How Soon Can You Get Pregnant After a Miscarriage?

Doctor has serious conversation with woman after her miscarriage
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If you've experienced a miscarriage, you may be wondering when you can try again. Depending on your situation, when you'll be able to get pregnant again may vary. A doctor can help you determine the ideal time to start trying from a physical health standpoint, but there are emotional factors to consider as well.

Ultimately, only you can know when you're ready. This article explains what experts say about trying to get pregnant after a miscarriage, the medical considerations, and how to determine when you're ready.

When Can You Try Again?

Assuming that you had regular menstrual cycles before your miscarriage, your period should return within four to six weeks after your miscarriage. After that, you may find yourself expecting again right away (assuming you have unprotected sex), perhaps even within the first menstrual cycle after your loss. In other cases, it can take several cycles to get pregnant again even if you begin trying right away.

Confusing matters is that there is no official consensus from the medical community on how far to space out your subsequent attempts at pregnancy following a loss. However, many doctors advise people to wait about three months before trying again for a few reasons, including:

  • Risk: Some doctors refer to an increased risk of recurrent miscarriage if couples conceive too soon, though evidence surrounding this claim is mixed.
  • Grief: Others believe that couples need time to grieve the previous loss.
  • Dating: Some recommend waiting for at least one menstrual cycle before trying again to make dating the next pregnancy easier. In addition, sometimes human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels don't immediately drop to zero or an undetectable level post-miscarriage, resulting in a "false positive" pregnancy test if taken too soon.

The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests waiting even longer—six months—between miscarriage or induced abortion and trying to conceive again. The reason for their lengthy recommendation is to reduce the risks of adverse outcomes.

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

What the Experts Say

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says there is no medical reason to delay getting pregnant after a miscarriage. However, they suggest you might want to wait until after you've had one menstrual cycle so that you can more accurately date your subsequent pregnancy.

Because older people are at higher risk of recurrent miscarriage, age is an essential factor when deciding how long to wait. In addition, fertility starts declining after age 30, so it may take a bit longer to get pregnant.

Recap

Advice on pregnancy spacing after miscarriage is mixed. Some recommend one to three months, while others say to wait as long as six months. However, ACOG asserts that there is no medical reason to postpone pregnancy after miscarriage. On the other hand, it may be a good idea to wait until you've had at least one menstrual period so that you can more accurately date the next pregnancy.

Medical Reasons to Wait

That said, 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.

Medical Conditions

If your miscarriage was the result of a medical condition, it may be recommended that you treat the underlying condition before getting pregnant again. For example, you might wait before trying to conceive again if you miscarried due to a condition like:

Modifiable Risk Factors

In addition, if you have a modifiable risk factor (something that may increase your risk of miscarriage that you can change), then getting pregnant immediately without addressing that underlying condition or risk factor might increase the risk of having another miscarriage. These risk factors include:

Molar Pregnancy

A molar pregnancy occurs during fertilization when a problem with the embryo causes a noncancerous tumor to grow around it instead of a placenta. Because this growth cannot support a healthy fetus, the pregnancy ends in a miscarriage. Molar pregnancies are rare, occurring in less than 1% of pregnancies.

To reduce the chances of a recurrent molar pregnancy, most doctors advise waiting one year before getting pregnant again. During this time, most doctors will monitor your hCG levels to ensure that the issue has completely cleared up before you undertake another pregnancy.

Later Pregnancy Loss

Pregnancy loss in the second or third trimester is significantly less common than in the first trimester. However, some studies have found that people who conceived less than six months after preterm or full-term delivery have faced a higher risk of complications in the subsequent pregnancy.

Some doctors advise waiting at least three months before trying to conceive if a miscarriage occurs during the second trimester. That recommendation is, in part, because the testing to determine the cause of a second-trimester loss (or losses) can take a couple of months. Plus, waiting a few months gives your uterus and hormones some time to heal and return to baseline before you attempt another pregnancy.

D&C Complications

Some people undergo a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure after miscarriage. In that case, you'd want to allow time for your uterine lining to build back up again, which may also delay your next natural menstrual cycle.

While most people heal within a few days of the procedure, possible surgical complications that may impact future fertility include:

Other Reasons

Depending on the circumstances of your miscarriage, a doctor may encourage you to give it some time before trying again. For instance, if you experienced significant blood loss, you may want to give your body time to heal and build back up your iron stores before conceiving again.

Additionally, hCG levels remain high for a while following a miscarriage. Therefore, if you take a pregnancy test shortly after miscarrying, elevated levels from your previous pregnancy can trigger a false positive test, causing distress and disappointment.

Each situation is unique, so it's essential to communicate your plans to a doctor to offer yourself the best opportunity to reach your desired outcome.

Recap

In many cases, there is no medical need to wait to try to get pregnant again after a miscarriage, but there are some reasons, such as certain medical conditions and other risk factors, that you might be advised to wait. It's always best to consult a doctor if you're unsure what is best for you.

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 necessarily mean anything's wrong.

About nine out of every 10 couples will achieve a pregnancy within a year, assuming they are timing attempts to the fertile period of the menstrual cycle.

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

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

That said, trying again after a miscarriage can be part of the emotional healing process for some couples. There is often no medical reason to wait once you're emotionally 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 people have repeated miscarriages, and of those with unexplained repeated miscarriages, 65% will have a successful pregnancy after the loss.

Summary

The choice of when to try to become pregnant again after a miscarriage is a personal one. There is often no medical reason to wait if you don't want to.

However, it is a good idea to allow your body to have one menstrual period before trying. Doing so can help you accurately date your next pregnancy and ensure that your hCG levels from your previous pregnancy have fallen back to pre-pregnancy levels (and won't cause a false-positive result). If a medical condition caused your miscarriage or it occurred later in pregnancy, work with a doctor to determine the best time to conceive.

A Word From Verywell

It's common to feel rattled and heartbroken after experiencing a miscarriage. Allowing some time to mentally process what happened before trying to get pregnant again is the best choice for some people. For others, the process of coping with miscarriage is more difficult when they have to wait before trying to get pregnant again. In this way, the choice is very personal, and one best decided by you, your partner, and a doctor.

14 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Krissi Danielsson
Krissi Danielsson, MD is a doctor of family medicine and an advocate for those who have experienced miscarriage.