5 Signs of Infection After Miscarriage

by Ella

Experiencing a miscarriage is a profoundly emotional and physically challenging event for anyone. While the focus often revolves around emotional healing, it’s crucial to pay equal attention to physical recovery. One potential concern during this time is the risk of infection, which, if left untreated, can pose serious health risks. In this article, we will explore the signs of infection after a miscarriage, shedding light on what individuals should be aware of during their post-miscarriage recovery journey.


Understanding the Risk of Infection after Miscarriage

A miscarriage, the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks, can occur for various reasons, including genetic abnormalities, hormonal imbalances, or underlying health conditions. Regardless of the cause, the body undergoes significant changes during and after a miscarriage, making it more susceptible to infections.


The primary concern is the potential for infection in the uterus, as the miscarriage process involves the expulsion of fetal tissue, which leaves the uterus vulnerable. Infections can be bacterial or viral and may occur due to retained tissue, a compromised immune system, or the introduction of bacteria during medical procedures.


Common Medical Procedures Associated with Miscarriage:

Dilation and Curettage (D&C): A surgical procedure to remove remaining tissue from the uterus.


Medical Management: The use of medications to induce the completion of the miscarriage.

Signs of Infection to Monitor

1. Fever:

One of the early signs of infection is an unexplained fever. A body temperature consistently above 100.4°F (38°C) may indicate an infection. It’s essential to monitor your temperature regularly during the days and weeks following a miscarriage.

If you experience a persistent fever, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly. Fever can be a sign that the body is responding to an infection, and early intervention is essential for effective treatment.

2. Heavy or Prolonged Bleeding:

While some bleeding is normal after a miscarriage, excessively heavy or prolonged bleeding may indicate a problem. If bleeding saturates more than one pad per hour or persists beyond a few weeks, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional.

Prolonged bleeding can be a sign of retained tissue, which increases the risk of infection. If you notice a sudden increase in bleeding or the passage of large clots, seek medical advice promptly.

3. Foul-Smelling Discharge:

Foul-smelling discharge, often described as having an unpleasant odor, can be indicative of infection. This odor may be accompanied by an abnormal color or consistency of the discharge. Any noticeable change in vaginal discharge should be reported to a healthcare provider for further evaluation.

Infections can lead to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, causing changes in the vaginal flora. A strong, unpleasant odor is a red flag that should not be ignored.

4. Pelvic Pain or Discomfort:

Persistent pelvic pain or discomfort beyond the usual cramping associated with a miscarriage may signal infection. Infections can cause inflammation and irritation in the pelvic region, leading to pain that doesn’t subside with rest or over-the-counter pain medications.

Pay attention to the nature, location, and intensity of pelvic pain. If it becomes severe, or if you experience pain accompanied by other signs of infection, consult with a healthcare professional promptly.

5. Chills and Body Aches:

Chills, along with generalized body aches, can be indicative of an infection taking hold. The body’s response to infection often includes a systemic reaction that manifests as chills and muscle aches.

If you experience chills along with any of the other mentioned symptoms, it’s crucial to seek medical advice. Prompt evaluation and treatment can prevent the infection from progressing and causing more severe complications.

6. Urinary Symptoms:

In some cases, infections following a miscarriage may affect the urinary tract. Symptoms such as increased frequency of urination, pain or burning during urination, and cloudy or foul-smelling urine should be brought to the attention of a healthcare professional.

Urinary symptoms may indicate an ascending infection that needs prompt treatment to prevent complications.

Preventing Infections After Miscarriage

While it’s not always possible to prevent infections entirely, there are measures individuals can take to minimize the risk during the post-miscarriage recovery period:

1. Follow Medical Guidance:

Adhere to any post-miscarriage care instructions provided by your healthcare provider. If you undergo a D&C or take medications for medical management, follow the prescribed guidelines meticulously.

Clear communication with your healthcare team is vital, and any concerns or changes in symptoms should be reported promptly.

2. Practice Good Hygiene:

Maintain proper hygiene to reduce the risk of infection. This includes gentle cleansing of the genital area with mild, fragrance-free soap, and avoiding the use of tampons until given the green light by your healthcare provider.

Regular handwashing, especially before and after changing sanitary pads or attending to personal hygiene, is crucial in preventing the introduction of bacteria.

3. Avoid Sexual Activity:

Refrain from sexual activity until your healthcare provider confirms that it is safe to resume. Engaging in sexual activity too soon after a miscarriage can introduce bacteria into the uterus, increasing the risk of infection.

Always consult with your healthcare provider before resuming sexual activity to ensure that your body has adequately healed.

4. Stay Hydrated and Nourished:

Proper hydration and nutrition play a role in supporting the body’s recovery and immune function. Drink an adequate amount of water, and consume a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to promote overall health.

Adequate nutrition can contribute to a robust immune response, helping the body defend against potential infections.


The aftermath of a miscarriage demands both emotional and physical care. Recognizing the signs of infection is a crucial aspect of post-miscarriage recovery, ensuring that any potential complications are addressed promptly.

If you experience any of the mentioned signs or if something feels amiss during your recovery, do not hesitate to contact your healthcare provider. Open communication and proactive care are vital components of a safe and healthy recovery journey after a miscarriage. By being attentive to your body’s signals and seeking timely medical attention when needed, you empower yourself to navigate the recovery process with resilience and well-informed self-care.


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