During the first three months of pregnancy, the risk of miscarriage is quite high. Statistically, 10% to 20% of all pregnancies result in miscarriages. A miscarriage is defined as the sudden loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks. This is a common event, yet very difficult for a woman and her partner to deal with.
After recovering from the impact of a miscarriage, the most common question asked by women is, “when can I try to get pregnant again?” It is important to speak to your health care provider and make sure you have emotionally and physically healed before you try to become pregnant again. A healthy lifestyle is imperative for a healthy pregnancy. Here are some tips to help you go through a healthy pregnancy after experiencing a miscarriage.
When Can I Get Pregnant After Miscarriage?
After a miscarriage, trying to get pregnant again can be stressful and confusing. If you are thinking about getting pregnant soon after a miscarriage, it is important to understand the steps you can take to promote a fruitful pregnancy.
Recovery and Preparation
It is very important that you give yourself time to heal both emotionally and physically before you try to conceive again. Physical recovery after a miscarriage is quick and takes only a few days. After about a month, your body will be working normally and your menstrual cycles will begin once again. It is possible to become pregnant during your first menstrual cycle after your miscarriage.
The most important part of the healing process is the mental healing. You want to make sure that you and your partner are emotionally ready to try again. A miscarriage can cause a severe feeling of loss and confusion, especially if it is the first pregnancy. You may feel anger and guilt. Give yourself time to recover and do not push yourself through your grief.
When Can I Get Pregnant?
Once you are emotionally and physically stable and ready to become pregnant again, it is important to talk to your family physician for further guidance. Depending on how many miscarriages you have suffered, you must also keep a few pieces of information in mind.
- If you have had one miscarriage. For some time, it had been recommended that women wait at least six months before they try to get pregnant again. However, recent studies have shown that there is no sure evidence to support this. Research has actually found that it is better for women to conceive in the first six months after a miscarriage and that this decreases the chances of complications. If you are ready right after your miscarriage, there is no reason to delay your next pregnancy.
- If you have had more than one miscarriage. If you have had two or more miscarriages, you must talk to your family doctor before trying to conceive again. You may have to undergo some tests to determine the underlying cause of your miscarriages. Your doctor may also recommend some treatment methods before you attempt another pregnancy.
- If you have had a molar pregnancy. A molar pregnancy is when a benign tumor forms in the uterus. This occurs when the placental develops into abnormal cysts instead of a fetus. Your family doctor may recommend that you wait at least six months to a year before you try to conceive after a molar pregnancy.
What the Research Says
Studies have shown that women who become pregnant within six months of their miscarriage have better chances of proceeding with a healthy pregnancy. Compared to those who waited longer than six months to become pregnant, women who got pregnant earlier on had a lesser risk of suffering complications during pregnancy and labor.
Similarly, women who waited over two years to become pregnant after a miscarriage were at greater risk of a life threatening ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is when the egg is implanted outside the uterus, most often in the Fallopian tubes. These women were also more likely to undergo a C-section and/or have a low-birth-weight baby at a premature age.
The same study included women who had miscarried late in pregnancy and similar results were found when compared to those who miscarried earlier in pregnancy; both groups were better off conceiving earlier rather than later. However, the study showed that women who have signs of infection or weak immune systems might have to wait longer to conceive after a miscarriage.
If you have had more than two miscarriages, you may want to undergo some tests to determine the cause of the miscarriages before you try again. Some tests that can identify the issues include:
- Blood tests. a comprehensive checkup of your blood levels can trace any hormonal or immune system problems.
- Chromosomal tests. both you and your partner will have blood tested for chromosomal issues. If the tissue from the miscarriage is available, this will be tested as well.
- Ultrasounds. an ultrasound can give a clear image of the uterus and can help doctors detect any issues with the structure of the uterus.
- Hysteroscopy. a small scope may be inserted through your cervix into your uterus that can give an inside view of your uterus and Fallopian tubes.
- Hysterosalpingography. This is a minimally invasive technique that uses a dye to highlight the inside of the uterus and the Fallopian tubes in x-rays.
- Sonohysterogram. A fluid is inserted into your uterus and an ultrasound is performed to detect any issues in the lining of the uterus.
A number of tests and procedures can be performed to help identify the cause of the miscarriage. However, the majority of women undergo miscarriages for unknown reasons, and go on to have healthy subsequent pregnancies.
A healthy pregnancy needs a healthy body. If you have an active and healthy lifestyle, you can increase the chances of having a healthy baby and pregnancy.
If you are planning on conceiving or if there is a chance of you getting pregnant, it is important that you take a folic acid supplement. This will help in the development of your baby’s brain. Having a healthy weight can also improve your chances of healthy pregnancy. Being under or overweight can cause complications during your pregnancy and during labor. A healthy diet is essential and you should try to limit your caffeine intake. Smoking, alcohol and illegal drugs must be avoided at all costs.
If you have had previous miscarriages, you will have to take extra care for future pregnancies. If you are pregnant again after multiple miscarriages, consult with your midwife or family doctor to devise a plan for monitoring and maintaining your pregnancy.
Deal with Your Emotions and Feelings in the Process
Becoming pregnant again after a miscarriage can be both an extremely happy and an extremely stressful experience. You will be overjoyed at being given the chance to become a mother again but at the same time you might be anxious about the possibility of suffering another miscarriage.
You may not want to tell anyone about your pregnancy until you are further along. The grief you felt during your miscarriage may resurface. Do not worry, as this is normal.
It is important that you share your feelings with someone, be it your partner or other family and friends. A counselor or your family doctor can also help you cope with your emotions during this time.