Sometimes the viability of a pregnancy cannot be established during the first scan and you will be asked to return for a second scan. This may sometimes be due to the pregnancy being too early to see a heartbeat or because the pregnancy has failed to progress.
Sometimes a pregnancy is not identified inside the womb when a scan is performed. This is may be because the pregnancy is too early to be seen on scan. It is important to make sure that the pregnancy is not developing outside the womb, in one of the fallopian tubes (Ectopic Pregnancy). Further investigations, such as a blood test to see and a repeat scan may be required to help establish where the pregnancy is. This may require several visits to the clinic before finding out what is happening.
If you are diagnosed with a non – viable pregnancy, you will be offered three options of treatment: Expectant, Surgical or medical management.
Expectant Management involves waiting for your body to miscarry without any medical or surgical intervention. This may take several days or even weeks to occur once a miscarriage is diagnosed. You will be offered this method of management if your pregnancy is less than 12 weeks and the risks are low.
A natural way of letting a miscarriage occur.
No need to be in hospital. You may feel more in control not being in a hospital environment.
Not knowing when the miscarriage will occur or be complete. It may take several days or weeks before the miscarriage occurs.
You may experience bleeding heavier than a normal period and pain to be cramp like in nature.
Surgical Management involves small procedure to empty the womb and reduce the possibility of infection following a miscarriage. This involves admission to the ward for surgery. Providing all goes well, you will not need a stay overnight.
You will recover quickly and be able to go home on the same day.
Your bleeding will be minimal after the procedure
There are some risks involved including pain like period cramps, bleeding that is excessive which may require a blood transfusion, infection that may require treatment with antibiotics, perforation of the womb during the operation and retained tissue that may require repeated surgery if bleeding or infection occurs.
Medical Management involves tablets being placed into your vagina to soften the cervix (neck of the womb). A nurse can do this for you or, if you feel more comfortable, you can do this yourself. This may cause some bleeding and period-like pain. After a short time (approx. 20 mins), you will be able to go home. It is advisable that you are brought in and have support at home while having the treatment.
You can be in the comfort of your own home or have the treatment in hospital and be supported by nursing staff.
There are no restrictions to eating and drinking during this procedure.
You will not require any instruments placed inside the womb to remove the pregnancy.
The treatment will probably make you feel period type pains.
You may experience bleeding heavier than a normal period and pass clots which can be large.
The medication may make you feel nauseous. You may also experience loose stools and your temperature may reduce ever so slightly, sometimes making you shiver.