How soon after a miscarriage can I get pregnant?
A miscarriage is a very personal experience. The way you feel afterwards will be unique to your own personal situation.
You might be keen to try again as soon as possible, as a way of helping you to cope with your emotions.
Or you might prefer to wait a few months, to deal with your grief.
There’s no right time to try for a baby after a miscarriage.
It’s a personal decision, and one that only you and your partner can make together.
However, when you’re ready, here’s what the latest research says about how soon after miscarriage you can get pregnant again.
When can I have sex again after a miscarriage?
In most cases of early pregnancy loss (under 12 weeks), you can start trying to conceive right away, as long as you feel physically and emotionally ready.
Every couple will feel differently about when they are ready to try again. Remember there’s no right or wrong choice here.
It’s recommended you wait until your blood loss has stopped before you go ahead and resume intercourse with your partner, to minimize the potential risk of infection.
How long should we wait to have a baby after miscarriage?
Health advice about how long to wait to fall pregnant after a miscarriage varies around the world.
The World Health Organization recommends six months. Other health organizations such as the March of Dimes in the US suggests you wait until after your next period before trying again.
It’s not just about being emotionally ready to try again. You need to wait until you’re physically ready for another pregnancy.
Your doctor might advise waiting until you’ve had at least one period before trying for another baby. This is because when your first period returns, it’s likely to be either shorter or longer than usual.
Waiting for at least one period should make it easier to determine dates if you get pregnant right away. Some couples choose to wait a couple of months before trying again, to allow a woman’s cycle to return to normal.
If the previous loss occurred later in the pregnancy (after 12 weeks), you might find it takes a few more months for your hormones and menstrual cycle to return to normal.
Follow recommendations from your doctor; there might be reasons to wait, based on your individual circumstances.
Should I wait to conceive after miscarriage?
Generally, there isn’t a set period of time you need to wait before you get pregnant again. It’s more about your personal decision and when you’re ready.
Depending on your circumstances, some doctors might advise you to wait a little longer before trying again. This could be due to your doctor’s preference, or based on your unique situation.
You might want to question your health care provider’s advice, to determine why a particular time limit has been set.
Some health conditions suggest it’s advisable to wait a certain amount of time before conceiving.
This is the case, for example, if you have experienced any of the following:
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Molar pregnancy
- Recurrent miscarriage
- Late term miscarriage (after 12 weeks and up to 20 weeks).
Pregnancy loss after ectopic pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy is a serious and sometimes life-threatening condition, which affects around 1 in 80 pregnancies.
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when an embryo begins to grow outside the uterus (womb). The most common place for this to occur is inside the fallopian tube.
When an egg is drawn from one of the ovaries, it’s transported through the fallopian tube to the uterus. Along the way, the egg might be fertilized by a man’s sperm. This isn’t normally a problem, as the fertilized egg will usually move on to the womb, where it continues to grow.
However, in the case of an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg becomes stuck in the fallopian tube, and doesn’t move along as it should.
Unfortunately, it’s not possible for an ectopic pregnancy to be relocated to the right place, and it becomes dangerous for the woman if it remains inside the tube.
The embryo will continue to grow and can cause the tube to burst or be severely damaged; this requires immediate medical attention and often surgery.
Unfortunately, it’s not possible for these pregnancies to survive outside the uterus.
Many women experience symptoms of an ectopic before they even know they’re pregnant. Discovering you’re pregnant, a diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy, treatment, and the feelings associated with this type of loss can be overwhelming.
All this can happen within a relatively short period of time, too. This makes it difficult to get your head around, and can be scary in the process.
If you have experienced an ectopic pregnancy, you’ll probably be advised by your doctor to wait a few months before getting pregnant again, so your body can fully heal and recover.
Please read Ectopic Pregnancy – Symptoms, Signs, and Treatment for more information.
Pregnancy loss after molar pregnancy
Molar pregnancies are very rare (around 1 in every 1000), and occur when a sperm fertilizes a genetically ’empty’ egg.
After conception, normal development doesn’t occur. The abnormal fertilized egg implants into the lining of the uterus but, sadly, the fetus will not develop.
