Though miscarriage is a traumatic experience for both parents, resulting in feelings of loss and grief that in some cases can lead to anxiety and depression, women experiencing miscarriage should be offered a choice in the treatment they receive, suggests a study.
Miscarriage is the most common complication of pregnancy and affects an estimated one in four pregnancies.
Although guidelines recommend trying to resolve an unsuccessful pregnancy naturally, the new analysis shows that this is only successful in 70% of cases, and potentially comes with complications that are rarely communicated to patients.
The study from the University of Warwick and Queen Mary University of London, demonstrates little to no difference in medical effectiveness in resolving an unsuccessful pregnancy between medical and surgical options.
Thus, the team recommend the doctors to offer women a choice of treatment options for miscarriage to enable them to make an informed decision that takes account of potential uncomfortable side effects, long waiting times and extended periods of recovery.
"What we have to do is provide women with evidence about the benefits and effectiveness of each treatment option and potential side effects so that they can choose what they feel most comfortable with," said lead author Bassel Wattar from Warwick Medical School.
"Some women are more keen on having a quick surgical intervention so that they can resume their lifestyle immediately, some are very keen to avoid surgery and prefer to go with a tablet, and others want to take a more natural approach," Wattar added.
For the results, published in the journal Human Reproduction Update, the team reviewed 46 trials involving over 9,000 women who experienced spontaneous loss of pregnancy (miscarriage) before 14 weeks gestation.
During a miscarriage, the body will aim to resolve the unsuccessful pregnancy naturally but conservative treatment can be painful with increased bleeding, increased likelihood of hospital admission, reduced quality of treatment and reduced satisfaction.
However, surgery which include electric vacuum aspiration, and medical treatment with a tablet were found to have similar effectiveness in treating miscarriage as conservative treatment.