Purpose: To extend understanding of women's experience of miscarriage by exploring their approach to decisions about what to do after learning a miscarriage was likely.
Study Design and Methods: Using dimensional analysis, a technique generic to grounded theory, we analyzed interview transcripts of 23 women who experienced miscarriage (before 14 weeks gestation) at a midwestern medical center. We explored women's experiences by focusing on (1) how they came to know they were having a miscarriage and (2) how they decided what to do next. Both are key, yet relatively unexplored, constructs of early miscarriage.
Results: Being Sure emerged as the central process for women as they made decisions about what was happening to them, and about their treatment options. Participants needed to be sure that they were having a miscarriage (that the pregnancy was truly over), and also be sure that they were choosing the right treatment option for them (surgical, medical, or expectant management).
Clinical Implications: Nurses caring for women in the throes of an inevitable miscarriage can use the information in this article to support women in their quest toward Being Sure. Helping women thusly encompasses assisting women to understand their symptoms, come to terms with the inevitability of the pregnancy loss, and be comfortable with which treatment they choose for the miscarriage.