Misoprostol – Bleeding, Cramping and What to Expect

After finding out that I had a missed miscarriage (blighted ovum), at 12 weeks, I decided to take misoprostol to help my body get rid of the fetal tissue.

Many women miscarry naturally. My baby stopped developing at seven weeks. At 12 weeks, I still had no signs of miscarriage, and my doctor felt that I was at risk for infection if I did not pass the pregnancy tissue soon. My options were: 1) do nothing – I may miscarry naturally, 2) have a D&C, otherwise known as dilation and curettage, an operation to manually remove the tissue from my uterus, or 3) take medication called misoprostol to urge my body to miscarry.

I found it difficult to find other women’s experiences with taking the drug, so I thought I would share my story to help others who may be in a similar situation.

Here is my experience:

11:30 am – I insert 4 misoprostol pills vaginally (total of 800 mcg). I am told to expect cramping and bleeding to start in 2 – 8 hours. The OB did warn me that the misoprostol is ineffective for about 30% of women with a blighted ovum (like me). I am concerned that I will be one of the 30%.

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm – I have some light cramping and very minimal spotting. I try a lot of things to “jump start” the misoprostol process. I walk up and down our stairs countless times. I ride our stationery exercise bike. I relax on the couch. I take a warm bath.

5:00 pm – I am getting discouraged. Since 1pm, I have had minor cramps and some light spotting, but I know that my lack of bleeding means that the misoprostol is not taking full effect. Dan decides to go pick up some pizza for dinner and bring it home. He asks me to come, and I think that maybe the change of scenery will be good for me.

6:00 pm – we arrive back home and suddenly I am freezing cold. It is below freezing outside and I hadn’t bothered to dry my hair after my bath, so I assume at first that the chills are due to the cold and my damp hair. It seems that there is nothing I can do to warm up. I immediately dry my hair, put on a wool sweater, a jacket, wool socks, and a hat. I get under a down comforter (fully dressed) and asked for a heating pad. Severe chills and a slight fever of 100 degrees persist for about an hour. I eat my dinner and the chills subside a bit.

6:00 pm – 8:30 pm – moderate cramping continues but still no heavy bleeding. It has been 9 hours, and I assume that the misoprostol has failed to work properly. I go to sleep discouraged.

11:00 pm – I wake up from a gush of blood. I get out of bed to see that my maxi pad is filled with blood. I go to the toilet and a thick mixture of blood and tissue comes out. I am shocked at the volume. It is about the size of an egg.

11:00 pm – 2:00 am: cramping becomes heavier and heavy bleeding and tissue passage continues. I am wearing a thick maxi pad but I also put a towel over the bed sheets. Bleeding is very heavy. I have three severe cramps that I breathe through. To distract myself, I watch reality TV. It is a welcome diversion.

2:00 am – cramping subsides. No more tissue clumps are coming out. Bleeding is much lighter. I go to sleep.

7:00 am – I wake up. Bleeding is light (like a normal period). Cramping is minimal. I feel much better and am happy to have the worst behind me. I continue to bleed and cramp as if I were having a period for about 10 days.

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8 Responses to Misoprostol – Bleeding, Cramping and What to Expect

  1. Pingback: Lesson #1: Patience is a Virtue | First Baby Journey

  2. tamara driscoll says:

    i also had the same thing i went to the hospital with spotting and then i found out the babys heart stopped beating at 9 weeks and 6 days and at this point im 12 weeks..anyway i took the pills first thing in the morning and it ended up bein all day after the second set of pills that it actually started to work..my doctor only said to take 3 the first time and then 2 every 8 hours for the next 24 hrs..i have one more dose to take..but the pain is stilll harsh and i had an ultra sound and everything is out..none the less going through this is the saddest thing ever and i have a 3 yr old and i feel awful cuz i cant spend the same time with her..cuz im always in bed and hurting…

  3. Tamara, I am so sorry for your loss. It is heartbreaking. I hope you heal and feel better soon!

  4. Pingback: My Experience using Misoprostol for Miscarriage

  5. Pingback: The Kim Challenge – What to Expect When You’re taking Misoprostol for a Miscarriage

  6. Pingback: Misoprostol: my relatively good experience using it for miscarriage | Stacey Janelle

  7. thanks for sharing, I’m still waiting for the drugs to kick in full force myself. I took the first dose almost 12 hours ago, my doc said to take a second dose if I don’t pass much more overnight (so far it’s just been like a regular period with bigger than normal clumps)

    • kbumgar says:

      I’m so very sorry for your loss. Please update us in the morning if you’re up to it. Meanwhile, a heating pad and Tylenol may help with the cramping. Hugs!

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