It is natural to feel the doctor is wrong, or to want to know what all they will do to prove to you your baby has been lost before performing a D&C. This is especially important if you have had no symptoms at all of a miscarriage, and can’t believe the baby is not growing.
There are two ways to check the status of your pregnancy: hCG blood levels and sonograms. Click a link below to learn about them.
[ hCG levels] [ sonograms ]
It is important to make sure your diagnosis is clear before going into a D&C. While I feel absolutely confident that no live baby is ever accidentally taken via D&C (there are web sites devoted to this, but I’ve investigated this many times by randomly calling doctors and asking their requirements), it is important that YOU feel sure the baby is lost before undergoing a surgical procedure.
The D&C Checklist
If you are not already bleeding and cramping or in a lot of pain, I don’t recommend a D&C unless you say yes to ALL FOUR things below:
- I have had at least two hCG pregnancy hormone blood tests, and they are both too low or the numbers are going down.
- I have had at least two ultrasounds a week or more apart, and both have shown no progress or change.
- I know for a fact that my dates of ovulation and cycle start are correct, and my stage of pregnancy is what the doctors say it should be.
- I am getting distressed about this lost baby and I am ready to move on.
Once you have heavy bleeding and cramping, I think it okay to go ahead and have the D&C if you need it. If you absolutely petrified of the pain and the tissue, and you are absolutely confident (with at least two visits) that the miscarriage is inevitable, then go ahead with the D&C.
Even after this checklist, some women want to be sure by actually seeing their body push the baby out. Women vary with the amount of pain and blood they will see in a natural miscarriage. For some it is nothing more than a heavy period. For others it is almost like labor. Not knowing what will happen makes it all even scarier. See also the section on miscarriage treatment, which debates your options for handling the miscarriage.