27 answers

How to Induce a Miscarriage

Sadly, I went into my routine appointment for my eleventh week of pregnancy yesterday and learned that our baby was no longer living. It was so difficult; we had just seen the heart beat three weeks prior on an ultrasound and I was expecting this appointment to be quick, fun, and painless. However, three different nurses and the doctor could not find a heartbeat on the Doppler so we had an ultrasound done. Lo and behold, no life left. I am so very fortunate to already have a beautiful, absolutely amazing one-and-a-half-year-old boy so he continues to put smiles and laughter in our hearts every day.

My question is this, however:
I wish to miscarry naturally, if possible. Are there any foods, drinks, methods, etc. that can help induce a miscarriage? I do not want to wait much longer. We are going to be visiting family in a week and a half (a long planned vacation) and I really do not wish to have to go through the process then. I will do a D&C if absolutely necessary, but would definitely prefer a natural elimination.

Thank you. This is an extremely tough experience, but nature seems to know best.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I am extremely touched by all of your responses. It is sad how common miscarriages are and how many wonderful mothers have to endure them. All of you are now very close to my heart as well and thank you so much for sharing your stories. After a lot of difficult consideration and reading all of your experiences, we have decided to opt for the D&C tomorrow morning. While I think that it might be better for my body to miscarry naturally, I am having a hard time waiting. Also, I am a SAHM with my son and I don't have additional help during the days while my husband is at work. If the natural process were to be long and very painful (which my doctor and many of you have warned me about), I am not certain that I would be a very good caretaker during that time. I am ready to move on and let my poor baby move on too. As for the family trip, I couldn't think of rescheduling it because I need their love and support more now than ever. We do not have family that live in the state and we only get to see our families about three or four times a year. I am in need of this trip and am thankful that I will not have to worry about going through the miscarriage while in their company. So, even though I am nervous about tomorrow, I feel that it is the right choice. I send all my love to each and every one of you and your families. Best wishes for many happy, beautiful memories ahead. Thank you.

More Answers

I am so sorry you are going through this. I know this loss personally and how difficult it can be.

Being as far along as you are, I would suggest not using any herbal abortifacients. The reason I say this is that your body will usually know how to expel a pregnancy which is non-viable on it's own. Adding herbs may intensify cramping or possibly make you very, very ill. I know from my last miscarriage that I would not have made it through the process without vicodin for pain relief, so do ask your midwife/ob for some real pain relief, not just advil or tylenol. Your body will be laboring. Keep healthy foods which are easier on the stomach around. (I found applesauce to be a lifesaver.) Be prepared that it may take a few days for the cramping to subside. I was down for about three whole days, and almost passed out a couple times, so know your limits. Have your spouse stay home with you once things start (if you have children you may be not be able to tend to them well without help). Give yourself time.

I have had three miscarriages and haven't had to go in for a d and c, however, my girlfriends who have had to go in have all been treated with compassion and respect. Each one has told me that while they weren't wanting to go in for this procedure, they were well-cared for and received personable treatment.

My heart goes out to you. Drink lots of water and get plenty of rest and eat well when you can.

13 moms found this helpful

while there are things you can take to do this, it may still be necessary to get the D&C to get "everything" connected to the pregnancy out. As hard as it is, I would go get the D&C, especially since you are soon going away. Sorry for your loss...

12 moms found this helpful

Don't have any advice about the natural miscarriage -- I had a D&C when the exact same thing at about the same time happened to me. It was sad, I cried, but I felt better when I saw that the baby had essentially been reabsorbed. Nature did know best, and I couldn't have asked for anyone more perfect than the wonderful daughter who followed that miscarriage.

Hope you feel better soon!

10 moms found this helpful

Your story really hits home for me. February 28th of this year I went to my initial prenatal appointment and of course was so excited. According to my LMP I was 11 weeks. After no heartbeat on the doppler we tried u/s and still no heartbeat. Baby measured only 9 weeks so it had been 2 weeks since the baby's heart stopped beating. My doctor said he could not guess when I would miscarry on my own. I decided to have the D&C because I did not want to go through the torture of waiting and wondering, "When will it happen?" Then once it starts happening, it's a whole other torture waiting for it to be done. This is why we decided to do the D&C. I did not want to drag it on. I wanted it over and done with. Surgery went well but did bleed a little bit after. I understand why you want nature to take it's own course but for your sanity, I would definitely consider surgery. I hope this helps... best of luck.

