A miscarriage is defined as the loss of a pregnancy up to 20 weeks.
Your period after miscarriage can be a difficult reminder of what you’ve lost.
You might be unsure about what to expect from your body during or after this time.
Pregnancy loss will be hard on you emotionally, and problems with your body can only make it more difficult.
So what can you expect from your body after a pregnancy loss?
Period after miscarriage
Research shows around 10-20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. But the true number of early miscarriage isn’t known. Many women lose a pregnancy around the time of their expected period.
Although it’s fairly common, that doesn’t mean miscarriage is easiy for a woman to go through.
Some people are able to move on emotionally and chalk the pregnancy loss up to bad luck.
Others have a more difficult time getting over it, and need time to grieve or to recover physically.
Whichever applies to you, you’re experiencing normal feelings.
Allow yourself to be where you are, and move past the experience of pregnancy loss without judgement.
Having a period after miscarriage can be a difficult reminder of what has been lost.
First period after natural miscarriage
It’s important to speak with your health practitioner if you experience a miscarriage.
Even if it’s an early miscarriage, it’s important for your doctor to know, in case there are any complications.
Most women see their cycle return to normal and have their first period after miscarriage about four to six weeks later.
Things some women experience during their first period after miscarriage are:
- Heavier bleeding
- More bleeding days than usual
- Discharge with a strong odour
- Longer-lasting or stronger pain or cramps
- Stronger mood swings or PMS
- Feelings of grief or guilt.
These are all normal, and there’s no reason to think anything’s seriously wrong.
However, it’s always a good idea to check in with your healthcare provider.
It’s important that your hCG levels return to pre-pregnancy levels.
If they don’t, it could be a sign there’s tissue remaining in your uterus, and that could cause serious complications.
A home pregnancy test can tell you, but you might want to ask your doctor for a blood test to check your hCG levels.
When will I get my period after a miscarriage?
You might find your first period after miscarriage is different from your usual periods.
The reason is you’ve had the pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in your body.
The hormone hCG tells your body that it’s pregnant.
That means if your body senses hCG, it won’t be triggered to have a normal period. It can take some time for hCG to return to pre-pregnant levels, thus triggering your cycle to return.
Exactly when your periods return after a miscarriage depends on when the hormone hCG disappears from your body.
First period after pregnancy loss
There are some factors that might affect when you can expect your first period after miscarriage.
Some of these factors are:
- How early your miscarriage occurred
- What kind of miscarriage you experienced
- How long it’s taking the hormone hCG to leave your body
- Whether or not you’ve experienced any complications – for example, heavy or prolonged bleeding.
The average amount of time between an early pregnancy loss and a period is 4 to 6 weeks.
A complete miscarriage refers to a miscarriage in which the fetus and tissue are expelled from your body naturally.
This is the most likely scenario in an early pregnancy loss.
If you have a complete early miscarriage, you’re likely to ovulate two weeks later and get your first period in about 4 weeks.
If the miscarriage occurred very early, your period might even arrive at its normal time.
It might also feel like a normal period.
Heavy period after pregnancy loss
The experience of your first period after miscarriage is most likely to be affected by:
- How pregnant you were
- Whether or not you experienced any complications.
When you become pregnant, the hormone hCG begins to rise. That’s when you start to experience symptoms of pregnancy.
The presence of hCG tells your body that you’re pregnant. Higher amounts of hCG are produced to support the pregnancy.
The longer you’re pregnant, the more hCG you have.
This means if you miscarry very early on, you’re likely to have a low level of this hormone.
However, if your pregnancy progresses further, you’re likely to have a higher level of the hormone.
This can make your body continue to think it’s pregnant, even when it’s miscarried.
This is amplified if you have experienced any complications.
- Being further along in pregnancy
- The miscarriage not being naturally completed
- Having a dilation and curette (D&C)
Let’s look further into what these complications could mean for your next period.
Longer period after pregnancy loss
Generally, the further a woman is into the pregnancy before a miscarriage occurs, the more difficult the miscarriage will be.
This could also mean your first period after miscarriage will be more difficult.
All women are different, so there is no rule about what to expect.
Symptoms of an early miscarriage can be:
- Heavier than normal periods
- Strong or more painful than usual cramps
- Periods are longer than usual.
