When a woman is diagnosed with a missed miscarriage (when the fetus dies but the body has yet to expel it) she then has to decide whether to have a procedure to remove the fetus or to miscarry naturally.
Dilation and curettage is a “gynecological procedure that involves opening the cervix and removing the contents of the uterus”. A major advantage to having this procedure is that it is predictable. You know when and where it will occur. The procedure lasts about fifteen minutes. There is minimal discomfort. Doctors generally will prescribe sedatives and pain killers before the procedure. However, with the D&C there is a small risk of uterine puncturing or scarring. While it is rare, this complication can cause infertility. Also, the procedure is expensive for those that do not have insurance or have a large deductible.
Natural miscarriages can be sped up with the help of prescription medication, such as Misoprostol. Even still, the amount of time it takes your body to expel everything can vary widely. People may choose to miscarry naturally so they can be in the comfort of their own home. One woman shared how important it was to her to hold her baby. It provided a better sense of closure. With this option you can be certain that the doctor did not misdiagnose your miscarriage. This option also has its drawbacks. There is a possibility that the body will not remove everything. This is known as an incomplete miscarriage which can lead to infection, or cause hemorrhaging. In this case you are likely to be given an emergency D&C.
If you experience any of these symptoms during or after a natural miscarriage, contact your doctor immediately: You are vommitting, you pass out, or you have a fever higher than 100.4.
The best option for you really depends on how you deal with grief. Some women do not want to prolong the process of the miscarriage and therefore choose the procedure. Others may want their physical pain to match their emotional pain. And really none of them are good options. Dealing with a miscarriage sucks.