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Keeping your baby’s remains for testing

If you miscarry at home, your doctor or specialist may have asked you to collect your pregnancy tissue for testing. In very early pregnancy, you are likely to pass blood, small clots, and possibly a small pregnancy sac. In later pregnancy, however, you may pass pregnancy tissue that looks like an early baby (foetus).

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Trigger warning

This section contains some graphic descriptions of what you might see during a miscarriage.

How do I keep my baby’s remains for testing?

It is best to ask your doctor or specialist how they would like the pregnancy tissue collected, stored and brought to the hospital or clinic.  The advice provided below is general in nature only. It’s important to know that even though you may be able to collect your pregnancy tissue, the sample may not be sufficient or suitable for accurate testing.

At home you will need:

  • A sterile or clean container with a lid or a new ziplock bag
  • Gloves
  • A bowl possibly to go under the toilet seat
  • A refrigerator to store the tissue

Finding out your test results

If you do find out that you have experienced a miscarriage due to genetic reasons, it can be very distressing. Research tells us that around 50-80% of miscarriages result from chromosomal abnormalities, most of which are spontaneous abnormalities (rather than hereditary). It is essential to discuss this with a genetic counsellor who can help you assess your risk of genetic disorders in future pregnancies and how you might decide about future pregnancies.

If testing doesn’t find the cause or shows no chromosomal abnormalities were present it can be equally distressing.  Finding this out can leave people feeling or wondering what they did wrong or if they somehow caused the miscarriage.  But we know that it is highly unlikely you did or could have done anything different to prevent it.  There are a range of support services available if you need to talk to someone.

Illustrated icon of three exclamation marks indicating urgent information

If you are experiencing any of the following signs, please go to emergency or call 000 immediately

  • You are soaking 1 to 2 pads in an hour
  • You are passing large blood clots (golf ball size)
  • You have severe abdominal pain
  • You have a fever or chills
  • You are feeling dizzy or fainting
  • You have signs of infection e.g. a fever or a vaginal discharge that is smelly

Last Updated: October 11th, 2022