I am pretty sure I'm having a miscarriage, but I don't have health insurance. I was only 5 weeks along. Do I really need to see a doctor?
As with most medical concerns, it is always best to see a doctor when you think you're having a miscarriage. There are several reasons why seeing a doctor would be a good idea:
- Your doctor can confirm that you're actually miscarrying. (Remember that it's possible to have early pregnancy bleeding for other reasons.)
- Your doctor will be able to check to make sure you're not suffering complications from the miscarriage and will be able to answer any questions you might have about what to expect.
- If you are Rh negative, your doctor can also give you a RhoGAM shot to prevent Rh sensitization.
- Your doctor can recommend painkillers if you're having heavy cramping.
- Finally, if you should happen to miscarry again in the future, having this miscarriage recorded in your medical records may be helpful in getting your doctor to run tests for recurrent miscarriage causes.
That being said, it's also true that the doctor isn't going to be able to do anything to prevent the miscarriage. There's no treatment for an otherwise uncomplicated early miscarriage other than offering a D&C to speed the process along, and that might not be necessary if you're only 5 or 6 weeks pregnant at the time of the miscarriage. If you're only very early along, you are probably OK staying home if you can't afford to see the doctor, although you might consider looking for a free or low-cost clinic where you can have a checkup to be on the safe side. And if you're in the late first trimester or beyond, it's a good idea to see the doctor to make sure your miscarriage is complete without retained tissue.
Regardless, you should always go to an emergency room if you are having ectopic pregnancy symptoms or excessive bleeding (or any other serious concern), and always seek medical attention if you have signs of infection after a miscarriage.
Miscarriage. American Pregnancy Association. Accessed: Apr 22, 2009. http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/miscarriage.html