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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

D&C or a D&E After a Pregnancy Loss

D&C (Dilation and Curettage) or D&E (Dilation and Evacuation) After a Pregnancy Loss
by Tina

I just wanted to say, before getting into the details of D&C or D&E, I am sorry for your loss and that you even need to be reading this area. I have miscarried three different ways (detailed further in the text), so I hope my experiences can help you to make a decision on how you handle yours.

There is no right or wrong way to manage your miscarriage, as long as it is not life-threatening to you. Sometimes you do not have an option in how you manage your miscarriage--it just begins without warning and you miscarry naturally. Other times, you have choices and time to make those decisions, and your choices should be made based on your own personal wants and needs to honor the baby to whom you are saying goodbye.

Why You Would Opt For a D&C or a D&E?

As background, D&C (which stands for Dilation and Curettage) is a procedure done in the uterus by scraping of the lining of the uterus (the endometrium). Another, less invasive, version of a D&C is the D&E (which stands for Dilation and Evacuation). In a D&E, instead of scraping, the lining of the uterus is suctioned out.

The following are the main health reasons a woman may have a D&C or a D&E done:

  • for a woman who knows she is going to miscarry and opts not to have a natural miscarriage at home;
  • for a woman who a recently miscarried naturally, or who previously had a D&C/D&E done and retained tissue remains in the womb;
  • for a woman who is experiencing heavy or irregular periods, or vaginal bleeding after the menopause.

Opting for a D&C/D&E when a miscarriage is detected and has not begun is a personal choice, which has its own set of pros and cons – and there is no right or wrong choice in opting for a D&C/D&E, as long as it is the right choice for you.

Choosing to have a D&C/D&E depends upon several personal factors you need to consider:

  • how far along the pregnancy might have been or what bleeding has already occurred;
  • how long you have known about the impending miscarriage and the emotional toll already taken on you because of it;
  • strong emotional feelings over the impending pregnancy loss;
  • emotional preferences on how one feels the pregnancy should be allowed to end;
  • family issues, such as care of other children in the home;
  • preference for medical testing on the fetal tissue from the miscarriage, especially in recurrent miscarriage;
  • work issues, such as project management and duties, and time off for the miscarriage.

What to Expect

A D&C/D&E is considered minor surgery, therefore, it is performed in a hospital or ambulatory surgery center or clinic.

In most cases, you would be given general anesthesia, which would require someone to drive you to/from the location of the procedure. You should not eat/drink anything 12 hours prior to the procedure. Sometimes, women will request local anesthesia instead – that is something that would have to be discussed with the gynecologist performing the procedure.

In the actual procedure, a speculum is inserted into the vagina to open the walls to view the cervix. A clamp-like instrument holds the cervix in place as the cervix is dilated with a series of tapered rods of increasing widths, which are inserted into the cervical opening.

If a D&C is performed, the ob/gyn will insert a specialized scraping scalpel (called a curette) to scrap the retained tissue from the uterus;

If a D&E is performed, the ob/gyn insert a hollow tube through the cervix and suction is applied to remove the retained tissue.

The procedure usually takes anywhere from five to twenty minutes to finish, depending upon how far along the pregnancy was or if the procedure is specifically to clear out retained tissue from a natural miscarriage or previous D&C/D&E.

It is normal to experience light, irregular bleeding in the days following the D&C/D&E, along with mild cramping. Naproxen or ibuprofen is usually given for relief from cramping. You may also be given a prescription for a medication to stop a hemorrhage (just as a precaution should you begin to hemorrhage after the procedure).

Most women are told to take the day of the procedure and the following day off from work (if you work), and to rest as much as possible for those two days. But, generally, physical recovery is fairly quick.

After a D&C/D&E, you should get a list of instructions with the following instructions:

  • Avoid intercourse for 2 weeks. Bacteria can easily get into your uterus and cause infection until your cervix returns to normal after the dilation;
  • Use only sanitary pads for bleeding. Avoid tampons for at least 2 weeks. Do not use douches;
  • Be sure to return for your follow-up visit, usually 2 weeks after the procedure. Your ob/gyn should discuss all lab reports on your tissue samples, if testing of the fetal tissue is ordered. Your ob/gyn will also examine you for any signs of infection and to make sure your cervix/uterus have returned to normal size.

Problems That May Arise and Ways to Troubleshoot

Although I personally have not had any problems after either my D&E nor my D&C, there are several problems that can arise from the procedures:

  • If your ob/gyn is too cautious in the procedure (especially with a D&C, since it involved a real scraping scalpel), retained tissue can remain. This tissue is usually passed without complication afterwards, although in some instances, the possible need for another procedure may arise. Sometimes, like a natural miscarriage, tissue is missed;
  • Rarely, an ob/gyn can accidentally puncture the uterine wall while performing either a D&C/D&E;
  • Hemorrhage is rare, but it can occur if an instrument injures the walls of your uterus. It also can occur if an undetected fibroid is cut during procedure;
  • You can end up with an infection because your natural uterine environment is being invaded to do the procedure. Some ob/gyns’ prescribe antibiotics up-front to prevent it from happening - some, like my ob/gyn, do not;
  • Asherman’s Syndrome, although rare, can develop later on. This syndrome involves the formation of scar tissue in the uterus, caused by aggressive scraping, repeat D&C/D&E’s, or abnormal reaction to the scraping. Thick scars can result, which can fill up the uterus completely. Abnormal bleeding/loss of periods and heavy cramping are signs of the syndrome. A sonohystogram can detect this scarring, which can be corrected surgically if diagnosed correctly.

Call your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever/chills;
  • Severe persistent pain or cramps not relieved by ibuprofen or naproxen;
  • Prolonged or heavy bleeding (more than 6 hours, or requiring a change of sanitary pads several times in 1 hour);
  • A foul-smelling discharge from your vagina.

Personal Tips

I have personally experienced three miscarriages: One natural miscarriage at 4 wks 1 day (9/04), a blighted ovum which required a D&E since the miscarriage would not start on its own (11/05) and a missed miscarriage when the baby stopped growing at 6 wks 4 days, which I opted to have a D&C immediately (3/06).

