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 is 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 that you find here. They write or review all health-related articles.
This Post Has 20 Comments
I had a miscarriage last year. My husband and I tried to get pregnant again right away, but it took about 8 months of trying to be successfully pregnant again! We are so excited!
I’ m currently 12 Weeks pregnant and the baby’s heart rate is 152 bpm. If you are trying to get pregnant and it is taking a while don’t give up It will happen. God bless.
Oh, I am so happy for you, Sarah! Big hug and good luck with your pregnancy!
I am so upset. I was so excited to be pregnant after trying for a year. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I joined a birth club.
We have two healthy boys with no history of miscarriage. Everything was going great. Last Monday, I got the H1N1 vaccine thimerosal reduced (mercury reduced for pregnant women). On Tuesday morning, I started cramping and on Wednesday I started bleeding heavily. My HCG was 50 on Wednesday and I was almost 6 weeks along so it was low. They still thought that I might be pregnant, but on Friday my HCG was down to 22.
I am an emotional wreck. I feel like I had a healthy baby and I caused this by getting the H1N1 vaccine. My doctors pushed it. I researched online and there have been many miscarriages after the H1N1 vaccine but they haven’t been reported since it is hard to say what caused the miscarriages. I hope that I did not cause this. I wish everyone the best.
I am so sorry for the loss of your baby. I don’t know if it is of any help in your emotional healing process, but since your miscarriage, several research studies have been carried out and none have found a higher risk of miscarriage among women who took the H1N1 vaccine. On the contrary, getting the flu seems to be associated with higher risks for the mom and fetus.
So even if the miscarriage was very hard for you to go through, since it happened when you were 6 weeks pregnant, it is quite likely that something went wrong with the little embryo or the implantation process for other reasons. That early in pregnancy, miscarriage risk is still quite high, and no one really can tell you why it happened.
If you are curious on reading more about the H1N1 vaccine and pregnancy and miscarriage, here are three links:
So sorry for your loss, please hang in there.
I had my first child at 16 years old, an unplanned pregnancy of course. Although I enjoyed being a mother I knew that I did not want any more children. I had an IUD placed just to make sure.
I met my husband a whole 10 years later and we quickly fell in love and got married. It’s amazing what stability and love can do for your thoughts. We married a year later and two weeks after the wedding I had the IUD removed. I was told that I would be able to get pregnant right away. Six agonizing months went by before I got a positive pregnancy test. Needless to say we where over the moon excited.
Everything was perfect until one night I started to have slight cramping that I thought was just some stomach issues. Within an hour of the first cramp we where sitting in the emergency room and I was bleeding so badly I just knew in my heart that my world was about to be rocked. Sure enough we lost our little dream come true. I thought I would never get over the heartbreak. I didn’t want to eat and just could not keep from crying. I felt like my life was over.
Eventually, I started to regain my composure one day at a time and with the help of a local miscarriage support group. For the next three years we tried and tried to get pregnant again. We succeeded a few times but each ended in early miscarriage. I blamed it on the IUD, my husband just blamed on fate and destiny. I gave up on my dreams of having another baby.
Another few months by after three of pregnancies and miscarriages and I had a routine gyn appointment. I found out that day that I was expecting, without even trying and held my breath for nine months until my beautiful baby girl was born.
The best way I can describe as how I got through 8 miscarriages is that I just kept telling myself that everything happens for a reason and life must go on. My baby girl is now one month old and I still have to pinch myself sometimes because I never thought I would ever be a mommy again.
Jamie, my warmest congratulations to becoming a mom again! I can’t even imagine how tough it must have been. 8 miscarriages!! I was heartbroken after just one.
Thank you so much for sharing!
So happy for you, maybe the stress of not trying it was able to maintain!
It has been a roller coaster time for my wife and I. We have been trying for two years to get pregnant but to no avail. Each month the depressing realization that we haven’t broken the cycle of failure means at least a week of melancholy for us both. Only when we were on the waiting list for IVF did we cheer up, because at least there was an end-point in sight.
Well, the month we were due to begin the IVF cycle, we fell pregnant. We were delighted that we have conceived naturally. Many people say that when you are less worried and stressed pregnancy happens.
