When Is It Safe to Have Sex Following a Miscarriage?

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If you've had a miscarriage, your doctor will likely advise you to wait a short period of time before having sex again. In most cases, it is safe to resume having sex once your miscarriage-related bleeding has stopped. Others recommend waiting 6 weeks or more, especially if there were complications or if the pregnancy was longer.

Risks of Sex Soon After Miscarriage

The reason your doctor will advise you to wait is due to your cervix dilating as a part of the physical process of miscarriage. Since your cervix is dilated, you are more susceptible to developing an infection in your uterus. By the time the bleeding stops, your cervix should be closed again.

In addition to avoiding sexual intercourse, your doctor will likely advise you to avoid tampons and douching for at least one to two weeks. While your body is healing, it's best you don't insert anything into your vagina at all. Stick with pads until your cervix has closed and the bleeding has stopped.

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 you have been advised to wait before getting pregnant again, or if you aren't feeling emotionally prepared yet.

If You Aren't Ready to Be Intimate

A miscarriage can be particularly destabilizing, especially if it is your first one. Not wanting to be intimate after experiencing a miscarriage is totally normal. Losing a pregnancy can be traumatic, especially if you have been purposefully trying to get pregnant. Even if you haven't been trying, you may find that you've already developed an emotional attachment to your baby.

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

Healing Emotionally and Coping With Loss

If you are finding it difficult to cope with the loss of your pregnancy, reach out to family and friends for support. You can also see a therapist or mental health professional and discuss how you are feeling. Therapy can help you process any emotions you are feeling and help you prepare to try again, especially for those who are looking to get pregnant within a certain time frame. 

If your partner is ready to be intimate and you are not, talk to your partner and try to 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 and can help them open up about any feelings they might be dealing with as well.

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4 Sources
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  1. International Society for Sexual Medicine. How soon can couples have sex again after a miscarriage?

  2. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. How do healthcare providers diagnose and treat pregnancy loss (before 20 weeks of pregnancy)? Updated September 1, 2017.

  3. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Early pregnancy loss. Updated February 2020.

  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