Fertility and obstetric outcomes after curettage versus expectant management in randomised and non-randomised women with an incomplete evacuation of the uterus after misoprostol treatment for miscarriage

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2017 Apr:211:78-82. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2017.01.055. Epub 2017 Jan 30.


Objective: To assess fertility and obstetric outcomes in women treated with curettage or undergoing expectant management for an incomplete miscarriage after misoprostol treatment.

Study design: Between June 2012 and July 2014, we conducted a multicentre randomised clinical trial (RCT) with a parallel cohort study for non-randomised women, treated according to their preference. In the RCT 30 women were allocated curettage and 29 expectant management. In the cohort 197 women participated; 65 underwent curettage and 132 women underwent expectant management. Primary outcome was curation, defined as either an empty uterus on sonography at six weeks or an uneventful clinical follow-up. We used questionnaires to assess fertility and obstetric outcome of the first new pregnancy subsequent to study enrolment.

Results: Curation was seen in 91/95 women treated with curettage (95.8%) versus 134/161 women managed expectantly (83.2%) (p=0.003). The response rate was 211/255 (82%). In 198 women pursuing a new pregnancy, conception rates were 92% (67/73) in the curettage group versus 96% (120/125) in the expectant management group (OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.89;1.03, p=0.34), with ongoing pregnancy rates of 87% (58/67) versus 78% (94/120), respectively (OR 1.12, 95% CI 0.99;1.28, p=0.226). Preterm birth rates were 1/46 in the curettage group versus 8/81 in the expectant management group (OR 0.22, 95% CI 0.03;1.71 P=0.15). Caesarean section rates were 23% and 24% for women in the curettage group and expectant management group respectively.

Conclusion: In women with an incomplete evacuation of the uterus after misoprostol treatment, curettage and expectant management does not lead to different fertility and pregnancy outcomes, as compared to expectant management.

Keywords: Curettage; Fertility; Incomplete evacuation; Miscarriage; Misoprostol; Obstetric outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Abortifacient Agents, Nonsteroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Abortion, Incomplete / surgery*
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / drug therapy*
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / surgery
  • Adult
  • Dilatation and Curettage*
  • Female
  • Fertility
  • Humans
  • Misoprostol / therapeutic use*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Watchful Waiting*


  • Abortifacient Agents, Nonsteroidal
  • Misoprostol