Coronavirus and miscarriage: your care
On this page, we share information on how the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is impacting access to hospital services for those who are pregnant or experiencing a miscarriage, and current advice for those thinking about trying to conceive.
Last updated: 2 April 2020
We all know that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having a major impact on many lives and especially on access to healthcare. NHS services are having to focus on the most ill and most vulnerable people and we are all being asked to avoid using GP, community or hospital services as much as possible.
Early pregnancy and maternity services are no different, so we hope the following information helps you to understand the impact this might have on anyone affected by pregnancy loss.
Access to hospital services for people who are currently pregnant or experiencing a miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy
With increasing pressure on the NHS due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, most early pregnancy units are having to limit the service they provide:
- to minimise the risk of exposure to the virus for people coming into a hospital environment
- to reduce the risk of spread within the hospital and
- because of reduced staff numbers caused by sickness, self-isolation and because of staff being moved to different departments, such as emergency care.
However, anyone who needs emergency care for severe pain, very heavy vaginal bleeding, possible ectopic pregnancy or other acute symptoms will still be seen and assessed in person, either by the specialist team or in the Accident and Emergency Department.
There are very likely to be limits on ultrasound scans and many hospitals will allow only the woman being scanned to attend her appointment, again to reduce risk.
There will also be fewer non-emergency surgical procedures under general anaesthetic, so women with a missed or incomplete miscarriage or a ‘blighted ovum’ or anembryonic pregnancy are more likely to be offered only natural (expectant) or medical management of miscarriage at home rather than being treated in hospital. We provide more detailed information about these options and what they mean for you on this page.
Ectopic pregnancy assessment and management
Ectopic pregnancy is a potentially life-threatening condition, so early assessment and treatment are crucial and access to care should remain as normal. See here for more information.
If you are pregnant or currently experiencing a loss
We know this information will make some of you very anxious, but you can still telephone your local Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit or Emergency Gynaecology Unit if you need urgent advice. Please be very honest and clear about your symptoms to help them to assess your needs and advise on next steps. Please be assured that if you need emergency care for severe pain, very heavy vaginal bleeding, suspected ectopic pregnancy or other acute symptoms, then you will be assessed in person and seen accordingly.
If you are not pregnant, but planning on trying for a baby
The current advice is to consider waiting until the pandemic is over before trying to conceive. This is to minimise the burden on the health service, to ensure you have full access to early pregnancy and maternity care and because it is too soon to fully understand the effect of the virus in pregnancy.
Information, guidance and support
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has general up to date information and guidance on pregnancy and Coronavirus at www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/guidelines/coronavirus-pregnancy/covid-19-virus-infection-and-pregnancy/.
And of course, you can contact us at the Miscarriage Association for information and support. We don’t give medical advice but we can help you think through how best to manage at this time.
You can call us: 01924 200799 (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
We know that picking up the phone and talking to someone you don’t know can sometimes be a scary experience. But we’ll do everything we can to make you feel comfortable, to listen and understand and to answer your questions to the best of our abilities.
You can email us: email@example.com (any time)
You might not feel able to talk on the phone – or perhaps you aren’t able to call during our office hours. We also provide information and offer support via email and aim to reply the same or the next working day.
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Click on the button in the bottom right of your screen to chat with one of our support workers. If we can’t reply right away, you can leave a message we will email you back as soon as we can.
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Or you might prefer to find support and information online:
You’ll find links to our online support here.
We talk about pregnancy loss and mental health here.
We’re thinking of you all at this difficult time.