10 moms found this helpful

I miscarried naturally at 12 weeks several years ago. It did not go well for me. The process took days, and then fetal material got stuck in the oss opening, which caused the remainder of the miscarriage material to get backed up and had I not suspected that the increased cramping from this natural process was going wrong, I would have died of sepsis. Once the material was dislodged the remainder of the miscarriage took place rather quickly. My milk still came in.

I would highly recommend the D&C. It is sure proof way to safely remove all fetal material.

I am sorry for your loss. You're emotions will be hay wire and you will probably have many other mild post-labor symptoms, like fluid retention. The hormones that maintain a pregnancy are strong and remain in your system for quite some time. That is why there is such a delay between the death of embryo versus the miscarriage.

You might want to postpone your family trip.

7 moms found this helpful

Im sorry for your loss love. Praying for a fast recovery. I miscarried at 11wks as well and after 4 days of unbearable cramping, I went in for the d& c. I highly suggest you go that route. You are put under and don't feel a thing. It can take a while to pass everything and it doesn't always complete. Best of luck dear.

7 moms found this helpful

I was scheduled for a D&C immediately and I wouldn't have had it any other way.....
I'm sorry for your loss.
Once I knew the baby was gone, I just wanted it over with as soon as possible.

7 moms found this helpful

So very sorry this happened to you. The exact same thing happened to me. The night after my appointment, my body miscarried on its own. It was very painful physically. And I also saw everything, which was very painful emotionally. I strongly suggest you have the D&C and spare yourself all that.

I hope you heal quickly. Blessings.

5 moms found this helpful

Do what you think is best.

I miscarried at 8.5 wks. I had been spotting for about a week prior and the doc couldn't tell me for sure if I was miscarrying or not, but to just let nature take it's course because the was nothing that could be done to stop it if it was in fact a miscarriage. It was a sunny, fall afternoon on October 3, I was laying on the couch watching TV, I got up to go to the bathroom and was nearly doubled over in pain, twice. The pains were exactly like labor contractions. When I made it to the bathroom, is when I lost the baby. I will never forget that day, and it still brings tears to my eyes...and this was 7 years ago.

Don't forget to take time to grieve for your loss. It is part of the healing process.

I wish you the best and pray for healing. I'm very sorry you are going thru this.

5 moms found this helpful

I have had four miscarriages, two naturally and two D&Cs. My first was 12 weeks, and I started the miscarriage naturally but ended up going in for a D&C after I almost passed out in my bathroom. The miscarriage didn't actually start until a month after my baby was found to have died. The pain was excruciating, even though I was told it would be like a heavy period it was actually as intense as labor and childbirth. My next two miscarriages were 6 weeks along and were like heavy periods, I took some IB Profen and spent the day between the bed and the bathroom :( My fourth was 12 weeks along and I had a scheduled D&C a week after the ultrasound that showed no heartbeat. I started bleeding the morning I was scheduled, so didn't endure any physical pain.
Bottom line, as far along as you are, I would go with the D&C, or prepare yourself for a VERY painful process, and know that you may end up in the hospital anyway.
I am so sorry for your loss.

5 moms found this helpful

I am sorry for your loss. The same thing happened to me. The ultrasound showed that the baby was not living any more. My doctor scheduled a D & C the same day.

5 moms found this helpful

K. - So sorry for your loss. Take time to grieve and let yourself heal. I've been through both situations. The natural way takes awhile, and if I were in your position of going on a vacation, I would definitely not want it to be going on while I was there. Consider the emotional/mental stress you'll be dealing with each time you go to the bathroom. It was draining for me to go the natural way. The D&C is quick and relatively easy to recover from. Prayers are with you.

4 moms found this helpful

If you are going away in 10 days get a D&C. I am all for waiting and seeing if it happens naturally, but can take a while to start and even it all goes way it can take days from start to finish. I would not want to deal with it while traveling, an if you have a D&C now, you have a few days to recoup before you leave.

Good luck and I'm sorry for your loss.

4 moms found this helpful

Oh, honey, I'm so sorry. I went through the very same thing. I went and got acupuncture and that took care of it for me. I was able to miscarry naturally (although I still had to go to the hospital because I lost too much blood--I just had to get fluids, though, so no big deal). Hang in there through this. I got pregnant again 5 months later on our first try---and I'm so happy to have my little man now (he's 3). Without the miscarriage I wouldn't have him, so I feel very blessed.
Take care,

4 moms found this helpful

I'm so sorry. It's so hard to go through this loss. I feel more like you, and like to let things happen naturally. I do have another idea for you. You could call an acupuncturist. They have techniques to help you start "labor" no matter what term you are in. You could find one and call them to ask them some questions to see what they thought and what their abilities were. Good luck with everything!