However, just 10 weeks in, our joy was destroyed when my wife detected some bleeding, and a scan showed that our baby had no heartbeat. What was so awful was that we could see the shape of our little one on the ultrasound scan. The moment when we saw that it was real, was the same moment that we were told we had lost it. I still can’t get the image of our lifeless baby out of my head.
I had composed speeches where I would tell my family and friends and colleagues that I was going to become a Dad. Now I will have to wait.
After the miscarriage my wife returned to work, and several of her colleagues have told her their stories of infertility and serial miscarriages. This makes us feel better! At least we know we can conceive naturally. We’ll be trying again from next month.
I’m new to this site , but can I say I had tears reading your story and goose bumps at the same time! My husband and I feel your pain! It’s the excitement you are pregnant, the dreams and future plans…and then… it’s all gone! :( It’s all too familiar!
All I can say is good luck with everything, hope the heartbreak turns into happiness with baby news! We are in a similar position and long to be blessed with a baby. God bless!
I am 25 years old and I just lost my baby at 5weeks and I ended up having sex with my husband just 5 days later. (I think he stopped me from bleeding my full 7 days) We are hoping that I am pregnant again…
I have read a lot about other women having a baby right after a miscarriage also hearing that you are even more fertile when you have a MC or Giving birth to your newborn…
I’m excited also worried I do not want to go through the same thing again.. I’m getting some kind of String mucus that’s stretchy and also clear no smell and it seems like my vaj has become more wet than before I am also having Headaches and a metal taste in my mouth with wanting to throw up and I’m blowing air.
I’m wondering if its all in my head or am I pregnant and just feeling the symptoms..
I am sorry to hear about your miscarriage. Regarding you being pregnant or not, it is hard to say. It does sound a bit too early to me to ovulate already 5 days after a miscarriage, but maybe the embryo had been dead for a while before you actually miscarriaged. In such a case, I guess it could be possible.
It is also possible that you are ovulating! Which is also a good thing, this early after a miscarriage. So grab the opportunity just in a case if you feel ready for it ;-) But remember that a miscarriage IS a loss, even if it is an early miscarriage. It’s totally fine to wait and heal before trying for another baby too.
Thanks for sharing, and good luck! If it turns out that you really are pregnant, please come back and let us know.
I am sorry to hear of your loss. The excitement and planning of a child happens as soon as you find out you are pregnant, all the what-ifs.
My advice is for you to allow your body and mind to heal. I understand you want another baby right away, but give yourself and your body time.
I hear stories all the time about women getting pregnant right away, and once they get pregnant again they are scared..and understandably.
I wish you well and hope you are well in the days ahead. While I have never miscarried, I have lost a child at the age of 2, and I understand wanting to have my child and how upsetting loss truly is.
My husband and I have miscarried twice since beginning to try to conceive. The first one was horrible and the second one too. Felt like I was being kicked while I was already down. I am rhogam negative and it causes problems in keeping a viable pregnancy because my husband is rhogam positive (dominant genetic trait). And my body fights off pregnancies like the common cold.
Our doctor recommended that we wait 3-4 months (or regular periods) before attempting to conceive again and we have.
I took an at home pregnancy test (a fancy-digital one) Thursday the 23rd and got so very excited! It was positive! I was really hopeful this time. But then my period came like normal, on the evening of the 25th (Saturday). How can this be!
Am I pregnant or not? Did I miscarry again? I have no idea, but I do know that the doctor can’t do anything to change that anyway, so I am going to wait a few days until the bleeding stops and take another at home test. Several women have told me that they have experienced the same thing and went on to have healthy children/pregnancies, so I am trying to keep my chin up and wait this out. Wish me luck
You may very well be pregnant! Some women do bleed in early pregnancy without it being their period or a miscarriage. You can read about bleeding in pregnancy here.
I am crossing my fingers for you!
I had a miscarriage about 2 months ago, I was devastated. And to make matters worse, we had to spend 8 hours in the emergency room before they finally told us what by that point I already knew.
