Recovering from a miscarriage
While your body is recovering from a miscarriage, you are likely to have:
- bleeding from your vagina
- stomach cramps and pain
When to get urgent medical help
Contact your GP or maternity hospital after a miscarriage if you have:
- heavy bleeding from your vagina
- severe abdominal pain
- smelly vaginal discharge
These symptoms could mean that some of the pregnancy tissue is still in your womb.
They could also be signs of an infection, especially if you also:
- feel feverish - a temperatures above 38°C (100.4°F)
- have flu-like symptoms like a sore throat, fever and muscle ache
You should go to the hospital if you are feeling unwell or feverish in the days after your miscarriage
Infection happens in about 2% of women who have had a miscarriage (2 in every 100 women). Infection can be treated with antibiotics.
If your infection is not treated, sometimes serious complications like sepsis can occur. Sepsis is a very severe infection. It is caused by germs (usually bacteria) getting into your bloodstream.
Sepsis can cause organ damage and even death. It is very important to get medical help urgently if you think you may have an infection.
Do not use tampons
Do not use tampons or moon cups, as these could cause infection. It is safe to use sanitary towels or pads.
Your next period
Your next period will usually be 4 to 6 weeks after a miscarriage.
Emotions after a miscarriage
A miscarriage can be devastating for you and for your partner. The amount of emotional pain you feel is unique to you, and you may find it changes from time to time.
Sometimes, you may feel you are doing fine, but a sudden memory could trigger emotions. Feelings such as guilt, shock and anger are common. There is no right or wrong way to feel after a miscarriage.
Try to be open about your feelings and to communicate with your partner, family or friends.
Talk to your GP if you feel you are not coping. Remember your partner may have different ways of coping with the miscarriage.
The loss of a pregnancy through miscarriage affects people in different ways. It can be a very distressing and emotional experience. You may need lots of support afterwards from your partner, family or friends.
Your GP can give you support during your physical and emotional recovery.
Your maternity hospital may offer support such as:
- chaplaincy or pastoral care
- clinical midwife specialist in bereavement and loss
The Pregnancy and Infant Loss in Ireland website has information and advice for parents.
Returning to work after a miscarriage
Your return to work depends on how you feel physically and emotionally.
If you can, rest for a few days before returning to work. Discuss this with your doctor in the hospital or with your GP.
You can get full maternity leave if you have a stillbirth or miscarriage after week 24 of your pregnancy.
Find out what benefits and entitlements you can get after a miscarriage or stillbirth.
Sex after a miscarriage
You can have sex again as soon as you feel ready. Make sure to wait until you feel well and until the pain and bleeding has reduced.
Remember you could get pregnant in the first month after a miscarriage. This can happen before your period returns. If this is not what you want, talk to your GP about contraception.
You can try for another baby as soon as you and your partner feel physically and emotionally ready.
Chances of another miscarriage
Most women will have a successful pregnancy after miscarriage. Having one or two miscarriages does not mean you are at higher risk for miscarriage in the future.
If you have 3 miscarriages, there might be a medical reason. Some medical conditions make it more likely to miscarry. Speak with your GP about treatment options.