3 moms found this helpful

I am crying for you as I write this. It is an extremely tough experience. I know because I went through it, too. I am so thankful you have your son to help you through this. Ours would have been our firstborn.

My little girl died when she was about 5 1/2 months along. My doctor had me miscarry naturally. Actually, I suspect he just didn't want to deal with it, ignored me, and let nature take its course. He retired very shortly after this time. I was so young and uninformed that I didn't know that I was probably being grossly malpracticed upon. It took nearly three months from the time the baby died to the time I miscarried. Without going into all of the gory details about the miscarriage, I am probably very, very lucky that I emerged from this experience without having my health seriously impaired. After this experience, I would NOT recommend natural miscarriage, at least the way it was done with me.

I was able, about a year after this experience, to have a little boy.

Time helps the pain to go away, but now, nearly 30 years later, I still grieve for my lost little one. I am so sorry for you. Know that you are not alone.

3 moms found this helpful

I'm so sorry for your loss. I've lost two babies, the second one was just 3 days after seeing his/her heartbeat. I know what a devastating time this is. I also understand completely about wanting to miscarry naturally, however I would urge you to speak to you dr about this first. It can be quite dangerous to miscarry naturally after 9 weeks. There's an increased risk of heavy bleeding. I actually know a woman who nearly died becuase she miscarried naturally at 12 weeks. That's not to say that all women who m/c naturally at 11 or 12 weeks have complications, just that the risks are greater.

If, however, you're adament about trying for a natural miscarriage, drink lots of Red Rapsberry Leaf tea. Make sure it's the real kind, not the Cellestial SEasonings kind. You can get it at stores like Whole Foods. Red Raspberry Leaf tea is a uteran toner and taken in the early stages of pg may induce miscarriage. I used it for my first loss and miscarried naturally 3 days after I started drinking it. I think I drank about 5 cups a day.

Also, before you miscarry, get a prescription strength pain killer from you dr. You may not need it, but will be happy to have it if you do. I desperately needed it for my first loss and had to have the dr call it in. My DH was working and it took another 3 hours for him to get home with it, the whole time with me in agonizing pain. My second loss was spontaneous, and very quick. I felt slight cramping and began to loose the baby. It was all over before the contractions even really set it. Each m/c is different, but I always advise to be prepared just in case the pain is bad.

If you start to go through a pad and hour, got straight to the ER since that's just way too much blood. I don't mean to scare you, but just want you to be safe. Neither of my miscarriages (both at 9 weeks exactly) had heavy bleeding, but I was happy to know what to do if it happened.

Lastly, take your time to grieve for you loss. This is one of the hardest things you'll go through so please don't be surprised if it takes you longer than you expected to start to feel normal again. Don't feel pressured by anyone to "just get over it" (yes, people have said that to me, and other asinine things). You'll never get over it, but you will learn to live with it and be able to move forward with you life again one day. And this may sound silly, but go do something nice for yourself, like get a massage. When I was told to do this, I thought it was a crazy idea, but it worked. I felt great! It was fleeting, but it felt good to feel good, if only for a few hours.

Again, I'm so sorry for you loss. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts.


3 moms found this helpful

I haven't had time to read all the responses so forgive me if I repeat. First and foremost, I'm so very sorry for your loss. My heart and prayers to you and your family. I'm not sure if you've ever experienced this before or if this is your first loss. I've had multiple miscarriages if the past 6 years. My first loss was prior to my firstborn who will be 5 this summer. I miscarried at 9 weeks and my doctors choose to do a d&c in order to control my blood loss. (I am on blood thinning medication daily.) I experienced very little pain after the d&c, just felt like intense menstral cramping followed by a normal period for 5 or 6 days. I had several natural miscarriages after my daughter was born. Each time I knew what was happening by the cramps starting and then slow bleed. I'd call the dr, they'd have me come in for ultrasound to confirm but of course there was nothing they could do to stop it from happening. I will tell you the physical pain with natural loss can be just as intense as labor pains themselves, you are after all "delivering" the baby. Honestly, going through all the contracting and cramping for hours on end knowing that there was not going to be a "happy ending" took a huge mental toll on me. If I would have had a choice I would have opted for d&c each time. Emotionally I did better with the d&c rather than having it drag out for days on end. Physically the d&c was pretty much pain free in comparison and I bled much less with the d&c. Good Luck and God Bless!

3 moms found this helpful

Dear K.,
I am so very sorry for your great loss. Such a heartbreaking thing, to lose a baby.
I want to encourage you to let this go naturally. I hesitate to list herbs or such that often work because they also can be used to induce an abortion. Do you know of a midwife that you can consult? They are often very educated on herbal treatments for your situation. Again, I am so sorry for your loss.

