue living (i.e working) while waiting is too hard. And what if it starts at the worst possible time, like during my husband’s grandfather funeral?
- I find the hardest part of a miscarriage is waiting for it to be over, so for me, the ability to kick start it is essential to my mental health.
- Misoprostol/cytotec forces your body to do what it will eventually do on its own. So, we saw this as simply speeding up the natural process.
- With a natural miscarriage it is still possible that your body will not expel all the products and you will require a D&C eventually.
I think the most important piece of advice I can give someone facing these options is that there is no single right or wrong answer, and as such do whatever feels right for you.
For further information on my miscarriage experience, you may find these post helpful:
12 Things I Wish Someone Told Me about Miscarriage
How to Have A Miscarriage – The Practical Way
Miscarriage Options – Misoprostol/Cytotec
A Calm Persistence – Using Cytotec: 4th Miscarriage
Laughs N’ Love – Taking Misoprostol for Miscarriage
If you like this post, please feel free to share it and please return to myperfectbreakdown.com to follow my journey.
Such valuable information I wish I had before I had to choose. I’ve also done all three and I think your description is 100% accurate. I think I might link this post to my Cytotec post if you don’t mind.
Feel free to link to your cytotect post if you want.
I plan to link your post to all 3 of mine – assuming that is okay? I just think your post was so well written and gave such a good description, so I’d like to point people towards it.
I love that you’re posting this. As a 5-timer myself and having been through all the options, I’ll share my experiences.
1 (~6 weeks), 4 (~6.5 weeks) & 5 (5 weeks) were natural for me. Of the 3, only one of them was unexpected. I knew 4 and 5 were over before the physical miscarriage started. By time 4 happened I had already been through a natural, a misoprostol and a D&C. After finding out that the pregnancy was not viable for 4 and 5 I chose to wait a week or so to see if it happened naturally. Luckily for me it did (although 5 started quick it has been lengthy to end, but that’s another story). Had it not happened within a week or so I would have weighed my options again.
I find the natural miscarriage to be a little more comfortable physically than the misoprostol-induced miscarriage. For me, a natural miscarriage hasn’t been much different than a period. It seems to be a little heavier and longer than a period but that could also be due to not using tampons during the miscarriage when I use them regularly for a period. It has never been the ‘wake up in a puddle of blood’ scenario that is usually shown in movies.
Thanks for sharing your experience here as well.
I too have never had the ‘wake up in a puddle of blood’ scenario’, but my doctors have told me it can happen, albeit rarely. I suspect you’d wake up in a tonne of pain rather then blood, but I really don’t know since it has never happened to me.
I agree. I could be wrong but in pretty sure if I was going to bleed that much that quickly there would be a lot of pain to warn me it was coming. Doubtful that I wouldn’t wake up until it was over!
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This series has to be hard to write but I know it will help so many and probably even you some. Thank you for sharing! ❤
It has definitely been hard to write! This was the easy the one of the three, and the other two are still not done. I figured by posting this one, I’ll force myself to finish the other two.
As always, thanks for the encouragement!
This is such a good post. 5 months aftet my miscarriage I still have no idea what kind mine was x
Thanks for reading. I do hope it helps other people in the future.
You are so brave to put this out there. I hope that it helps many women make a decision that is best for them. I learned a lot from reading it.
Thanks Lindsey. I’m glad that you have been able to learn something from it, but I’m still hoping you don’t need the information!
Great information!!! I too wish that I had more information before I started making decisions on my options. I have done natural, and two surgeries (one D&C and one Laparoscopic). The D&C still required two rounds of Cytotec after as well and you summed it up rather well! Thank you for sharing such a vulnerable subject 😦
I am sorry that you have experienced such heartache. I too wish I had this type of information when we started down the path of miscarriage, which is really why I decided I need to take the time to share my experience.
Great post hon. It must have been hard to write and relive it all, but what a great resource this will be. Hugs to you for your courage to write it hon ❤
I did all 3 (well technically 2 because I gave up waiting for it to happen naturally) as well and I think you described everything so perfectly. I might just add that with the natural option or the medication option, it can take way longer then 6 weeks. Other then with my chemical pregnancy, I was always someone who didn't find out that I had miscarried until an ultrasound, and the one time I tried to wait it out and let it happen naturally, it took forever. After about a month of waiting with nothing happening, not even a little spotting, I decided to try the misoprostol, but it didn't work even after a second dose. I didn't want another D&C so I decided to monitor it and like you I had to keep going in for procedures and biopsies to make sure I wasn't getting an infection and to try and get it to finally end. This went on for months. I could tell my doctor wanted to schedule surgery, but I was adamant that I wanted to wait it out. I had no idea how long that wait would be. It ended up taking 7 months from that first BFP, before I finally got my first period and my hcg went down to 0. I spotted on and off, but my hcg wouldn't drop. I know other women on here who decided to take the medication and it took forever for their betas to go down to 0 too. It's just a warning I like to give people when they ask me about waiting it out or trying the medication because for me, it was the worst of all the options. I didn't hesitate to have a D&C with my next miscarriage. It's a hard thing to give advice on because every pregnancy and the way our bodies respond to everything is so different, but I think it's wonderful that you have provided this info because I know with my first few miscarriages, I was completely lost and the doctors don't give a lot of information at all, except throw around horrible terminology! Products of Conception and Missed Abortion are the ones the nurses used with me. I wanted to scratch their eyes out.
I am so sorry that you have also had such horrible experiences. However, thank you so much for sharing. I just know, that all of this will help someone facing such a hard decision. Thank you again.
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I am so sorry to hear that you have gone through so many miscarriages and you have the knowledge to write this.
As someone who went through nine pregnancies, 7 miscarriages in total I have to say each way is awful in it’s own way. I went through the list of natural, induced, and D&C, and one D&E @20 weeks which was particularly awful.
Thank you for writing this piece. I wish no woman would have to use it though I know that many will.
Thank you for your empathy and your support.
I too am so sorry that you have had to go through so many miscarriages! I could not imagine the physical and emotional heartache of a D&C at 20 weeks.
So great that you are writing about this in such detail and will be so valuable for so many. I had one natural m/c and one D&C. I also took misoprostol before my hysteroscopy to help me dilate and it was so painful! So if god forbid I’m ever faced with the choice again, I will probably avoid that option. It can be so hard making these decisions because you never know how your body will respond. Thank you so much for sharing all that you do – I hate that you have so much expertise, but you are providing such a service for so many women facing a heartbreaking situation. xo
Thank so much for sharing your experiences as well! Honestly, it’s complete crap that we are “experts” in this, but I do think by sharing we will help others going down this path.
Thank you for all the info, and it breaks my heart that you have had to go through all of this in order to even share this with everyone. At least you are willing to share your experiences, no matter how hurtful, in order to help others in their journeys. I wish that nobody ever had to go through this, but at least there are others here who can help everyone else through it along the way.
Thank you so much for your encouragement! Honestly, it means so much to me and really helps motivate me to keep on sharing. Thank you.
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