Through these experiences, I have several tips that I hope can help anyone that has to go through this experience:

1. Do not let an ob/gyn pressure you into an immediate choice of a D&C/D&E. You need to take into account how you feel you need to manage this decision, and make sure the diagnosis of miscarriage is confirmed.

2. Make sure your miscarriage is confirmed by blood work AND ultrasound before you consider a D&C/D&E. My ob/gyn is very experienced, but he told me that even he has made mistakes in diagnosing a miscarriage - on rare occasions, blood work and repeat ultrasound can detect an incorrect diagnosis and the pregnancy is viable. So, having repeat betas and ultrasounds to confirm the miscarriage is crucial. With my 11/05 miscarriage, I had three beta draws and three ultrasounds to confirm the miscarriage.

3. Discuss the procedure thoroughly with your ob/gyn so you understand how the procedure is done and any questions you have are answered. Be clear on what kind of anesthesia you want - and what is allowed in the surgery center where you are having the procedure. This can be a very emotional procedure, and you need to have your concerns and questions answered before hand.

4. If you experience nausea/vomiting as a morning sickness sign like I did with my 3/06 miscarriage, even though you are miscarrying, you can ask for meds to be injected into your IV line so that, when you wake up from the procedure, the nausea subsides for you.

5. When you wake up from the procedure, be prepared for the reality that the pregnancy is now completely over. When I woke up from my D&E in 11/05, I was crying as I realized the procedure was done. Luckily for me, the nurse was very sweet and gave me tissues and allowed me to cry while she stood there holding my hand.

6. Make sure your ob/gyn leaves instructions on what you should do when you go home and if you see any problems arise after the procedure. Better yet, ask that your ob/gyn stops in to see you after the procedure is done. My ob/gyn stopped in to see me after both my D&C and D&E to make sure I was physically okay.

7. If you have children at home, ask someone to care for them for a little while as you sleep off the anesthesia and you are sure your bleeding after the procedure is within the normal range. To recover well, you need to rest.

8. Remember: After a D&C/D&E, you have now had a complete miscarriage. Your hormones usually “dump” quickly, which can potentially make you an emotional basketcase. I cried through Thanksgiving dinner in 11/05 since my D&E was done two days prior and my hormone levels were going down quickly. So, if you are having a hard time with the loss right after the procedure, it is completely normal and to be expected.

9. If you are not prepared to go back to work (if you work) after the two days home, don’t. My D&E in 11/05 was done two days before Thanksgiving, so despite the holiday, I had several days to begin to sort through the emotions. But, after my D&C was done in 3/06, I returned to work after the two days - and it was just not enough time to begin to the grief process.

10. Insist on that follow-up visit in two weeks. Some ob/gyns try to skate around it - you really need the follow up to make sure you are physically recovered and to ask questions you may have.

11. Ask for repeat betas afterwards to make sure your HCG levels are going back down to zero. For some women, it takes a few days - for others, it can take a few weeks. If you want to TTC right away, you need to make sure your HCG levels are down to zero again.

12. You are usually very fertile after a D&C/D&E - the lining is almost always cleaned out and fresh. So, if you do chose to TTC after the procedure, your odds are usually a little better for conception.

13. And, lastly, be comfortable with the decision in how to handle your miscarriage. Waiting to miscarry sometimes is not an option and you miscarry quickly. Other times, like for my 11/05 miscarriage, you are waiting for weeks for it to begin. A part of the emotional healing process is to be comfortable with how you chose to manage your miscarriage…there is no right or wrong way to do that. It just has to be right for you.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I to just had a D&C and the emotions went easily, little to no cramps. I suffered from pains in my chest and throat from having the breathing tube in while I was under. It's been three days and each day gets better. At first I was was worried because the day after the surgery it was intense, but it does subside.

This is definetley NOT what I wanted to go through, but I still have High hopes of trying again!!!

Anonymous said...

This article was very helpful I just went through a D&C but also have high hopes and plan to try again.

Anonymous said...

I'm going thru this now and still can't make up my mind on how to proceed. I'm 12 weeks and the baby stop growing at 9 weeks. Based on gestational age I can't have an induction and a D&C seems so invasive and violent. The baby most likely died 3 weeks ago and my body hasn't discharged it yet. I don't want to have to make a decision on how to remove my dead baby from my body. I think I am most concerned about how I can respect the babies body and a D&C would not allow that.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

I'm so sorry, Anonymous. Both for your loss and that you have to make this decision. Is your doctor helping to guide you towards a solution?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: I am so sorry you have to go through this - I felt the same way with my 11/05 loss. I wanted to do something respectful for my baby who had died and a d&e when I was given the news seemed to be so "cruel" to end it. But, after 3 weeks of waiting for the m/c to start, I came to the realization that not having the procedure done was 1) going to delay my grieving the loss and 2) put my body at risk for infection and futher complications.

I hope that your body allows you to let go of this PG and move on to mourning. But, if it does not and you have to have a d&e/d&c, I hope that you will be able to find some peace in time. We are here for you - and you can always send me an e-mail for support.


Anonymous said...

thx for the info! I miscarried in Oct & had a D&C Oct 24th. It is now the end of jan and Ive been having problems since my 1st period after the d&c. My doctor still cant tell me what wrong. Ive had pelvic ultrasounds and everything. they said its either a fibroid, pollup or a small piece of placenta left over. So now I have to go in for another procedure where my dr looks at my uterus w/a telescope. Im thinking about getting a 2nd opinion from another doctor. I am so tired of not knowing. My 1st two periods were so painful and it killed me to have a bm. Hope i find out whats wrong w/me soon.

TKJ said...

I just had a D&C. It's only been 1 day, but I am still not feeling well. I have some very uncomfortable or painful cramps. Is that normal. I have heard that all of that goes away after the second day normally. But, I've never had this procedure done, so I am wondering if I should have taken off the rest of the week. My boss is pressuring me to come back to work before weeks end, but the way I am feeling today, I don't if I'll be up to it. Should I have asked for the entire week? My procedure was done Tuesday?

A. Lin said...

I had a D&E in 06/04. I was 10 weeks pregnant, but ultrasounds (3) and hormone checks (3) indicated that the baby had stopped growing around 6 weeks. My family was days away from moving into a new house, and I had no bleeding. So I opted for the D&E.

