During the early stages of pregnancy, it can be very hard to differentiate between pregnancy tissue and large blood clots.
If you pass any pregnancy tissue at home during a miscarriage, you can take it with you to the hospital. The medical team will examine the tissue to determine if the miscarriage appears to be complete. This is to rule out the possibility of a molar pregnancy (a particular type of pregnancy loss caused by over-development of the placenta). They will send the pregnancy tissue to a laboratory for testing, with your permission.
If you have recurrent miscarriage, you may be advised to have the pregnancy tissue sent for genetic testing. This will be discussed with you.
Additionally, the staff in CUMH will provide guidance on options such as burial of the pregnancy tissue and other available choices.
In the Hospital
Sometimes fetal tissue is identified within the pregnancy tissue, but not in the majority of cases, as it is too small to see. If fetal tissue (or cells) is separately identified, you have the option to consent to a hospital burial or may choose to make your own arrangements in a private burial plot.
If you choose to have a hospital burial, you will sign a consent form and the fetal remains will be always treated with respect and dignity. The location of the burial will be documented in the cemetery records. These options will be discussed with you by the healthcare professionals in the Emergency Room or Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU), and when deciding on the miscarriage management option.
If you have experienced two or more miscarriages and wish to undergo genetic testing on the pregnancy tissue, the staff can provide guidance on the best way of collecting the tissue or arrange appropriate hospital follow-up.