Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
You're likely to start by talking with your obstetrics care provider. He or she will tell you whom you need to see and when. In some circumstances, you may be instructed to go to a hospital emergency room immediately. If you haven't yet seen an obstetrics doctor, make an appointment with one in the next 24 hours or go to an emergency room.
You'll likely need to see your doctor fairly quickly. Here's some information to help you get ready, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
If there's time before you see your doctor:
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including when they first started and how they've changed over time.
- Write down key personal information, such as allergies, prior medical and surgical history, and blood type, if you know it.
- Make a list of all medications, as well as any vitamins or supplements, that you're taking.
- Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot, and may also provide emotional support.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For miscarriage, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- What needs to be done now?
- What treatment approach do you recommend?
- Do I need to follow any restrictions?
- What emergency signs and symptoms should I watch for at home?
- What are my chances for a successful future pregnancy?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- When was your last menstrual period?
- Were you using any contraceptive methods at the time you likely conceived?
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous, or occasional?
- Compared with your heaviest days of menstrual flow, is your bleeding more, less or about the same?
- What chronic conditions, if any, do you have?
- Have you had a miscarriage before?
- Zuccala SJ, et al. Spontaneous miscarriage. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2010. St. Louis, Mo.: Mosby; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00028-7--sc0160&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00028-7--sc0160&uniqId=217216664-3. Accessed Sept. 7, 2010.
- Katz VL. Spontaneous and Recurrent Abortion: Etiology, Diagnosis, Treatment. In: Katz VL, et al., eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/217216664-7/0/1524/100.html?tocnode=53759223&fromURL=100.html. Accessed Sept. 7, 2010.
- Simpson JL, et al. Pregnancy loss. In: Gabbe, SG, et al. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/217216664-3/0/1528/242.html?tocnode=57027393&fromURL=242.html#4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06930-7..50026-8_1154. Accessed Sept. 7, 2010.
- Early pregnancy loss: Miscarriage and moloar pregnancy.The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp090.cfm. Accessed Sept. 7, 2010.
- Tulandi T, et al. Spontaneous abortion: Risk factors, etiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnostic evaluation. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 7, 2010.
- Tulandi T, et al. Spontaneous abortion: Management. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 7, 2010.
- Puscheck EE, et al. The impact of male factor on recurrent pregnancy loss. Current Opinion in Obstetrics & Gynecology: 2007;19:222..
- Harms RW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 7, 2010.