Placental tissue will grow very rapidly and produce high levels of the hormone hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin). This causes a positive pregnancy test, and often results in normal early pregnancy symptoms.
The abnormal placental tissue grows too fast and takes over the space where the embryo would normally develop.
A molar pregnancy won’t survive as there is the wrong balance or number of chromosomes. Unfortunately, these pregnancies end with a procedure to remove the tissue.
Anyone diagnosed with a molar pregnancy is followed up with blood tests to ensure hCG levels return to normal, as they can be abnormally high.
Some women might also require further medication or treatment. Your doctor might advise you to not to become pregnant while you’re still in follow-up.
For more information, please read Molar Pregnancy | What Is It?
The loss of a baby for any reason can be a devastating experience. For those who have experienced two or more miscarriages, the repeated cycle of associated emotions can be heartbreaking.
Many couples desperately want to know the cause of recurrent miscarriages and look for answers, to try to make sense of what has happened.
More than half of all couples who see a doctor for investigations, however, don’t come out with an answer as to why they have repeated miscarriages. That can be very hard to cope with.
The idea of planning for another baby, or another pregnancy, after a miscarriage, can be extremely worrying.
Losing a baby can put emotional strain on a relationship, as partners often deal differently with the way they feel.
You might not feel ready to try again at the same time as your partner. You might have concerns about experiencing another loss or being able to have a healthy pregnancy.
Depending on your circumstances, you could be offered further testing before getting pregnant again, to try and find an underlying cause for your miscarriages.
When we think about miscarriage, we tend to think of losing a baby before 12 weeks. A late miscarriage refers to a pregnancy loss between 12 and 20 weeks.
The risk of miscarrying is significantly reduced after 12 weeks, and late-term miscarriage is much less common.
If you have a late miscarriage, you’ll need to go through the labor process to birth your baby. This can be distressing, but your doctor or healthcare provider will ensure you’re aware of all of your options. They’ll also be able to support you in the ways that you need.
If you’ve gone through this experience, it’s often advised to delay trying to get pregnant again until your body has fully recovered; this can take time.
For more information please read Late Miscarriage – Signs and Treatment.
Pregnancy outcomes after miscarriage
If you’ve experienced more than one miscarriage, or the cause of your loss has not been identified, don’t lose hope.
Most women who experience repeated losses are likely, eventually, to have a successful pregnancy after a miscarriage.
85% of women who have suffered a miscarriage will go on to have a healthy pregnancy.
Is it easier to get pregnant after a miscarriage?
Falling pregnant after a miscarriage might seem daunting, for many reasons. You might worry you’ll struggle to conceive again, or won’t be able to carry a healthy pregnancy after a miscarriage.
Nobody really knows whether or not having a miscarriage affects your next pregnancy, or future fertility.
However, research published in the British Medical Journal found conceiving within six months after miscarriage might offer the best chance.
The study concluded those who conceive within six months of an initial miscarriage (compared with those who waited 6-12 months) have the best outcomes and lowest complication rates in a subsequent pregnancy.
Can you get pregnant after a miscarriage and before your next period?
Some women ovulate as soon as two weeks following a miscarriage. This means they can fall pregnant right away if they’ve had sex during this time and, in fact, could get pregnant even before having their first period.
Although you might be ready to have sex soon after your miscarriage, you might not be ready for another pregnancy straight away. Pregnancy after a miscarriage can bring up a number of different emotions that you might or might not expect.
If you’re concerned, it’s best to have these conversations early on. Ask your doctor for advice. It might be worth seeking the support of a grief or specialist counselor to work through any emotions you have about falling pregnant again.
Don’t be afraid to chat with your loved one, too, to make sure you’ll both be ready when the time comes.
Please read Pregnancy After Miscarriage: 5 Ways It Can Feel Different for information about experiencing pregnancy after loss.
What happens if you get pregnant too soon after miscarriage?
Many health care providers will advise waiting between 1 and 3 months before trying to get pregnant again. This allows time to heal – physically and emotionally – and to come to terms with your loss.