Early Miscarriage – Signs, Symptoms and What To Expect has more information.
If you have a miscarriage when you are into your second trimester, symptoms can include:
- Passing tissue
- Passing the fetus.
Late Miscarriage – Signs and Treatment has more information.
The first period after these two types of miscarriage can mirror the miscarriage.
For example, a period after a miscarriage experienced further into pregnancy might include:
- Heavier bleeding
- Stronger cramps and pain.
However far into the pregnancy you were when you experienced the miscarriage, if your miscarriage isn’t naturally completed, you could have complications.
A completed miscarriage is one in which all of the blood and tissue is naturally passed through the vagina.
Sometimes this doesn’t happen. Parts of the placenta or fetus can be left inside the uterus.
Signs of these can be:
- Discharge with a strong odour
- Heavier bleeding, or blood clots
- A period that is more painful than usual.
In these cases, a D&C (dilation and curettage) is often recommended.
This procedure is performed under general anesthesia.
The doctor scrapes pregnancy tissue and blood from the lining of the uterus, making sure that it’s all removed.
In the case of a miscarriage that’s further along, completion can include a typical labour and birth of a very small baby. This can be very difficult to experience.
What to expect period after pregnancy loss
If you’re having trouble moving on emotionally after a pregnancy loss, there are resources available to help you.
Some ways you can find help to grieve or move on:
- See a therapist
- Talk to your doctor if you think you’re experiencing symptoms of depression
- Join a support group
- Chat on online forums dedicated to people who have also experienced a loss.
There are also other ways to cope:
- Connect with friends instead of remaining isolated
- Have a massage or doing something that relaxes you
- Get a manicure or pedicure
- Spend time on hobbies that fulfill you – creative endeavours, such as painting, or social activities you’ve previously enjoyed.
Treat yourself well and be gentle with yourself, whatever you’re feeling. Try not to push people away if they try to support you.
When will I get my period after pregnancy loss?
Miscarriages happen to all kinds of women – those who are healthy and those who are unhealthy.
This means that it’s important not to blame yourself for losing a baby.
If you plan to conceive again, now is a good time to take stock of your health and make any changes needed to support conception in the future.
Things you can do at this point:
- See your doctor or midwife for a checkup
- Seek out practitioners in natural medicine, for any tests or suggestions they can give
- See a chiropractor
- Consult an acupuncturist
- See a therapist
- Find a massage therapist
- Start to exercise, if you don’t already
- Make sure you’re eating a healthy diet
- Take care of your mental health by engaging in a fun or relaxing hobby
- Connect with friends or family regularly.
If you focus on getting yourself into a mentally and physically healthy state, you’ll know you’re doing all you can for a healthy pregnancy in the future.
Getting pregnant after miscarriage before first period
There’s no reason to think a pregnancy loss is a sign you can’t have a healthy pregnancy after a miscarriage.
Chances are you’ll go on to have a healthy pregnancy in the future.
You might want to ask your healthcare practitioner when might be the ideal time to try again.
Some women ovulate 2 weeks after a pregnancy loss; for others, cycles take a little while longer to regulate to normal ovulation again.
This can be especially true if you had irregular periods before the miscarriage.
It can be a good idea to start tracking your ovulation so you’ll know whether you’re physically ready to get pregnant again.
Some doctors recommend waiting for one regular cycle before trying to get pregnant again.
Some people might need more time to grieve before they’re ready to try for another pregnancy.
If you want to wait sometime before trying for another baby, consider your birth control options.
Many women feel ready to become pregnant again right away.
If you’re feeling ok two weeks after your loss, and you are showing no symptoms of complications, you might want to try to get pregnant before your first period after miscarriage.
Be sure to read Pregnancy After Miscarriage: 5 Ways It Can Feel Different for more information.
No period after pregnancy loss
If you haven’t had a period after miscarriage, or when you would expect to, you might want to talk to your doctor.
Women typically get their first period about four to six weeks after a pregnancy loss.
If you’ve gone longer than 6 weeks without getting your period, speak with your doctor.
It’s likely a blood test or an ultrasound scan will find out whether there is any complication preventing you from getting your period.