I Have Had a Miscarriage -- What Happens Next?

I recently lost a pregnancy -- what happens next? When can we start trying again? Do I need to undergo special testing? It's common to have questions such as these following a miscarriage. Keep in mind that it will take several weeks for your body to return to "normal" after this and that each woman's situation is different. Read on to learn more.

What to Expect

If you have had signs of a miscarriage and your healthcare provider has confirmed it, you may be overwhelmed with emotions. Not only a flood of grief, but fears of whether you will be able to become pregnant again and worries that this might happen again. What went wrong? Was it my fault? What do I do now? The questions and emotions that come with a miscarriage can be overwhelming and devastating.
 
Not only is it an emotional trauma, but you may be wondering what happens next physically. Try to take a deep breath and know that in the vast majority of cases, a miscarriage was not caused by anything you did wrong. In most cases, a miscarriage occurs because of a problem with the way the fetus was developing -- it was not something you could control.
 
Once the shock of what has happened has worn off, you may be wondering what to expect next. This article is meant to help you through a step-by-step process of what you can expect and answer some questions you might have in the aftermath of losing a pregnancy.
 

Sorting Through the Pain

Although all miscarriages involve a tremendous amount of emotional pain, not all miscarriages cause physical pain. However, most women who are going through a miscarriage will have some type of cramping, which can be quite severe in some cases. They may also have bleeding and pass large blood clots (see How Do I Know If I've Had a Miscarriage?).
 
If you have signs of a miscarriage, seek immediate medical attention. Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam and also listen for a fetal heartbeat. He or she may also use an ultrasound to check on any problems that are occurring.
 
Every miscarriage is different -- there is no set pattern in how it happens. Some women may have bleeding and cramping for only a short time; in other cases, it may last for several hours or days. Regardless of whether it's painful or not or happens quickly or not, a miscarriage is a devastating and traumatic experience that may leave many unanswered questions.
 
(Click What Causes or Increases the Risk of a Miscarriage? for more details on this topic.)
 
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Miscarriage Information

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