You might wonder whether getting pregnant too soon increases your risk of another miscarriage. There isn’t really enough reliable evidence to show an increased risk of miscarriage when getting pregnant immediately afterwards.
“No one knows your body better than you do. Knowing when to try again is best decided by you. There isn’t a set amount of time you must wait. You and your body will work together. If you feel comforted by making love to your partner, then don’t let any numbers or do’s and don’ts stop you. When the time is right and your body is ready, you will conceive” – Irene Garzon, BellyBelly Contributor and women’s sexual health specialist.
Why is it taking so long to get pregnant after a miscarriage?
It’s not possible to force your body to get pregnant before it’s ready to do so. Don’t rush into having another baby, if you don’t really feel ready. It’ll happen when the time is right.
Take advantage of the time in between. Fully address how you’re feeling following your loss. Enjoy time spent in your partner’s company. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to become pregnant again quickly.
Be patient and gentle with yourself. Healing – both physical and mental – can take longer than you might expect.
If you feel it’s taking a while to become pregnant again, contact your doctor for more information and to discuss any specific health concerns.
Your doctor might suggest some investigations for you and your partner, to check your fertility.
How can I calculate my ovulation after miscarriage?
Blood loss after a miscarriage usually lasts about one week. It can be longer for some women, especially if there were additional complications. It’s also quite common to have some spotting for up to four weeks.
Once your hormone levels return to normal, menstruation will return too.
The length of time this takes will vary for each woman. For most women, their periods will return after 4-6 weeks.
It can take time for your periods to regulate themselves after a pregnancy loss, particularly if they were irregular before. This can make tracking your fertility and ovulation more difficult.
Day one of your cycle should be calculated from the first day of bleeding from the miscarriage.
There are several signs you can look out for to predict ovulation:
- Clear, stretchy vaginal discharge
- Cramping on either the right or left side, near your ovaries
- A slight increase in your basal body temperature
- An ovulation predictor kit, which detects a rise in Luteinizing Hormone (LH).
Read our article When Do You Ovulate? How To Pinpoint Ovulation to learn more.
Tips for trying again after miscarriage
To increase your chances of a successful pregnancy, make sure you take on the following lifestyle changes before you start trying to conceive:
- Increase your intake of folate
- Do not drink alcohol
- Give up smoking
- Reduce your caffeine intake
- Take plenty of rest and relaxation time
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet (organic where possible)
- Take regular exercise
- Reduce your stress levels
- Look at natural home cleaning products (to reduce chemical exposure).
How can I stop worrying about pregnancy after miscarriage?
Emotions can be intense and sometimes unexpected, when thinking about or going through another pregnancy. It’s normal to feel a sense of loss, sadness, grief, anxiety, grief, and guilt. These might come all at once, or at certain anniversaries or milestones.
If you’re experiencing anxiety, don’t suffer in silence. When you’re further into the pregnancy, you’ll probably find your anxiety lessens. Women often report feeling less nervous once they have had their first scan.
It’s reassuring to know most miscarriages are random events. Experiencing one in the past doesn’t mean you’ll automatically suffer another next time.
The majority of women (85-90%) will go on to have a successful and healthy pregnancy within a year.
A baby born following the loss of a baby due to miscarriage is known as a rainbow baby.
What if I miscarry again?
If you fall pregnant again, it’s understandable you will feel anxious about experiencing another miscarriage. Talk about your anxieties with your doctor, who will be able to offer you reassurances to help you feel more positive.
If you do miscarry again, you might want to get tested for MTHFR gene mutation, which affects how your body utilizes folic acid and other forms of folate.
This can result in miscarriage and other pregnancy problems. If you have MTHFR, you should stop taking folic acid and instead take folinic acid and methylfolate.
There’s no right way to come to terms with a miscarriage. Everyone will feel different at different times.
Be kind to yourself, and talk about how you’re feeling with people you trust. Talk to your doctor about your concerns. Don’t try to hide or shield your feelings. Talk about them, and don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed.
There might be a support group in your area that will help connect you to others who have had a miscarriage, or who have had similar experiences to yours.