What you said about waking up after the procedure was true for me. I knew the baby was lost, but the D&E really made it true in my mind. I was also blessed with a wonderful nurse in recovery. And I was surprised at how wonderful my dr was. When I had been to him before with my first pregnancy, he seemed the most distant. But after this experience, I found him to be very caring (it must have been bad days on the previous visits with him).

This is a great post. I'll keep it in mind when I am ministering to women facing this situation.

Tina / Anxious Changer said...

TKJ: I am not sure how long ago you posted this, but I hope you did not let your boss pressure you into coming back. My d&e and d&c physical recoveries were uneventful, but the emotional toll after my d&c was large and I should have taken more time for that. I hope you recovered well - cramping is common the day of and the day after the procedure.

Anonymous with the Oct. procedure: I would say get a second opinion! I have a fibroid, but it never did anything like that to me (although is depends upon the location). Please post an update when you can.

A. Lin: I am glad you can use this in your ministry. I hope that it touches someone who needs it.

Anonymous said...

i had a d&e i was 9 weeks pregnant and my baby died a few days earlier. i feel empty and that was nearly 4 weeks ago. i miss my baby so much. the d&e was the best thing for me and i am trying again shortly

Anonymus said...

it is very helpful for me.. iam so sorry about ur pregnancy losts. i too just had D&E because of stop growing baby .. its very hard to digest of loosing pregnancy. i took one week to recover from that grief. now iam trying to get new hopes for my next pregnancy..

i wish u all may have healthy baby very soon.

Anonymous said...

amanda said:

I went through a D&C in feb/07 and Im still feeling the lost of my baby. I lost it at 8 weeks and took 3 weeks total off from the time I found out that i miscarried. I still cry everytime I see a baby. Im trying again in may and hope everything goes well. Im really gald I found this site, everone keeps telling me it's for the best, but best for who? I was just wondering if you ovulating can change after this procedure? Anyway sorry to hear about everyones losses !

Sandi said...

I had a D&E 2 weeks ago. I am going for my follow up appointment on Wednesday. This is one of the hardesst things I ever had to do in my life. I wast 9 weeks and my baby also stopped growing. I do not have a probem seeing babies I have problems seeing pregnant women. All i think is that should be me. I want to try again ASAP. My husband and I have greivedeveryday since we found out about our baby. We planted a plant in our yard. One that stays green all year round for our baby. Tha really helped us. Am I wrong for wanting to try again his soon?

Anonymous said...

to sandi,

So sorry to hear about your loss:(
No you are not wrong to want to try again, but I think it might be wise to let you body heal and to get back to you regular menstral cycle. Plus if you are not already on a prenatal vitamin, it might be good to go on, when you try to concieve you now need 5mg of folic acid. My doctor put me on PregVit and you need to be on it for atleast 2 months, it will reduce your chances of having another miscarraige by 85%. Something to think about, some advice from someone who is already there, and know EXACTLY how you feel. Take care hun and know you are not alone :)


Sandi said...

Thank you so much for your response. I went to the doctor today and he told me to wait two months. So that is what I will do. But the information you gave me about the vitamins is great I will be doing that starting tomorrow. Even if I do not get pregnant in two months should I still take them? Thanks again for everything. You were a great help.

Anonymous said...


Im so glad that I could help, in regards to you still taking the Vitamins...for sure, keep taking them till you do get pregnant(don't worry you will!)Im glad you are waiting the 2 months to try to start agin , it was a good choice for yourself. Did your doctor give you the perscription for vitamins? The vitamin is for concieving and during pregnancy, following through to breastfeeding aswell. I hope everything works out for you. Take care.


Tina / Anxious Changer said...


I am so sorry for your loss. I think waiting is wise at this point for you - not only to allow you to heal physically, but to heal emotionally. I didn't wait (although my doc didn't say I had to either) and I ended up with another m/c - I should have waited because the grief I didn't allow myself to have the second time spilled over into the third m/c, and it made for a terrible year.

Re. your question on prenatals - I have been on prescription prenatals for almost 2 years. My doc felt it is better for me to be on them, regardless of whether we are TTC or not.

Devi: I am sorry for your loss. It is very hard to digest... :(

Sandi said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I am going to wait 2 menstral cycles. That is what my Doctor said to do I am also taking the vitamins. All my best to you.

Anonymous said...

I really think this site is helpful. i have had 2 D&E's, my first the baby was a missed miscarriage at 8 wks, but was only 5.5 wks when i went for my 1st ultrasound. they had me go back for another ultrasound in a week and it was the same size. i never started bleeding and we opted for the D&E. I didn't have any problems after the procedure. i ovulated normal and got pregnant 5 months later trying once 3/07! I just had another missed miscarriage after seeing the heartbeat at 8 weeks, it died a few days later, but we didn't know until my 12 wk checkup. I knew i just wanted to move on and get another D&E. So i had it this past tuesday 5/21/07. The grieving is hard, but knowing it was safe and prevents infection i opted for it. I would rather have the D&E then miscarry naturally and see the baby come out! We plan to try again in a few months!

I pray that everyone who's had a miscarriage/D&C, D&E will eventually have a little bundle of joy someday!

Tina / Anxious Changer said...

Sandi: Good luck to you when you start trying again... I was just cleared today to start - and I am scared as hell!

Natalie: I am so sorry to read you have been through this again... Many hugs to you as you sort through everything. Keep us posted on how you are doing...

