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When can I try to conceive after a miscarriage?

This is such a common question I receive. Let’s review, miscarriage occurs in one in four pregnancies. It is common to experience feelings of grief, confusion, shock, anger, and anxiety truly any feeling! It is a loss, it deserves to be acknowledged as one and mourned which means working through the stages of grief. It is a loss of what could have been. I was preparing and making life plans within one day of knowing I was pregnant. I called my counselor within two weeks after my miscarriage because of what I was experiencing and I am a huge promotor of seeking mental healthcare.

So when can you try to become pregnant again? The best answer is when you feel ready as a couple. The stipulation to this would be if your doctor told you otherwise due to medical findings. You may start tracking your cycle and trying to conceive following your next menstrual cycle.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), you can ovulate as soon as two weeks after a miscarriage, if it occurs within the first 13 weeks of pregnancy.

My doctor told me to wait

Here is a great opportunity to advocate for your healthcare. Have them give you the exact reason as to why they would like you to wait followed by the exact time frame they want you to wait for. At times your healthcare provider may recommend avoiding sex for two weeks after a miscarriage to prevent an infection. If you are bleeding still sex should be avoided.

“Small observational studies show no benefit to delayed conception after early pregnancy loss. Abstaining from vaginal intercourse for one to two weeks after the complete passage of pregnancy tissue generally is recommended to reduce the risk of infection, but this is not an evidence-based recommendation.” — American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Common concerns include infection, ongoing bleeding, and anemia. We want to avoid hot tubs and inserting anything vaginal immediately following a miscarriage including tampons to stop bleeding.

What are the chances of another miscarriage?

Studies show that following two consecutive miscarriages your chance of miscarrying again increases to about 28 percent. This increases further to 43 percent after three or more back-to-back miscarriages.

What does research show about pregnancy after a miscarriage?

Confusion! Ha! One study found that the chance of pregnancy actually increased immediately following a miscarriage. Then we looked at a different study that showed the opposite and found that women took longer to get pregnant after a miscarriage. Let’s just say it is inconclusive, and truly is individualized. The chance of conception after a miscarriage depends on your medical history and situation and there is no website, research, or magical calculation that will tell us your chances because each miscarriage happens for its own reason. This is why I am so passionate about you receiving a full workup after two miscarriages so you can rule out causes to improve your chances of a future pregnancy sooner.

 What are the next steps following a miscarriage?

My recommendation is to start tracking your cycle using an ovulation predictor kit or working with a provider or coach who understands this can help you better predict when you’ll ovulate. I want you to sit down with your partner and discuss these questions.

  • How are we feeling emotionally?
  • How will I feel if I don’t get pregnant right away?
  • What if I have another miscarriage? Do we have a plan in place
  • Do I have good support from loved ones?
  • Have I been able to talk about my miscarriage?

Also Read:5 Things You Neet to Know About Having a Miscarriage from a Nurse Practitioner 

download your free miscarrriage checklist

Better understand what a miscarriage workup looks like with this guide. Sign up below to receive a checklist created by Dr. Brandner