Periods After Miscarriage

QUESTION

Dear Midwife
I was pregnant but miscarried at 10 weeks. I bleed for 17 days after, then my next period came 4 weeks later, it seemed normal. A week later i had some bleeding, fairly light and just for 2 days. Another week on I am having light bleeding, and discharge dark in color.

Is this normal or should I be concerned?

How long should I wait before trying to get pregnant again.

Many thanks.

ANSWER

I tell my clients that once they have a period that is normal in length and strength, they should come in for a pregnancy test just to make sure that all the pregnancy hormone is out of their system (it should be negative). Then they can try to conceive again whenever they like. However, if I am understanding your history correctly, my question would be whether you have already had unprotected intercourse. If so, you might want to take a pregnancy test, just to be sure. Assuming it is negative, the bleeding you have had sounds like your body is still finishing clearing up the miscarriage, but it could be several other things. If your next period is normal but you are still spotting, I'd suggest getting it checked.

-- Cynthia, CNM

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.