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this. I just found out yesterday the I had an m/c and I opted for a D&E so because I'm retaining the tissue and I want to start TTC again soon. This made me feel much better about things. THANKS!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for starting this site, it has helped me greatly.
I went for my 12wk ultrasound last Friday and it showed my baby had died at 9wks. I am booked in for a D&E this Thursday as i showed no signs of my body starting to pass it natually. But yesterday afternoon i started bleeding (ALOT) and passed alot of tissue/large clots overnight (the most painful experience of my life) and am now experiencing what can only be discribed as a heavy period with not much pain (sorry for being graphic).
So i am unsure whether to go through with the D&E incase there is anything left or to leave it to carry on natually. I do want to try again soon so could anyone advise on there option to this? I understand it would be my choice but i am totally undecided!
Many thanks for taking the time to read this.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

I am so sorry, Anonymous. Sending good thoughts for tomorrow if you do go through with the procedure. I would say that it has to be up to you and your doctor. S/he would know better from experience which route to take.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for starting this site, It is helpfull for people who have been through this same experience. I just had a D&C on 06/29/07. We had an ultrasound at 5w5d and we saw a heartbeat but it was slow, so when we went back on 06/27 for another on there was no more heartbeat and the baby had died at about 6w. My body had not started to miscarry yet so I opted for a D&C. I went in two days later and had the procedure done. I was pretty much a wreck for the first week, but trying again is what helped me get through the process. I had spotted for about 2 days after the D&C then started a period a few days after that. When I went in for my checkup my doctor said that was normal and to go ahead and if I was to get pregnant to use that day. Well out of curiosity I took a hpt yesturday and it came up really fast with two pink lines. Can I still have that much hormones in my body after almost 2.5 weeks? I have no pregnancy symptoms and I thought after a D&C your levels dropped pretty rapidly. Any advice??

Anonymous said...

This really is great information here. Kudos to you for reaching out to help others. I had a D & C on June 6th and it was a hard decision to make. My baby stopped growing at about 8 wks, but it wasn't until my 12 wk. appt. that I knew it had stopped growing. I was devastated! It was so difficult and I couldn't believe I had no idea anything was wrong. My body was going along its merry way, being preg. and actually everything wasn't oksy--sigh...I do have a child and this was my 2nd preg. after a long period of trying and having 2 hysteroscopies for Asherma's Synd. You are so right on when you say that you need time to grieve and heal. I took a wk. off and at first thought I only need a couple of days--it is a loss and should be treated as such. Thanks for the great blog spot.


Anonymous said...

My husband & I found out a week ago that our babys heart had stopped at 22 weeks. We only had 2 options, induce or a D&E. We chose the D&E due to the fact that I could not handle being induced & not coming home with my baby girl. She was our first child together & we never got to see her or hear her cry, it is very much effecting me now. The first few days were ok after having the procedure but now is 4 days & it is rougher than the first 2. We want to try again as soon as we can but I am very much afraid that we will have to go through the same thing. My husband has been very helpful through the whole situation, I couldnt of done it without him & I believe that it brought us much closer together. He is the best husband I could ever ask for.
I am so sorry for all the women out there who have to go through similar situations. just remember that it is most likely the hardest thing you will ever have to go through & I wish you all my love & best of luck!

mandy said...

I am so sorry for all your and my husband just lost our second baby to a miscarriage,first one real quick jan.o7 said my progetrone was too low.And now this time was just days ago 8/07 I ended up have a blighted ovum meaning the baby died a few weeks ago and wasnot able to pass on its own; just starting to spot on thurs. i went to the hospital found out what was wrong she said everythings fine had ultrasound,bloodwork,hcg levels,pelvic exam and come to find out a few days later(sunday) everything was not the lady read the ultrasound wrong so I had to have the d&c done did not know anything about it my doctors kept me in the dark about everything . the morning of my procedure I woke up and cramped so bad I got in the shower and my water breaks I feel urge to push so we hurry to the hospital and few hrs later I woke up a our precious baby was gone, I knew it in my head that the baby was but after the D&C the baby was really gone and i lost it crued like crazy, my whole heart hurts and the emptyness is so much to bear, was just so out of it and devestaed . my point of this is just be sure and be informed because we really didnt know anything.we had been trying for 2 yrs to get pregnate and to find out my precious baby is gone,i am not sure if i can ever go through it again but for now my heart and my body need time to heal, just be sure and please take care of yourselves and when that day comes and you have that precious baby love them and never take them for granted. i wish u all luck an many blessings to come.thank you for this column i know more now thanm when i had it done. god bless you. mandy ohio

Anonymous said...

i just had a m/c 8/29/07 it started out to be just a slight spotting and it increased to a bright red in color. This was suppose to be my second pregnancy i have a 4 year old boy, with him there was no complications at all. it was just so hard for me because i never thought this could happen to us. the pain is something i can't explain, i know they always say that i shouldn't blame myself but sometimes i wonder if i did something wrong.i am just happy that i have a very supportive husband that is just staying positve for me.I m/c naturally since i was only 7 weeks and my doc did an u/s and there was nothing left in my uterus, I already stop bleeding i was just wondering if it is safe to have sex again, i really want to try again..,..

Anonymous said...

I just had a d&c on 8-21-07. Went for my first u/s a week after my doctor could not find a heartbeat after she told me not to freak out. It has been difficult for me to even see pregnant women, which is hard when I work with several of them. I want to ttc as soon as possible, but had heard so many different lengths of waiting. I just want a healthy baby and soon!

Anonymous said...

Hi!I had a D&c done 8/14/07 it was very emotional time for me. I wanted my baby so bad. Now I am so afraid to try again, I dont want that to happen again.How long usually should a person wait until they try again?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I just had a spontaneous miscarriage and the doctor says my progesterone levels were really low and that the baby had been gone for at least a week prior. my body naturally lost the baby and I think I have passed all the tissue. I am only 2 days after the bleeding started and I am no longer losing any tissue. I think that I am ovulating. I can usually feel it when I ovulate each month. I wonder if I could get pregnant this quick again?? babyd2008

Anonymous said...

HI thnx for info i had d&e 11/24/07due to baby heart has not well developed(hypoplastic left heart syndrome)when doctors found it and told us baby could not alive aft delivary he will be in blue colour so hardly we took this decision to go for d&e at my 26 weeks i desperately wanted my baby it was baby boy,he was so precious to both of us but we dont want to see him die aft born hardly we went for d&e and procedure done and i hope we will defnetly get a healthy baby and what i want to say to u all is dont disappoint abt ur misscarries be strong and try for another baby good luck for all evry thing leave up to god be cool happy

emily said...

