How long is expectant management safe in first-trimester miscarriage?
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More than 80% of women with a first-trimester spontaneous abortion have complete natural passage of tissue within 2 to 6 weeks with no higher complication rate than that from surgical intervention (strength of recommendation [SOR]: A, based on multiple randomized controlled trials [RCTs] and cohort studies). Expectant management is successful within 2 to 6 weeks without increased complications in 80% to 90% of women with first-trimester incomplete spontaneous abortion and 65% to 75% of women with first-trimester missed abortion or anembryonic gestation (presenting with spotting or bleeding and ultrasound evidence of fetal demise) (SOR: B, based on multiple cohort studies). There is no difference in short-term psychological outcomes between expectant and surgical management (SOR: B, based on RCT). Women experiencing spontaneous abortion with unstable vital signs, uncontrolled bleeding, or evidence of infection should be considered for surgical evacuation (SOR: C, expert opinion).
Journal of Family Practice, 54(10) 2005: 889-890.