Surviving a pregnancy loss can be very difficult. After a miscarriage you may experience a roller coaster of emotions, as well as physical symptoms, as your body recovers.
What can I expect physically after a miscarriage?
It takes a few weeks to a month or more to recover physically from a miscarriage. Your recovery will depend on how far along you were into the pregnancy. Some women experience the following physical effects:
- Vaginal bleeding, similar to a menstrual period, may last up to a week after a miscarriage.
- Light bleeding, or spotting.
- Depending on your menstrual cycle, normal periods should resume in 3-6 weeks.
- Lower abdominal pain similar to menstrual cramps may last up to 2 days after the miscarriage.
- Breast discomfort, engorgement or leaking milk; ice packs and a supportive bra may relieve discomfort. This discomfort usually stops within a week.
- Some pregnancy hormones remain in the blood for one to two months after a miscarriage.
How can I prevent infection?
After you have been examined by a doctor, there are several things you can do until the bleeding stops to help prevent infection. These include:
- Using sanitary pads rather than tampons. Wait until your next period before using tampons again.
- Do not douche
- Do not go into swimming pools or hot tubs
- Take showers instead of baths
- Do not have sexual intercourse
Also, if your doctor prescribes antibiotics for you, it is very important to take the antibiotic exactly as prescribed until all the medication is gone. (Even if your symptoms improve after only a few days of taking the antibiotic, keep taking them until they are gone!)
When can I return to my normal activities?
You may resume normal activities as soon as you feel able. However, it is wise to ask your doctor for more specific instructions regarding any vigorous or strenuous exercise.
Reprinted with permission from American Pregnancy Association