If you have been trying to conceive for a while, it may be that you have experienced a miscarriage. In fact, for women under 35, the chance of having a miscarriage in any given pregnancy is about 15%. Rates rise with age, up to 20-35% between ages 35 and 45 and as high as 50% for women over 45. With easily available pregnancy tests, women are becoming more aware of a miscarriage which triggers several emotions. In this article we talk about getting pregnant after a miscarriage, how soon to try for, grieving the loss and what to expect of when you get pregnant again.
How soon to try after a miscarriage has been debated amongst clinicians. The World Health Organisation recommends women wait 6 months, but recent studies have identified that conceiving within six months after the miscarriage was associated with decreased risk of second miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or termination.
If you’ve had a miscarriage, you should see a doctor for a follow appointment to make sure everything is ok. Proving you are healthy and the miscarriage hasn’t been physically traumatic, it’s likely the doctor will say you can try for a baby straight after two weeks. In case of any trauma or severe bleeding, you may need medication to control the bleeding.
A miscarriage can also been emotionally distressing, especially if it happens several times. It is important to allow time to heal emotionally before you start trying again.
As soon as you find out you are pregnant, you start thinking about the future, and maybe even making some plans. So, when you have a miscarriage, you may feel a sense of loss and sadness.
It is important to allow time to heal and not start trying immediately just to replace that pregnancy. What is right for one person, is not for another. Allow yourself enough time to grieve the loss and seek support if needed. Start trying only when you feel ready for the journey again and the outcome it may bring.
When you start trying again, and get pregnant, you may face some challenges. You may:
Miscarriages may lead to higher levels of pregnancy-related fear and state anxiety that have a negative impact on the course of pregnancy and delivery. If you find yourself in this rollercoaster of emotions, know that it’s normal and you are not alone.
You may also notice that your partner experiences the miscarriage and new pregnancy different to you. The physical experience you go through is different to his, but he may also feel the sadness, anxiety and fear. Couples usually find themselves balancing between losing control and searching for control, between searching for reasons for what happened and trying to forget what happened, and some might even be too ashamed to tell their loved ones the situation they are in.
Grief and depressive symptoms may be reduced over time, but seeking isolation, feeling incapable, and having present the devastation from the event lingers for longer than four months. In general, people with a poorer social support system suffer more, so couples in this situation and that feel as described ought to consider talking about what they are feeling by getting in contact with a professional.
In conclusion, getting pregnant after miscarriage can be challenging but our 3 tips above and professional support will help you cope and prepare for the next stage of the journey.
This information is part of the Enhanced Fertility Programme, the evidence based platform that improves your health for fertility.