Is Pregnancy Right After Miscarriage Risky?

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Doctors often advise women to wait a few months before getting pregnant again after a miscarriage, but will getting pregnant sooner increase the risk of a repeat miscarriage?

There isn't enough reliable evidence to show an increased risk of miscarriage when getting pregnant again immediately after a miscarriage, though physicians commonly recommend waiting one to three months before trying again for a new pregnancy.

Reasons Not Want to Wait

More studies are supporting the theory that there is no physiological reason to delay trying to conceive following a miscarriage. A study published in 2012 tracked 9,214 women with 10,453 pregnancies that ended in miscarriage, and found that pregnancies conceived three months or less following a miscarriage were more likely to result in live birth. 

Another study published in 2016 followed over 1,000 women who had one or two previous pregnancy losses, and found that those who conceived in the first one to three cycles after their loss were more likely to go on to have a viable pregnancy, versus those who conceived three to six months after their loss.

A study published in 2017 analyzed 10 previous studies and concluded that conceiving less than six months after pregnancy loss led to a significantly reduced risk of miscarriage and pre-term deliver in subsequent pregnancies.

Why You Might Want to Wait

A woman might wait before trying to conceive again if they miscarry due to a medical condition such as polycystic ovary syndrome, a thyroid problem, uncontrolled diabetes, an immunologic disorder, a uterine abnormality or an incompetent cervix. 

Considerations

If a woman is in the presence of a modifiable risk factor such as smoking cigarettes, using drugs, drinking alcohol or consuming large amounts of caffeine, then getting pregnant immediately without addressing that underlying condition or addiction might increase the risk of another miscarriage.

There are a few other factors to consider. First off, you'll want to wait for your menstrual cycle to normalize and become complete again, which can sometimes take a month or two. If you had a D&C following your miscarriage, you'll want to allow time for your uterine lining to be built back up again, which may also delay your next cycle.

Hormone Stabilization

It's also a good idea to let your levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) drop to zero or at least to an undetectable level before you start trying again. This is a hormone that is produced by your body during pregnancy and it can be measured through a urine or blood test.

If you don't let it drop, a pregnancy test might give you what's known as a "false positive" reading and reveal that you're pregnant when, in reality, you're not. Also, if your hCG level from the original pregnancy is still detectable and dropping, a doctor might interpret those numbers as a second miscarriage, when it's actually not.

While a misdiagnosis of a miscarriage is not common, it can happen.

It's common to feel rattled and heartbroken after experiencing something as devastating as a miscarriage. So you're not stressed during a second pregnancy, you may want to allow yourself some time to mentally process what has happened. (Then again, many women find the process of coping with miscarriage to be more difficult when they have to wait before trying to get pregnant again.)

What's Right for You?

Ask your doctor what's best, because every woman and every pregnancy is different. If you're comfortable waiting one to three months, that's generally recommended. If you're in a hurry to get pregnant before then, talk to your doctor about your particular situation so you can come up with the safest timeframe.

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