I just had a D&E today, I am laying in bed trying to figure out when I can start trying again, time just doesn't seem to pass fast enough at times then when you want it to slow it ust flies by. I was 17 weeks pg and had an amnio a week ago last mon. I was fully expecting a healthy baby girl, then the MD called yesterday at 2:24pm and gave me the worst news (although with empathy and compassion) my healthy baby girl was not so healthy. Apparently she had a problem with the 13th chromosome and would probably be born stillborn if not she would die shortly after birth, usually babies with this problem miscarry early, but she didn't. We saw and heard her HB so nice and strong and I could feel her move all the way up to this morn. I am so sad and empty. I had already had a MC in Feb 07 with a D&C for a PG I didn't even know about until it was too late.

Anonymous said...

I just had a d&c last week. I was 15.5 weeks pregnant and about 20 minutes before my scheduled surgery I passed my baby. I had held my little boy in a napkin on the way to the hospital because my doctor instructed me to bring him in. They still did the procedure because other than the baby, not much else was coming out. Anyways I just wanted to write and say how much I appreciated your blog...I was really unsure about everything happening to me post-D&C and you were very reassuring. Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

Hi, it's 1/14/08 and I had a D&E done 5 days ago. I was 10 weeks but my baby stopped growing at 7 weeks. 2 ultrasounds confirmed this. This is the worst thing I have ever gone through. My husband is not understanding, sure he was sad when we found out, but he thinks it's time I get over it. He is in the Army reserves and leaves in 4 days for 3 weeks of training in Italy. He could get out of it if he wanted to, but he doesn't want to. So I will be left here with my 4 year old to try and get through this on my own. I have never felt so alone in my entire life. I am sorry to all of you who have went through and are still going through such pain. R.

kelli110 said...

ahhhh, this was just what I needed.. I had a D&E 8 days ago at 20 weeks. we found out after our quad blood screening and level 2 ultrasound that our baby girl had a rare nueral tube defect. This defect was not compatable with life. So we had to make the decision to terminate the pregnancy. Since the procedure I have been an emotional basket case. I feel like I'm on autopilot at work and have to keep a fake smile in front of others. My husband is understanding but is not going through the emotions that I am. All I can think about is getting pregnant again. I feel like my body is in withdraw from the hormones it was forced to loose so quickly. If anyone is in a similar situation and would like to talk please email me at (it will go to my junkmail so please put something in the subject line that will catch my attention)
take care,

MissHer_080808 said...

I’m 26 years old; I was 18 weeks pregnant with my first child, when the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life took place!
We were very excited going in to see my OB on March 6th 2008, to find out the sex of our first child (we even brought a video tape). The technician took a look as we laughed in excitement over the heart beat. My next breath (as it seems), I had three doctors staring at my ultrasound computer telling me that my baby girl had never developed a skull (a rare Neural Tube Disorder {0.10 chance}). They said that she had no chance of living outside of the womb and that our only option was to have a procedure called Dilation & Evacuation (D&E), it just sounded scary! I, of course, got a second opinion, but all they did was confirm my doctor’s diagnosis.
I did as much research as possible to make sure that my baby really did not have any chance of living, if I was to give birth, I mean, come on, her heart was still beating strong! My research answer: she would be a vegetable for about an hour, she wouldn’t be able to hear or feel anything then she would pass away. Right then, my decision was made. Why would I want to do any more damage to my family by carrying full term, if there was no chance for my little girl? Why would I want to do that to her? The way I saw it was, if she can’t feel anything, then it won’t hurt her, it will only hurt me (like a true mother looking out for her child). I truly felt that she would have more pain in that 1 hour of her life then if I took that life from her now.
So I decided to have the D&E. It was the worst day of my life. I understand that every loss is a loss and that no loss is more of a loss then the rest, but her heart was still beating when I had my procedure. Just the thought of them taking her from me when she was still alive, crushed me. They had to give me a sedative at the hospital.
All I remember is waking up feeling empty inside. Thank god for my family and friends or I would have never gotten through it. My only wish to those going through this sort of thing is to have a true support network. You need the people in your life that understand that it’s ok to just cry, it’s ok to feel the way that you’re feeling.
After about a week of not eating or sleeping, I called my doctor. I must have cried for about 23 hours of everyday (they prescribed me Valium – it didn’t help – it just numbed the pain for the time being). It just takes time.
Here I am, almost 4 weeks post-op and doing fine. They gave me a script for Zoloft but I really don’t think I need to fill it. What worked for me was getting back into my normal routine, work & working out (it will help you mentally & physically– I promise).
I have a follow up on the 23rd (we get the results from my amniocentesis), we will find out if it was genetic or just a fluke thing. If it was a fluke thing, we can try again as soon as I get a regular period. If it was genetic, we are considered “High Risk” and have to wait 3-6 months to try again.
To anyone that read my long story, I believe that everything happens for a reason. Your day will come, just like mine. Child Birth is truly a miracle, so don’t get discouraged if you hit a couple of bumps in the road!

Anonymous said...


Sandra said...

Hi all

I recently had a miscarraige just a week ago, I was 11 weeks gone but the doctor said my baby had stopped growing at 5 and a half weeks ended up having a d&c physically it was fine but emotionally was awful, was in a ward with other women talking about how they had heard their babys heart beat and all that it was very hard, I cried frantically for about 3 days but starting to feel better as each day goes by, I have a 1 and a half year old little boy so he helps me a lot.

My husband and I are hoping to start trying again in September or October once my period returns does anyone know would that be too soon ? ? ?

Oh I am so happy I found this website, reading all your comments makes me feel like I'm not alone during this awful time x x x x x

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

We just got confirmation that our baby died at 6w 2d and we're already in the 10th week.

Tomorrow I'm scheduled for D&C I think, I'm not too sure. I wish all of you the best...

Sandra said...

Hi Anonymous

I am so sorry for your loss, it's a very hard time in your life, I am only starting to feel like I'm getting back to my old self it takes a lot of time and if you feel like crying go right ahead, I always thought miscarriages happened to others but I never thought it would happen to me as I'm sure every woman who goes through this thinks this way.

You look after yourself and stay positive you will have your little one in time, get yourself back on track look after your health and believe me in no time you'll have your precious bundle

Lot's Of Love


Anonymous said...