3 moms found this helpful

So sorry. This happened to me too, during fertility treatments, which was very sad and emotional. I'm only weighing in to add that my D&C was a simple procedure; I recall it being outpatient. No overnight stay or meaningful pain. And now I have two beautiful boys, which has completely overridden the sorrow I felt then.

I hope the trip is enjoyable. Coming so soon on a sad event, I hope there is some opportunity for family to take your son to the zoo, and let you have some spa time.

3 moms found this helpful

I am so sad to hear your story. It is so difficult. We had this exact same thing happen with our third baby at 4 months and it was heartbreaking - my heart goes out to you.

I was like you, I did not want a D & C. This sounds totally awful, but my doctor dislodged the baby in the office and gave me a pill to induce labor. He told me that I should have the baby in 24 hours, if not, come back and they would do the D & C. 48 hours later I had been having labor pains the whole time but nothing. I decided to wait one more day and on the third day I delivered the baby.

To this day I am so happy I waited for my body to do its job. It was just more peaceful to me. If you wait up until two days before your vaca. to do the D & C, I am sure you body will do what it needs to before then. You can even talk to your doc about the pill that I did to induce.

Good luck and sorry for your loss.

3 moms found this helpful

My sister tried to do it naturally and hemmoraged. She had to have surgery. I am so sorry. I am sending well wishes your way.

3 moms found this helpful

My pregnancy loss occurred on its own and it took two long, painful, excruciating weeks. I thought that because it was occurring naturally that it was "better" for me but I was a complete wreck and it did a real number on my body for a while. Looking back I wish I had thought to go to my doctor to have to a schedule D&C. I think my physical recovery time would have been easier and earlier/faster.

One of my SIL's had the same thing happen to her with the ultra-sound being unable to find the heartbeat, and she decided to wait for things to occur naturally. After nearly two weeks her body still hadn't begun the process so she had to go in anyway later on.

My vote, personally, is to just go ahead and have the procedure done. That's one of the only things I ever regret. Not getting the procedure done when I should have.

I am very, very sorry for your loss. My own was in my fourth month.

3 moms found this helpful

My sister miscarried at 12 weeks :( She waited, waited, and waited...it never happened on her own. She ended up scheduling the D&C. The doctors were worried it was taking so long.

I have had several friends who miscarried, and it took a while for everything to be done. I would be very surprised if you fully miscarried (I mean passed everything, heavy bleeding stopped, bad cramping) in just a week and a half. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I've just never met anyone whose body has dealt with it that fast. Have you talked with your Dr. about how long it usually takes? What is his/her advice?

I'm sorry you're going through this.

3 moms found this helpful

been through this too, at 11+ weeks. i also wanted to wait for the miscarriage to occur naturally and ended up with a D&C because of hemorrhaging. as it was explained to me, the later the miscarriage, the more difficult it is for the body to fully/quickly expell all the material. in my case, the Dr. actually showed me that the placenta was only partially detached (after 24 plus hours of bleeding, starting slow and then increasing to the point where I was soaking a thick maxi pad every 5-10 minutes for several hours. for me it was all blood and fist sized blood clots). there is no way to know how much longer it would have taken to complete the process. one comforting thing my mother said to me, knowing how much I had wanted the pregnancy to terminate natually, was that yes, I probably would have survived if I had waited it out. But at what cost? I already had 2 children to care for, a home, a husband, myself, etc. The D&C recovery is much more straight-forward, although it did take several days for the effects of the anasthesia to wear off. And it was traumatizing for me, being in a hospital, being "put under", having to spend the night by myself, etc. But then again, natural miscarriage was also really scary. So, in short, I would recommend scheduling a D&C for 5 days before your holiday. This gives your body time to miscarry naturally (talk to your body and the baby, write in your journal, say goodbye, etc.) and also time to recover fully from the D&C, if necessary, before leaving on vacation. Wishing you a peaceful recovery and future healthy pregnancies.

3 moms found this helpful

I'm so sorry for your loss. I went through a miscarriage before my son came along and it was crushing. I was 12 weeks along and did miscarry naturally but if I had been given the opportunity to have a D&C I probably would have, I just didn't have any warning. It was not only emotional to get over the miscarriage but emotional to get over physically seeing the fetus when I miscarried. It took my body a long time to get rid of everything and I had to go in for an ultrasound to make sure all tissue was gone. Even if you miscarry naturally you might need a D&C.

Hugs and prayers to you and your family.

3 moms found this helpful

Ask your care provider to prescribe Misoprostel for you.

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