When a pregnancy ends on its own, it is called a spontaneous abortion or miscarriage. Miscarriages are common, occurring in 25 percent of pregnancies. A miscarriage usually cannot be prevented and is no one’s fault. There is no right or wrong way to emotionally feel about a miscarriage. Experiencing a miscarriage holds a different meaning to each person. Some want to explore ways to remember the pregnancy. Others may want to just focus on getting through the procedure on the day of the appointment.
You can speak with us if you want to explore ways to feel supported, to remember the pregnancy, to care for the pregnancy remains or to discuss a plan for further support after the surgical procedure. There is local support at Hospice Yukon, the Yukon division of the Canadian Mental Health Association and other online supports such as October 15 - Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day and the Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Centre.
If your pregnancy is very early, your doctor may have given you options to treat your pregnancy loss, including:
- Waiting for the pregnancy to expel on its own. This is called expectant management.
- Treatment with a medication called Mifegymiso that will cause your uterus to contract and help your body expel the pregnancy. This is successful about 90 percent of the time within 2 to 3 days of taking it. Heavy bleeding and cramping are normal with this process. If unsuccessful, you may require a D&C.
- Treatment with a procedure to remove the pregnancy and placental tissue from the uterus. This is called uterine aspiration or dilation and curettage (D&C) and is for pregnancies up to 16 weeks by ultrasound. If you were more than 16 weeks pregnant by ultrasound when you miscarried, the procedure to remove the pregnancy is called dilation and evacuation (D&E). You would be referred to a gynecologist to perform it. You can read about the risks of these procedures.
You have options when it comes to caring for pregnancy remains and we will support you with whichever of these feels right for you.
- Private arrangements including cremation or burial can be arranged through a funeral home.
- The hospital will care for the pregnancy remains in a regulated manner and no further involvement is required on your part.
Your doctor can refer you to Opal Clinic if you have chosen to treat your miscarriage with a D&C or your pregnancy is at a stage where your safest option is to be treated with a D&C. We will make every effort to see you within a few days of your referral.
At Opal Clinic, you will have an appointment for a consult with the doctor and then the procedure will be booked as soon as possible.
We will require copies of all the tests that show your pregnancy has ended or is not viable. If you are eligible for genetic testing to determine the cause of your miscarriage, your doctor will need to forward the forms to Opal Clinic and we will ensure you get the test.
When you return to the hospital, register at the same desk as for your initial appointment. A nurse will take you to the Surgical Day Care area and then to the Operating Room. You will be discharged home the same day.