I went to the doctors for a routine check up when i was 11.5 weeks pregnant. I mentioned to him that i wasn't feeling pregnant anymore ( I already have 3 boys) He suggested that its probably nothing, but he would do a HCG test to see how high my Levels were. The following day i get a call saying that they were extremely low and to book myself in for an ultrasound.
Early the next morning i went to the hospital for my Ultrasound and my baby had died at 8.5 weeks. I was so devastated i didn't even want to see him on the screen (I deeply regret that now) but my emotions were all over the place. The following day i had a D & C at the hospital and i was a mess. My procedure kept getting delayed cause all these emergencys kept popping up. I felt comforted every time i was delayed because i still had my baby in my womb. I was supposed to be protecting him. When the time came for the operation i went in with tears and came out with tears. I was so empty, all i wanted to do was bring him home and i couldn't even do that. My boys asked why they couldn't see him and if he was playing with his grandad in heaven. It has been one week today and i am an emotional mess. I cry everyday , i dont share my feelings with my husband because he is the type to forget and get on with things. What made it worse was when we first discovered we were expecting we weren't sure of our dates so i had an Ultrasound at 7.5 weeks and he had a strong little heartbeat. I want to give him/her a name but i dont know the sex. I want to celebrate every year the day he was due 13/04/2009. He is part of my family and if anybody asks me how many children have i had , my answer will be 4 (Always part of our family). We will be together one day, all of us.

TKCAnne said...

Thank you for this site. I had my D&C 12 days ago. I started spotting and had an ultrasound at 8 weeks. It showed that my baby had stopped growing at 6 weeks. That was 2 days before Thanksgiving. I wanted to miscarry naturally so we waited. The spotting stopped completely and nothing was happening except that I was still nauseated. We had plans to take our kids to a water park and meet my extended family for a weekend so I opted to go ahead and have the D&C so I would not risk ruining the trip for them. I was a complete basket case. We were given the option of having a funeral home pick up our baby's remains from the hospital and have a graveside service. We did that. We didn't know our baby's sex, but both of us felt that it was a girl. We named her Hope Therese. It is comforting to me to have our baby acknowledged as a real person who died. I am finally starting to feel better emotionally. We want to try again but my doctor wants me to wait for two normal cycles.

Anonymous said...

I had a D&E done after finding out that our baby had stopped growing at 7.6 weeks. I thought I was 9 weeks pregnant. I still had all the symptoms. I had an ultrasound done because I had had some scant brown discharge a few weeks earlier. The nurse said not to worry, and during the ultrasound I might be able to hear the baby's heartbeat. I knew something was wrong when the US tech asked if my dates could be "off."
I felt like the D&E was right for me. I wanted to move on as quickly as possible. Grieve and get conceiving again was my thought process. I find it hard to see pregnant women and not think of what stage in pregnancy I would be in if our baby had thrived. Hoping that it isnt a partial molar pregnancy and can start again soon. Follow up with surgeon in a couple of days.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you in this time. Keep your chin up. That's what I'm trying to do...

Anonymous said...

Hi all..
I had a D & E a week ago 26/12 and am still feeling the loss. I have been trying to get preg for a year and seeing the 2 pink lines gave me a feeling i can't describe. When i had a slight spotting 4 weeks after i found out abt my preg, i went to the A & E and the scan showed an empty amniotic sac. Doc told me it was blighted ovum. I did research and really hoped that the doc was wrong. After numerous scans and blood test, it was confirmed that the foetus never grew. After the D & E, it was so difficult to see preg ladies out there, knowing that i could have been one. The hardest part to deal was the fact that i got preg but it was unsuccessful. Reading all the above entries made me feel better as i know that i am not alone. Now, i am not sure if i wanna try again coz i don't wanna go through this again.

Unknown said...

