Women’s Physical Health After a Miscarriage

After a miscarriage, it can take time to return to your full health physically. Be kind on yourself and discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor. Medical follow-up is important to ensure that your general state of health is good and your uterus has returned to normal. This follow-up should be carried out within 6 weeks of the miscarriage by your doctor, early discharge nurse or community nurse.

Anaemia or infections

Some women who experience much blood loss during miscarriage become anaemic and may require medications or dietary supplements. Antibiotics may also be prescribed following miscarriage to treat or prevent infection.


Vaginal bleeding usually continues for 7-21 days, gradually becoming lighter. It is advisable to use sanitary napkins (pads) at this time rather than tampons. If heavy bleeding occurs or if you experience strong pain, medical advice should be sought.

Sexual intercourse

Your doctor or medical staff may suggest the period of time before your body will be physically ready to resume sexual intercourse. However, when you will be emotionally ready is an individual experience. Discuss your feelings with your partner so that the timing is appropriate for both of you. Concern and love for each other may be expressed in other ways until you feel you are ready for sexual intercourse.


Following late miscarriage your breasts may produce milk. Breast milk will usually not be produced if your pregnancy was less than fourteen weeks duration.

Women cannot control the hormones that stimulate the breasts to fill with milk. Full breasts may leak following an embrace, hearing the cry of a baby or even after thinking of the miscarried baby. The breasts can be very sensitive to touch and be painful and uncomfortable. Production of milk is distressing for some mothers and comforting for others. Some women feel that their milk is the last link they have to their baby.

Breast milk can be suppressed by avoiding stimulation of the breasts and wearing a firm bra taking warm showers, the application of chilled cabbage leaves and cold both day and night. Painful breasts are often relieved by compresses, and using pillows for support. Small expressions of milk may be necessary to relieve discomfort and can gradually be reduced over time. Breast milk can also be suppressed through the use of prescription drugs. Your doctor can explain the use of these medications. Tender lumps or red areas on your breasts may indicate a blocked duct; if this occurs seek medical advice through your doctor or clinic.

See your doctor or go to your nearest emergency department if you are you have any concerns including:

  • Bleeding becomes heavier
  • You have a temperature
  • You have smelly vaginal discharge
  • You have increasing pain

You may also like to visit www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au for further information

For Bereavement Support and more information contact Red Nose Grief and Loss 1300 308 307 or visit our website www.rednosegriefandloss.com.au.

Last modified: 10/10/16