My husband and had been so excited at the idea of being parents, and this being our first pregnancy we told everyone, & having to tell them all that we had lost it was awful. The entire situation seemed to drag on forever. The bleeding/spotting lasted near 2 weeks, and it seemed like it was doctors appointment after doctors appointment. I have seen more doctors in the past 2 months than I have in the past 10 years!
The worst part of my situation was that a close friend of ours is also pregnant and we were due just 2 days apart. It has been over 2 months since my miscarriage and it still kills me to see them.
A short while ago we were finally given the okay to start trying again, and we have but I have heard so many people say that they tried for months before finally conceiving, and I dread having to wait that long.
We so want to start our family, we already have the nursery pretty well finished, and everything is ready.. all that is missing is a little baby. It kills me that my friend, who is not prepared at all gets to have a baby, and I am left with an empty nursery.
Thanks for sharing and I cross my fingers that you will conceive SOON. I’ve had two miscarriages. After the first, it took several months to conceive again, but after the second we got pregnant very quickly. Now I have three kids :-)
You’ll make it!
I was downright shocked when I started bleeding heavily in my 6th week of pregnancy with my second. I come from a long line of fertile women and no one in
my family has ever had a miscarriage. And my first pregnancy was textbook. But it happened and I didn’t know what to make of it. I never imagined I would have one.
My doctor advised me to wait till I had a menstrual cycle to try again. Of course, that could take months, but we want another baby so I waited patiently. We weren’t super careful, just used old fashioned methods to not conceive. I haven’t had a cycle in 3 months. Of course, that’s a good thing considering I’m 12 weeks pregnant. We conceived 10 days after my miscarriage.
I don’t know if this is the best forum to discuss this because I know there are many who struggle for a long time. And I in no way want to offend or hurt anyone. But I came to this forum after my miscarriage and couldn’t relate to many of the stories. So I wanted to share mine in case someone out there is in my position where fertility isn’t a problem but they miscarry anyway. Miscarriage is a frightening and sad experience, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it will slow you down.
Good luck to everyone out there who is trying.
Pregnant again after two miscarriages… Cross your fingers for this mom, who shares her experience of two miscarriages in a row:
My husband and I have 2 wonderful boys (age 10 and 5). In the summer of 2014 we found out we were expecting #3! We were excited! We had just moved into a big house with plenty of room and we were ready to fill it up!
At 6 weeks I started getting immobilizing pains in my lower abdomen. I couldn’t walk or talk or breathe even when these came. We went to the ER and they did all sorts of tests to make sure everything was ok. No heartbeat was seen, but they said it was still pretty early. We went home and I was on strict orders to rest for the next few days.
A week later I started bleeding and went to the ER to find out I was having a miscarriage. I was devastated! It was hard to tell my husband and kids and my mother.
But after months of moving on we were ready to try again. In March 2015 I found out I was pregnant again. We were excited but scared. Everyone said chances of it happening 2 times in a row were slim and we should just enjoy it. We sailed past 6 weeks, then 8 weeks went by and the statistics got better. At 10 weeks I had an ultrasound. The look on the lady’s face said it all. No heartbeat was found and no yolk sac or placenta or anything. I was crushed. I once again had to break the bad news to everyone. I was done and ready to give up. We waited a long time to decided to try again.
August 2016 I found out we are expecting once again. I’m scared and nervous and trying to keep positive about it. We did see a heartbeat at 7 weeks and that made me feel so much better. I’ve also had more symptoms this time than the last 2 times… nausea, breast tenderness, extreme tiredness. Dr wants to see me every 2 weeks for a few months to make sure baby is growing ok and everything is fine. It’s so hard to wait for the next appointment.
I go back on Monday (5 days from now) and these 2 weeks go so slow! I just want to see that heartbeat again and know it’s still ok. When a day comes when my morning sickness isn’t as bad I worry that this is it, I’m done, it’s over. Then sure as can be it comes creeping up at some point in the day. I’d actually rather be sick everyday all day and know the baby is ok, than feel nothing and be worried.
Every day, every time I go to the bathroom I keep hoping to not see red on the paper. And every time it’s fine, it’s a true blessing from God to tell me “it’s ok”.
Hi Heidi, thanks so much for sharing! I really hope everything will go well this time! A heartbeat is a good sign so crossing my fingers!