Hi All,
My story is a bit different from all the ones here I have been reading..... My Husband and I have a stunning 3 year old girly girl, I so badly want to give her a sibling or 2/3/4 so she isnt alone in the world after her parents are gone. Our journey started when she turned 1.5 we decided yup its time........ We started I got an immidate results well at least I thought anyway, it was over for me and the second one was on the way.......So just to make sure I was still pregnant I took another pee test 2 days later and wala the line had almost disapeared, I was like wa whats that? Call my OB go in he gives me a blood test says your not pregi and then proceeds to tell me its somthing called a chemical pregancy and not to worry its very common come back if you have any more.....So we keep trying next month again, and then again the month after.......... Blood work out the wazoo all normal chromazomes checked nothing is wrong.... OB says your just having bad luck it will happen keep trying 6 more chemical pregnancys later one finally sticks yahoo Im pregnant big relif..... at 2 month I had a small bleed that was fine it went away..... 12w scan I had a high risk for downs they suggest amnio.... I think hard about it and then decied to go ahead with it.... which was the dummest thing I have ever decided to do..... HAd it done all was fine got the results in 4weeks all was fine nothing wrong baby Violet was great... Great yahoo rejoice Im 20 weeks and we did itYAHOO!The follwing week go to bed with gas I think anyway what else could it be???? WAke up next morning they are comming every 5 minutes go to hosp get admitted..... Have ultra sound all is fine bub is happy and moving around, give me pills to stop contractions they stop I have a good day in the hospital no cramps or contractions I think is over Im going home in the morning... Go to sleep get woken up by the mother of all contractions water breaks..... Need less to say Miss Violet was born with no pain management the next day she lived and died in my arms I was 22 weeks..........I really thought I was going to die from a broken heart if it wasnt from my daughter I would not be here today it was the hardest day of my life and will remain with me forever.......Miss Violet was so beautiful she had my husbands feet and hands a tiny little nose she was perfect in every way and I fucked it up because I had a to go and have that stupid amnio.... It has been documented that an amnio can cause misscarry up untill 18 weeks after it s been done, I lastd 5/6 weeks and then she came, I didnt need a D&C because it was complete atleast thats what they said..... Went for second oppinon after I didnt stop bleeding a month later .... Oh ya there was a big ol peice of somthing left over in there and if It didnt come out in a week then I was to have a D&C becasue of odvious reasons.... Thank goodness it came out..... So I wait the required time to start again and we start one, two chemical pregancys...Im ready to stop just throw in the towel accept defeat and take a break. Waw October 15 comes and goes and I decide to wait 2 more day before I test because if it was another chemical I would be just so let down... It wasnt it was so pink I was elated ELATED.... I kept it to my self for a week before I told anyone after all it had to be better than the last time right? Finaly I tell my Hubby he was stoked we decided to keep it hush hush till christmas we let it out at xmass dinner it was great my family and his were all stoked for us! Have my scan at 8 weeks all is well baby is the right size and all implnat looks great heartbeat is strong looks great... Again we go home STOKED! Was due to go bad in Jan for the next appoint ment at 13 weeks.... Couldnt wait to hear the heart beat again..... The cramps started on the morning of the day before12/30 New Years eve.... No blood so Im still good called my Gp she is awesome and set me up for a scan to show me all was well and that I dont need to worry its for the next morning. I say cool and just sit in bed on bed rest till then. Mean whils I have this really cool feeling that all is just going to be fine it was really weird. The cramps were light all day even stopping at one point for a little while..... Then around dinner time they started again no to bad very managable so I went to be and went to sleep, got up to check on the little on checked my pad and there it was blood again not happy this time but still have a weird sence that it was still fine.. Get up go to scan opp in the am thinking it was over I would see no heart beat I was bleeding and had cramps that equils m/c is eminit..... The Doc puts the prob on the my belly and I nearly fainted there it was a strong heart beat a big amnio sac and the little fella was as happy as could be swimming around it was amazing!!!!!! There was no separtaion of the placenta that was fine there were no clots nothing it was all fine. I was stoked it was fine Ya Right.......... It was fine till I stared to bleed heavily again that night I know it was over when that came out of me. Was just going to stay home and have the m/carry at home why not I did the last one with out and pain med why bother with this one Im only 11 weeks to the day.... Husband says no your going and thats it. So I go it takes them so long to get to me that Im in the pushing stage and the baby is comming soon. The pain was actually worse then before with the last one they gave me pethadine and all of you out there that have had it know it does NOTHING!!! Gave birth to my little boy at 10:30am New Years eve....Im so heart broken because as you have ready read he was alive and happy just hours before... Im so ovrwhelmed and unhappy about the entire thing I feel like they arent picking up somthing..... I feel helpless........ I had the D&C 2 days ago It sucked and Im still bleeding a bit. I go see my doctor tomorrow.... We will see what he says! But Im sure there will be no answers or solutions either. This is so F%CKING frustrating! If anyone has any answers for me please send them I look forward to chating to you about this whole mess...........Thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mary, I’m so sorry for your loss…you have been through so much! I had a D&E at 8 weeks last month and it was my first pregnancy loss. We knew there were problems at 6 weeks since initially there was only a faint heartbeat and then no heartbeat. I never had any bleeding or cramps so I thought everything was fine. I kept hoping with each ultrasound that maybe everything would be OK. I already have an 18 mo old son and thank God for him! The doctor says we can try again after two periods. I’ll be 40 this year so hopefully we’ll be able to have another child. I have fertility issues and we have been trying since my son was 9 mo old. It took us three years to get pregnant with my son and he has been such a blessing! As hard as it is losing a baby I think in difficult situations it helps to count your blessings. Thank God you have a wonderful 3 year old daughter and a very supportive husband. I truly hope that your next pregnancy is a success and that you have a happy and healthy baby! Baby dust to all!!!!

Susan said...

I had a D&C due to very heavy/irregular periods about 2 years ago (i had alot of polyps on my uterus), since then my periods were perfect and on the day exactly every month up until 7 months ago, they were sproadic, and i went back to passing blood clots, not getting a period, or having a period for a day or 2. My doc ordered another sonohyst for tomorrow and said if there are more polyps and i had results like i did with the last sonohyst, another D&C may be in order. Would having more than one D&C affect my chances of having children in the future? I had discussed this with him IN CASE he even mentions D&C tomorrow and he said that he is very cautious about how he does his D&C esp. considering i would like to have children in the future. Any help would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this information. I really, really appreciate it. I haven't found anything this thorough and thoughtful anywhere else, and it really meant a lot to me.

Anonymous said...

This has been so helpful. On Feb 19, 2009 I found out that I had miscarried. On the 21st I had a D&E to remove the fetus. It was so hard emotionally. I was told that I would never be able to have a baby because of PCOS, so when I found out I was pregnant, It was a true miracle and blessing from above. I had a rough time after the D&E, because my emotions were so up and down and I was heart broken. This was all I had ever wanted, then I had it, and it was taken away from me in the blink of an eye. I thank God everyday, and pray that one day I will be able to have a healthy baby. My heart goes out to anyone that has to go through the loss of a baby. You al have great strength within yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I had a D&C a week ago. I was 13 weeks and baby stopped growing at 6. I had no signs of a miscarrage, just my gut feeling something wasn't right. Anyways, the past couple of days I have been bleeding more than I did right after the D&C. And just now I had bloody tissue show on my toilet paper. Was kinda worried something was wrong, but while waiting on hold with my hospital I read this and put me at ease, and decided to just call the doc tomorrow. I am not soaking pads so I think I will be fine. thanks

Anonymous said...

I had my third miscarriage last week 3/27. I am so sad, and I miss each of my babies so much.

This time instead of miscarrying naturally I had a D&C, so the fetal tissue can be tested. I just want them to figure out what's wrong with me. Why I can't seem to hold on to a pregnancy.

My husband and I have been trying for 18 months, and I don't know how much more I can take. He is amazing and supportive, but it's just weighing on me.

I'm 27, so every day it seems I find out that a friend of mine is pregnant. It's hard to watch your loved ones get pregnant with just a wink from their partner and we struggle.

I just pray that we catch a break, and that things improve in our lives soon.

I just had to get it out, I know this is an area to post about the procedure, but I just had to get it out. Thanks for letting me post my grief.

Good luck to all of you out there, I hope you all have healthy babies soon!

Anonymous said...

