A miscarriage can be so hard to cope with. I’ve been there too. But at least more than one research study indicates that you can often safely start to try getting pregnant after miscarriage sooner than is often recommended.
Let’s take a look at what research says about when to start trying to conceive after a miscarriage.
Having a miscarriage is so tough.
Getting pregnant after miscarriage can be a difficult journey, filled with mixed feelings and worries.
For those couples that have been through more than one miscarriage, it can be quite a nightmare – trying to stay calm, mourning the lost pregnancy, getting in the mood for trying again, and at the same time worrying a lot about having another miscarriage and another. Some visitors who have experienced this share their stories here at the bottom of this article.
Still, this situation is fairly common, especially when it occurs in the first trimester. The good news is that most couples that have a miscarriage will go on to have a full-term pregnancy when they try to get pregnant again.
A common question is when it is OK to try getting pregnant after miscarriage? A common answer is 1 month. Or three months. Or even six months.
Well, a study from spring 2016 confirms what another research study indicated already in 2010 – there is no evidence that waiting will increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. Yet, the old recommendations continue to be repeated, sometimes to the sorrow, stress, and frustration of the couple trying for a baby. If you have had a miscarriage and want to start trying to conceive again, read the research about when to start trying. If your OB/GYN says something else, then you can at least ask why.
If you want to learn more about what science says about preventing miscarriage, how to affect the quality of the egg and the sperm, and how to get pregnant naturally, check out the excellent book It Starts with the Egg: How the Science of Egg Quality Can Help You Get Pregnant Naturally, Prevent Miscarriage, and Improve Your Odds in IVF. (Link to Amazon; opens in new window).
How Long to Wait Before Trying To Get Pregnant After Miscarriage
- New Study on Miscarriages
- When can we try again?
- Getting a second miscarriage?
- When to consult a specialist?
- YOUR stories about miscarriage and pregnancy
New Study on Miscarriages
More traditional views on miscarriages state that a couple should wait a full six months before trying to get pregnant a second time. What torture for a couple longing to become parents!
However, recent studies have been conducted that contradict that statement. Research has found that women capable of getting pregnant within a six-month time frame following a miscarriage have a lower risk of having another miscarriage. In fact, the women who were able to get pregnant experienced fewer complications than those who waited longer than six months to try again.
In the newest study, the conclusion is:
In the present study, we demonstrate that couples who begin trying to achieve pregnancy within 3 months have just as fast if not faster, time to pregnancy leading to live birth, with no risk of pregnancy complications, as those who wait until after 3 months to start trying.
Additionally, we found that women with long inter-trying intervals, greater than 12 months compared with 0–3 or greater than 3–6 months, had significantly lower fecundability after taking into account many confounding factors, including a history of subfertility. Taken together, our findings suggest that the traditional recommendation to wait at least 3 months after a pregnancy loss before attempting to conceive may be unwarranted.
You can read the full research article here: Trying to Conceive After an Early Pregnancy Loss: An Assessment on How Long Couples Should Wait.
These conclusions are very similar to what was concluded already in 2010:
“Our research shows that it is unnecessary for women to delay conception after a miscarriage. As such, the current WHO guidelines may need to be reconsidered. In accordance with our results, women wanting to become pregnant soon after a miscarriage should not be discouraged.
There may be cases where a delay is desirable, for example, if there are signs of infection, and women should be advised appropriately. Also, in molar pregnancy, current guidelines advise delaying the next pregnancy for at least one year after treatment.”
The older study was published on August 5, 2010, in the medical journal BMJ and you can read the study here.
So even if research may be limited, both these studies indicate that there is no need (if you are healthy) to wait with getting pregnant after miscarriage.
When can we try again?
So, when can you try again?
Well, old recommendations obviously do not take these newer studies into consideration. In any case, most doctors are likely to recommend that you wait at least a couple of months after a miscarriage before attempting to get pregnant again. You need to stop bleeding, get your hormones back to normal, and ensure you are emotionally ready before you attempt to have another baby.
As the above studies show, however, it is not obvious that all women must wait even for a few months. For very early miscarriages, for example, the bleeding usually stops after some 10 days or so, and ovulation isn’t delayed much at all.
Talk to your OB-gyn, but make sure the person is updated on the new research.
Getting a second miscarriage?
Many couples may have been told that they are at an increased risk of miscarriage if they have already had one loss. However, this is generally not true. Over 85% of women who have one miscarriage go on to have a successful pregnancy the second time around. Those that have experienced two to three losses have a 75% chance of having a healthy baby the next time they are able to get pregnant.
When to consult a specialist?
There may be special cases where you should contact a specialist before getting pregnant after miscarriage. One example would be if you have had more than two losses in the past. Age can also determine the need for help. If you are over 35 years old, you should seek assistance from a fertility specialist.
Also, if you have a chronic disease that could put you at high risk or have had other fertility problems, it would be best that you speak with someone before trying to get pregnant again.
YOUR stories about Getting Pregnant After Miscarriage
If you are struggling – or were struggling – with miscarriages and trying to conceive, you are certainly not alone! It can be a very tough situation! How are you coping? Are you? Have you succeeded in getting pregnant after miscarriage? Or not?
Please share your situation with other parents around the world by leaving a comment below. Many parents have.
- Schliep, Karen C. PhD; Mitchell, Emily M. PhD; Mumford, Sunni L. PhD; Radin, Rose G. PhD; Zarek, Shvetha M. MD; Sjaarda, Lindsey PhD; Schisterman, Enrique F. PhD. Trying to Conceive After an Early Pregnancy Loss: An Assessment on How Long Couples Should Wait. Obstetrics & Gynecology 127(2):p 204-212, February 2016. | DOI: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001159
- Love E R, Bhattacharya S, Smith N C, Bhattacharya S. Effect of interpregnancy interval on outcomes of pregnancy after miscarriage: retrospective analysis of hospital episode statistics in Scotland BMJ 2010; 341 :c3967 doi:10.1136/bmj.c3967
Paula Dennholt founded Easy Baby Life in 2006 and has been a passionate parenting and pregnancy writer since then. Her parenting approach and writing are based on studies in cognitive-behavioral models and therapy for children and her experience as a mother and stepmother. Life as a parent has convinced her of how crucial it is to put relationships before rules. She strongly believes in positive parenting and a science-based approach.
Paula cooperates with a team of pediatricians who assist in reviewing and writing articles.