When Is It Safe to Have Sex Following a Miscarriage?

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If you've had a miscarriage, the doctor will likely advise that you wait a short period before having sex again. In most cases, it is safe to resume having sex once your miscarriage-related bleeding has stopped (usually one to two weeks). Others recommend waiting six weeks or more, especially if there were complications or if the pregnancy was more advanced.

This article explains why it's important to avoid sex when you are healing from a miscarriage and how to cope with a pregnancy loss.

Why It's Important to Wait

After a miscarriage, you are more prone to infection. That's because the cervix remains partially dilated (open) for a time afterward, increasing the possibility that bacteria could pass from the vagina through the cervix and into the uterus.

While these organs heal, it's important to keep things out of the vagina. That means during this time, you should avoid using tampons, menstrual cups, or menstrual discs; inserting sex toys; or having penetrative sex.

A pelvic exam can confirm that you've completely healed and that it's OK to resume sexual activities.

When to Call a Doctor

If you have any of the following symptoms after miscarriage, call a doctor right away:

  • Heavy bleeding that soaks more than two pads an hour for more than two hours in a row
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Severe pain

Risks of Sex Soon After Miscarriage

Infection is a concern after miscarriage. Infection may occur as a result of tissue that remains in the uterus or bacteria entering the uterus through the cervix.

Usually, by the time miscarriage-related bleeding stops, your cervix should be closed again. Once that happens, your risk of infection does down.

In addition, unless you want to get pregnant right away, you should use some form of contraception once you resume sexual intercourse. It is possible to conceive as soon as two weeks after a miscarriage, so take precautions if a doctor has advised you to wait before getting pregnant again or if you aren't feeling emotionally prepared yet.

Recap

Risks of penetrative sex after miscarriage include infection and pregnancy.

If You Aren't Ready to Be Intimate

A miscarriage can be particularly destabilizing. Not wanting to be physically intimate after experiencing a miscarriage is normal.

Give yourself permission and room to process your feelings and grieve your miscarriage. You may not want to be touched, intimately or otherwise, let alone have sex. How long this grieving process takes varies greatly for everyone. It's important that you take as much time as you need.

If your partner is ready to be intimate and you are not, talk to them and explain how you are feeling. Being open with your partner about your experience and any difficulties you may be having might make it easier to resume intimacy. Additionally, it can help them open up about any feelings they might be experiencing.

Recap

It's common to not want to be physically intimate after a miscarriage. Take time to grieve and practice open communication with your partner. Doing so can reduce confusion or conflict and offer a space for both of you to express your feelings.

Healing Emotionally and Coping With Loss

In addition to the grief many people experience after a pregnancy loss, some develop clinical depression. Symptoms of depression include:

  • Persistent sadness or anxiety
  • Feeling hopeless or pessimistic
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • No interest in hobbies
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Sleeplessness or sleeping too much
  • Suicidal ideation or attempts

If you notice any depression symptoms, you should seek appropriate care. A primary care doctor is an excellent place to start. They may suggest talk therapy or prescribe medication, or both.

Even if you don't have depression, many people find that therapy helps them process emotions and prepares them to try again, especially if they want to get pregnant within a specific time frame. 

Coping With Pregnancy Loss

If you are finding it difficult to cope with the loss of your pregnancy, try the following:

  • Reach out to family and friends for support
  • Find a support group
  • Journal
  • Take time off from work, if you are able
  • Honor your baby with a memorial or keepsake

Summary

Doctors advise people to avoid placing things in the vagina, including tampons and having penetrative sex, following a miscarriage to prevent infection or getting pregnant too soon. Usually, when the bleeding stops, it is safe to resume having sex. Bleeding often stops within a week or two, but getting a healthcare provider's go-ahead first is best.

A Word From Verywell

A miscarriage takes a physical and emotional toll on a person. So whether you are feeling eager for intimacy or aren't ready, it's understandable.

While you should talk to a doctor about when it is safe to resume having sex, also pay attention to your emotional healing. Many people find therapy beneficial as they work through their feelings after a miscarriage. In addition, be sure to watch for signs of depression, which is easier to treat when caught early.

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5 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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  2. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Early pregnancy loss.

  3. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. How do healthcare providers diagnose and treat pregnancy loss (before 20 weeks of pregnancy)?.

  4. Schliep KC, Mitchell EM, Mumford SL, et al. Trying to conceive after an early pregnancy loss: An assessment on how long couples should waitObstet Gynecol. 2016;127(2):204-212. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000001159

  5. National Institute of Mental Health. Depression.