I'm scheduled for D&C on monday after finding out yesterday that the baby stopped growing at 9 weeks... this will be my second D&C since 05/05/06. I have a 5 yr old daughter and have been wanting to have a sibling for her.. but it nearly took 3 yrs to get pregnant again after last m/c... This time seems much harder to cope with the loss esp since we were very excited.. however, due to my first m/c at 10 weeks, each obgyn visits have been with so much anxiety and fear.. dreading the worst. I've been purposely putting all our baby stuffs in the storage until we know for sure since we're making a big move in few months. We decided to wait until few more weeks to share the good news, and now we have to go thru another one sad loss. I'm going to be 39 end of this year and the hope of getting pregnant seem so far off... it's hard to say goodbye to our babies..and wondering if there were anyways to have prevented. I drank some coca cola & ate sushi even after finding out about the pregnancy.. and took numerous long hours of travels within past two weeks which were unavoidable.. now wondering if any of these could have caused it. I guess one thing that gives me some assurance is that, if the baby wasn't strong enough to make it to 10 weeks, he/she wouldn't have survive thru the full term. One additional thing about this second m/c is that, i had minor poking sensation since at 6 weeks and last week, I felt continuous pressure in my bottom and had to sit down which was similar to feeling when I felt the day before I went in to deliver my daughter. I also had one incident of bright red smear last monday, but after reading thru many websites, decided not to worry since it seemed to be okayto have some spottong and decided to wait until my scheduled check up this week esp sine I was out of town. I really enjoyed being pregnant second time again, and I only wish that all this was a dream. But, today, I'm starting to bleed little on and off and feeling abodominal pressure. I'm wondering how things will change over this weekend until my scheduled procedure.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this - very helpful.

MelissaB said...

On 5/2/09 I went to the ER with severe cramping and a fever. I was 13.4 months preg with our 4th baby. In the waiting room (yes, they had me sitting out there for an hour even though my pain was at a 10 and I told them I thought I was miscarrying) I felt a gush of fluid and ran into the restroom where I started to bleed. They finally took me back, and started the exam. I could see my baby on the US screen, and see it't heart beating. Within seconds the doctor was telling me that my baby was gone. Next thing I know they are all rushing around and trying to get me into surgery because I had started to bleed out. 20 minutes later I was in the OR undergoing a D & C. I required two blood transfusions and developed a fever of 105 which I was given loads of antibiotics for. This was easily the worst day of my life. This baby had been talked about ad dreamed of for years, and was going to complete our family. My husband was deployed to Iraq, and I had to go through this without him by my side. May 2nd is also my husband's birthday. Because my loss occurred in the ER, I feel I did not recieve a very high level of care or compassion. No one ever once attempted to talk to me about what had happened, or what to expect afterwards. The only words I heard were "It's not your fault, there was nothing you could have done, or did do" It sounded like an auto response. Here it is a month later, and still no medical support. I have not even been able to get in for my follow up because of the way military facilities are set up for after care. My hCG levels are back to zero, and I have started my first cycle now. I am having heavy bleeding, and can find very little info on what to expect for your first period after. It has been a very long and emotional month, and there are times I want to talk about it, but am not sure where to turn. I have so many questions. My husband tries, but it is painful for us both.

MelissaB said...

Um, in my above post I meant 13.4 WEEKS not months....sorry :)

jenniferjm said...

I just had my third D&E (1 of dd conceived by IUI @ 33, developed to 6.5 wks, then live birth of ds conceived by IVF #34, then another D&E after natural conception @35 of another dd (w/downs) developed only to 10 wks (discovered @14 wks), then live birth of ds#2 naturally conceived at 37, then D&E #3 4 days ago after another natural conception @39 developed to 8.5 wks (discovered @ 12 wks). I had forgotten the sore throat, fluid retention, cramps, bloating, etc. Follow-up appt. in 2 weeks and then ttc for a few months and going for 4 frozen embryos left from IVF. Thanks for your post.

CoriAnn said...

I had a miscarriage on Feb 19, and just recently started feeling funny and decided to take a pregnancy test. Walllla!! It came up Positive!! I am so excited because I was told that i would NEVER have babies because of PCOS, and this is my 2nd pregnancy this year. I can only pray that this will be my HEALTHY MIRACLE baby, the one that I have always dreamed about. Having the miscarriage in Febuary was completly devistating to me and I have asked God several times to bless me with a healthy baby. I truly beleive there was a reason that I lost the baby before and in my heart I pray that this time will be different. I hope the best for all of you. My heart goes out to anyone that has felt that lose.

Stephanie said...

I am an emotional basket case, and this explains why. I am so sad, and upset, and angry. But I will and have been dealing with it.....and this post made it a lot easier!

Anonymous said...

This was a great help. I just had a d&c yesterday and it has been the hardest thing i've ever had to do. Today is more hopeful but still sad. I've taken this next week off work as i am a hairstylist and i made the mistake of starting to tell people last week. I just don't think I can be around people that are co-workers more than friends just yet. I also don't want to talk about it, I'd just like to be for awhile. I'll include the poem i wrote early yesterday morning when i couldn't sleep. I have found that writing my feelings in a journal over the past few days has really let me say whats in my heart, AND see the hopelessness and devastation subside as time goes on. Even if it was a random sentance or angry word, it got written down. I really recommend this because sometimes is really hard saying the things you're thinking to your loved ones. xoxox good luck lovely women, we're stronger than we think.

Inside my muscle and sinew,
We conceived you, we loved you.

Not the real truth deep inside,
Your heart died, my body lied.

Tissue and bones too fragile,
The idea becomes a memory.
Facing what seems unbearable,
The bad dream is now a reality.

Coriann said...

On August 14 my whole world came crashing down yet once again. I was told that although I was 10 weeks pregnant, my baby quit growing at 8 weeks and there was no heart beat. So another D&C was scedueled for August 18. I tried to be strong infront of others, but completly fell apart when I was alone. The doctor says that it is not considered a "Hibitual Miscarriage" untill after I have a third one. But he is going to do the genetic testing in a few weeks to hopefully give us some answers. I am 35 years old and trying to stay positive that someday my miracle baby will come, but its really starting to be difficult.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how long to wait between trying? I was almost 6 months to the day between my two miscarriages. I'm just lost right now...