How Soon Can You Get Pregnant After a Miscarriage?

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If you've experienced a miscarriage, you may be wondering about the best time to try again. Depending on your individual situation, when you'll be able to get pregnant again varies. Your doctor can help you determine the right time medically, but there are emotional factors to consider as well.

Ultimately, only you can know when you're ready. Understanding your chances of success will help you feel prepared for the next steps to come.

When Can You Try Again?

Your period should return within four to six weeks after your miscarriage. After that, you may find yourself expecting again right away, perhaps even within the first menstrual cycle after your loss. In other cases, it can take several cycles to get pregnant again.

Confusing matters further is the fact that there is no official consensus from the medical community on how far to space out your next attempts at pregnancy. Many doctors advise patients to wait three months before trying again.

The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests a waiting period of six months, but they acknowledge the limitations of this advice. For instance, the recommendation doesn't distinguish between a spontaneous pregnancy loss and an elective abortion. It is also based on a single study rather than a large body of research.

To evaluate the validity of WHO's recommendation, a meta-analysis of 16 studies investigated the success of subsequent pregnancies after miscarriage. Overall findings suggest that getting pregnant again in less than six months isn't associated with poor pregnancy outcomes, and waiting may not be necessary or beneficial.

What the Experts Say

"Small observational studies show no benefit to delayed conception after early pregnancy loss. Abstaining from vaginal intercourse for one to two weeks after complete passage of pregnancy tissue generally is recommended to reduce the risk of infection, but this is not an evidence-based recommendation." — American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Because older women are at higher risk of recurrent miscarriage, age is an essential factor that should be considered when deciding how long to wait. The ability to become pregnant starts declining after age 30, so it may take a bit longer to get pregnant.

Medical Reasons to Wait

Not everyone should jump back into pregnancy after a miscarriage. Aside from the emotional toll of a miscarriage, there may be physical reasons to hold off.

Molar Pregnancy

During fertilization, a problem with the embryo can cause a noncancerous tumor to grow around it instead of a placenta. Because this growth is not able to support a healthy fetus, miscarriage results. Molar pregnancies are rare, occurring less than 1% of the time.

To reduce the chances of a recurrent molar pregnancy, most doctors advise waiting one year before getting pregnant again. During this time, your levels of human growth hormone (hCG) can be monitored monthly to ensure that the issue has completely cleared up before you undertake another pregnancy.

Second Trimester Loss

Some doctors advise waiting at least three months before trying to conceive if the miscarriage occurred during the second trimester. The testing to determine the cause of a second-trimester loss (or losses) can take a couple of months. The belief is that waiting three months gives your uterus and hormones some time to heal and return to baseline before you attempt another pregnancy.

D&C Complications

You may be required to undergo a dilation and curettage procedure (D&C) after miscarriage. While most women heal within a few days of the procedure, possible complications include the risk of infection during intercourse. Your doctor can advise you on when it is safe to resume having sex.

Other Reasons

Depending on the circumstances of your miscarriage, your doctor may encourage you to give it some time before trying again. For instance, if you suffered significant blood loss, you may feel it's best to give your body time to heal and build back up your iron stores.

Additionally, hCG levels remain high for a period of time following a miscarriage. If you take a pregnancy test shortly after miscarrying, elevated levels from your previous pregnancy can trigger a positive urine test, causing distress and disappointment.

Each situation is unique, so it's important to communicate your plans to your doctor and engage in a dialogue that will offer the best opportunity to reach your desired outcome.

Try When You're Ready

Even if you start trying again right away, another pregnancy might take time. Although it can be frustrating when you are eager to be pregnant, this doesn't mean there's anything wrong. About nine out of every 10 couples will achieve a pregnancy within a year, assuming they are timing intercourse to the fertile period of the menstrual cycle.

If you're older than 35 and not pregnant within six months of trying, you may wish to speak with a fertility specialist.

Having a miscarriage is a traumatic experience. You may need to spend some time grieving the loss before moving ahead with another attempt at pregnancy. Getting emotional support from a qualified therapist can help you work through your emotions so you feel confident going into another pregnancy.

For some couples, trying again after a miscarriage can be part of the emotional healing process. There's usually no medical reason to wait once you're ready. Chances are, you can look forward to a healthy pregnancy again soon.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, only 1% of women have repeated miscarriages and of those with unexplained repeated miscarriages, 65% will have a successful pregnancy after the loss.

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  7. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dilation and curettage. March 2019.

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  9. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Repeated miscarriages. May 2016.

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