Columba at Ascot provides a miscarriage services for pregnancies that have failed to progress under 12 weeks gestation. Our visiting Gynaecologists, both male and female, offer assessment and surgical treatment of missed miscarriage.

Patients, their GPs or Midwives can refer to Columba for surgical treatment of missed miscarriage. A recent ultrasound scan and blood group are required. Columba will organise a Specialist Gynaecologist and Anaesthetist to perform this procedure within 24 hours of contact. Please phone 520-9527 to arrange this.

This procedure is performed under general anaesthetic, or a local anaesthetic with IV sedation. The retained fragments of the placenta membranes and uterine lining are removed by a suction catheter. There may be some tissue from the embryo, but in most early miscarriages this is often less than 1cm.

The tissue from the pregnancy is sent to the laboratory to be examined under the microscope. Some abnormalities relating to pregnancy may be identified from this testing but genetic and chromosomal abnormalities need further special testing which is available on request. The cost of this can be discussed at the time of the operation.

Most medical insurance companies will cover the cost of this procedure.


On the Day

You will need to arrive 45 minutes prior to operation time, have nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours prior to the procedure (no lollies or chewing gum and no water).

To download forms related to your surgery


You will need to have someone to take you home and care for you when you get there. You cannot drive for 24 hours after the operation. You will be with us for approximately one and a half hours. You will be given something to eat and drink before you leave Columba.


Most miscarriages occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The fetus, placenta, blood and waters surrounding the foetus leave the body through the vagina. Most often something went wrong during or soon after conception, and stopped the fetus from developing normally.

Other less common causes include problems with implantation of the placenta, or a weakened cervix. Miscarriage is usually the result of a pregnancy that has already gone wrong often weeks before bleeding naturally starts.

Determining the cause of a miscarriage can be difficult, especially by the time bleeding has started. Most of the time an ultrasound will show the embryo has not developed normally (is small or malformed) or has already been absorbed into the body (blighted ovum).

Miscarriage usually has two outcomes:

  • Complete Miscarriage – where the pregnancy has spontaneously left the uterus and bleeding and pain settles quickly
  • Incomplete Miscarriage – where the uterus has retained some of the pregnancy tissue.   Bleeding and pain do not settle quickly and usually a surgical operation called a D&C (dilation and curettage) is done to completely empty the uterus and prevent infection.


Any bleeding that you experience following miscarriage/D&C should not be heavier than the middle/end of a period. Bleeding may last 7 – 14 days, gradually becoming lighter.

It is normal to pass a few small clots, and it is normal to experience mild cramping, similar to period cramps for a day or two.

It is not normal to bleed heavily or have severe cramps or tenderness in your lower abdomen.

Nausea and vomiting will reduce over the next 48 hours (2 days). Breast tenderness can increase, but will lessen in time.

Tiredness may take longer to pass.

Usually your next period will come in the 4 – 6 weeks after your miscarriage/D&C. If you have not had a period within 8 weeks of a miscarriage/D&C go and discuss this with your Doctor, Specialist or Family Planning Clinic. If you wish to become pregnant again, it is best to wait for one normal cycle, or two if the miscarriage occurs after 10 weeks.

·You may become pregnant again very quickly following a miscarriage/D&C. Contraception may be resumed immediately after miscarriage.