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Medicine for Treating an Incomplete Miscarriage

 

If you have had an incomplete miscarriage with no complications, you may have the option of using medicine that causes the uterus to push out all remaining tissue. Treatment with medicine offers an alternative to surgical treatment or waiting for the miscarriage to complete. Some women may have more bleeding and cramping if they choose medicine treatment.

Mifepristone and misoprostol, medicines that are more commonly used to terminate first-trimester pregnancy, have been used on a limited basis to treat miscarriage. First, mifepristone acts to block the body's use of progesterone , a hormone that supports pregnancy. Then, misoprostol is used to soften the cervix and start uterine contractions, inducing the uterus to empty.

Misoprostol can be used alone to treat miscarriage.

Medicines used to complete a miscarriage may have side effects. These may include:

  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Headache.
  • Dizziness.
  • Chills or hot flushes (sweating and feeling overly hot).
  • Fatigue.

Methylergonovine (Methergine), a medicine that makes blood vessels constrict throughout the body, is commonly used to control uterine bleeding after a miscarriage. Methergine makes the uterus contract, which helps control blood loss. Methergine can cause sudden high blood pressure, so it is used carefully.

 

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised February 1, 2013

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.

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