Miscarriage Options – D&C
As I mentioned last week, I am doing a set of three posts on the types of miscarriage and my opinions on each one, after having 5 miscarriages. 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.
Once the baby has stopped developing, there are essentially 3 ways for the miscarriage to occur
- induced through medication known as Misoprostol or Cytotec;
- or through 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
You can read about my natural miscarriage experience here, and my misoprostol/cytotec here.
Please remember this is just my opinion and I am NOT a medical professional. Please consult with your medical professionals to determine the best course of action for your unique circumstances.
Here is the basic information on a D&C surgery:
- It is a blind surgery, where the doctors are working based on feel, not based on eye sight. So, there is the risk of puncturing your uterus. This rarely happens, and is fixable, but could have long term consequences for future pregnancies.
- Asherman’s Syndrome, which is the development of scar tissue within the uterus, can result from multiple D&C surgeries. The scarring will cause complications for future pregnancies. Again, this is rare, and usually only occurs after multiple D&C’s. It is often reversible/fixable through an additional surgery. As I have had two within a year, my OBGYN and RE strongly recommend that I do not have another one as I am no high risk for developing scar tissue.
I have had 2 D&C procedures. I have had 1 emergency D&C and 1 scheduled abortion due to a septic infection which is the exact same surgical procedure (with the differentiation being the fetal heart rate is still there when an abortion is performed).
The emergency D&C was my second miscarriage. I had been given 2 maximum doses of misoprostol on 2 consecutive days. The end result was very little bleeding and intense pain. I managed to handle the pain for the first day, although it was significant. After the second misoprostol dose on day 2 did not result in me passing the gestational sack and the pain becoming too much, my husband decided it was time to go to the emergency room. The hospital experience was actually pretty good for me. My only real struggle was my thirst and hunger, but I was not allowed anything until they confirmed if I needed surgery. They gave me morphine so I was significantly calmer and the pain subsided nicely. Second, the on-call resident OBGYN was awesome. She did an exam, and attempted to remove clots, but quickly determined that I did require an emergency surgery. So, she admitted to the hospital, and surgery was scheduled for about 4 or 5 hours later, very early in the morning. I was in the ward with all the other OBGYN cases, but they put me in a room with a non-ob patient, so I didn’t have to watch and listen to someone else waiting to deliver their baby (I have heard many horror stories about this type of a situation, and am thankful I didn’t have that).
This surgery was my first ever surgery. I was petrified of the whole experience, but the medical team was awesome and helped keep me calm as they rolled me into the OR. In fact, I clearly remember the OR and was fascinated by the fact that there were 11 people in the room to perform one surgery. We discovered that I do not react well to the anesthesia as my heart rate and blood pressure dropped dangerously low. I was kept for observation for much longer than normal, but was able to sleep in my own bed that night.
I do think this was very hard on my husband. He was forced to be awake all night while sitting in rather uncomfortable chairs. He also had to rush home after my early morning surgery to let the dog out to pee.
Details of our abortion are available here, in a past post. For me, the hardest part of this experience, was sitting in the room with women who were choosing to be there. This did not occur when we had our in hospital emergency surgery, the kept me away from other pregnant women.
- This has been the easiest way for me to miscarry. I am put under and am completely unaware of the physical and emotional pain of the situation.
- I believe this has been the hardest option for my husband, as he is left waiting and worrying while I go through surgery.
- You go in pregnant, have a nap and come out not pregnant with relatively little bleeding or pain afterwards.
- I would absolutely, without hesitation, choose a D&C again if my doctors would allow it. Given my high risk for Asherman’s my medical team has taken it off the table and it is no longer an option for me unless it becomes an emergency situation or we decide to stop trying for a child.
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.
I think that you are very brave and that it takes a lot of courage to write these posts so that other women will have information that you may not have had. I pray I will never need this info, but in case I do, thank you for being willing to share it!
I hope no-one ever needs this information, but I know the reality is that 20-25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, so some women will need this. I just hope it is helpful.
Thank you so much for your encouragement to continue to share.
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I am sorry that you have had to endure all of this. I am thankful that you have chosen to share your experience. It helps others not to feel so alone.
Thank you so much for your encouragement. I think as much as society doesn’t want to talk about miscarriage, it is so important for women and couples to remember that they are not alone. 20%-25% of couples will experience miscarriage, so no-one is alone in this.
This is a really wonderful thing to do. I can’t express how I wish this info had been available to me before I went in. Xx
Thank you for the encouragement – this is exactly why I am sharing these.
I would definitely choose a D&C again if given the options. It was so much less stressful for me. Thanks for writing these, it can’t be easy, but it’s great that you are willing to share your personal story to help others make more informed and seemingly terrifying decisions. xo
Thanks for sharing your perspective as well!
So thankful for your sharing!!!! We too found D&C to be a much simpler option to a painful circumstance. We did also request to have a guided ultrasound vs blind bc I was very afraid of further damage! Lots of love my dear
Thank you for sharing your perspective and experience – it is never easy.
I agree, D&C for my second miscarriage was by far the less physically painful out of all four of them. My most recent two have been met with extreme physical pain and weeks of bleeding. A fact I think delays the emotional part as you are so focused on getting through the physical. Thanks for having the courage to share (((hugs))).
Thank you for sharing. I too find that the physical part of a slow miscarriage just delays the emotional recovery from even starting.
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Thank you so much for writing this post. I am having to decide on misoprostol versus a D&C for a missed abortion at 6-8 weeks. I am leaning toward the D&C as every post I’ve read about the misoprostol sounds pretty intolerable for me.
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