Expectant management of incomplete miscarriage, anembryonic pregnancy and early fetal demise: a comparative study

Reshma Sajan K. K., Mumtaz P., Chandrika C. V., Abdul Vahab, Hassan Sheikh Imrana


Background: Expectant management as first line management of early pregnancy miscarriages is less accepted due to failure and increased complications reported in few studies. Proper selection of cases improves outcome of expectant management. Aim of this study was to compare success rate and complications in expectant management in three groups of early pregnancy miscarriages- Incomplete miscarriage, anembryonic pregnancy and early fetal demise.

Methods: Prospective observational study conducted in tertiary care centre for 3 years, including 107 patients with USG confirmed pregnancy miscarriage <13 weeks. Patients preferring expectant management were managed as outpatient without intervention for 2 weeks after which repeat USG was done to ascertain complete miscarriage. Failed expectant management patients underwent planned surgical uterine evacuation. Emergency admission and evacuation was done, if symptomatic during waiting period. Success rate and complications like emergency evacuation, vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, limitation of physical activity and patient satisfaction were assessed and compared in subgroups of anembryonic pregnancy, early fetal demise and incomplete miscarriage. Statistical analysis was done by chi-square test.

Results: Incomplete miscarriage group had highest success rate of 88.46%. followed by anembryonic pregnancy (72.5%) and EFD (47.83%) p value = 0.007. Complication rate was highest in EFD, followed by anembryonic and the least in incomplete miscarriage all of which was statistically significant except vaginal bleeding.

Conclusions: Expectant management should be offered as first line choice for all types of early pregnancy miscarriages. Proper selection of case as to type of miscarriage especially incomplete miscarriage and selected cases of anembryonic pregnancy and EFD ensures higher success rate with lesser complications. Reserving medical and surgical management for unsuitable/failed cases.


Anembryonic pregnancy, Early fetal demise, Early pregnancy miscarriage, Expectant management, Incomplete miscarriage

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