How Soon Can I Get Pregnant After Miscarriage?
After the loss of a pregnancy, you may want to try again if you are physically ready. Most miscarriages are a once-off incident. While about 15 percent of women had a pregnancy ends in miscarriage, just about 1 percent of pregnant women experience the risk of another miscarriage in a row. Repeated miscarriage is rare.
The only real factor that prevents pregnancy after miscarriage is when ovulation will come back. This can differ from woman to woman. Some women can conceive within two weeks after a pregnancy loss, others wait to conceive after a few months to a year.
How does a miscarriage affect your menstrual cycle?
Ovulation can come back as early as two weeks after losing a pregnancy. If you had an early pregnancy loss, bleeding usually stops in about a week. Bleeding could last longer if your pregnancy loss happens at a later time such as the second trimester.
As the bleeding resolves, your hormone levels will return to normal, and your menstrual cycle will resume.
Your menstrual cycle can be unpredictable during the first few months after a pregnancy loss. As your hormones regulate, the menstrual cycle will gradually return to a pattern. If you have irregular menstrual cycles before the pregnancy, your cycle will remain irregular after the pregnancy loss.
In most cases, women who miscarried will return to their normal menstrual cycle within three months. However, it is almost impossible to pinpoint exactly when you can start trying to conceive again. This is especially true for women with older age and abnormalities of the reproductive tract.
Despite recent studies, many health care practitioners recommend waiting at least 3 months to get pregnant again after experienced a miscarriage. The World Health Organization (WHO) even recommends waiting longer such as 6 months in order to reduce the risks of adverse unsuccessful pregnancy outcomes.
Recurrent miscarriages may increase the risk of molar pregnancy. A molar pregnancy may look like a healthy pregnancy at the first, but it is actually a tumor developed in the uterus at the beginning of a pregnancy.
The good news is there are several things you can do if you want to get pregnant again sooner than later.
How to tracking ovulation after a miscarriage?
When you are emotionally and physically ready to try to conceive after a miscarriage, you will want to track your fertility hormones. By doing so, you can see when your menstrual cycle returns to normal.
During ovulation, a mature egg is released from the ovary, traveling down the fallopian tube. If it is fertilized by sperm along the way, it implants itself into the thickened uterus lining. The uterus lining and blood will shed if no conception occurs. The shedding together with the unfertilized egg will exit the body and this is your menstrual period.
Luteinizing hormone or LH directly regulates ovulation. LH level rises sharply about 12-24 hours before you ovulate. Because an egg only lives up to 24 hours after ovulation, your peak fertility day is often the day of the LH surge. LH level should remain low for the rest of the menstrual cycle.
LH is often tested by ovulation prediction kits (OPK’s). These tests work by detecting your LH presence in the urine. They decide your ovulation based on the average hormone values.
Unfortunately, many women end up having false-positive or false-negative test results, missing their ovulation and fertile days. This is because the LH hormone level differs significantly from woman to woman and cycle to cycle, especially true for women after a miscarriage.
Mira is an easy-to-use fertility hormone tracker at home. You can track your actual hormone concentrations and see your unique hormone curve. Mira aims to take the stress and guesswork out of ovulation. It tells you exactly when you are fertile and non-fertile.
Another hormone you want to pay attention to is the pregnancy hormone hCG. hCG level is elevated when you are pregnant. It often suppresses your ovulation. You will want to wait for it to drop below 5 mIU/mL, or your menstrual cycle won’t resume.
What causes miscarriage?
The following causes are commonly seen in a miscarriage:
- Abnormal chromosomes cause more than half of early pregnancy loss. Chromosomes contain our genes that are the “secret booklet” of life. There is often no way to prevent or reverse chromosomal problems. This risk is linked closely with the mother’s age. When you get older, especially after 35 years old, your eggs are more likely to have chromosomal abnormalities. This means there are some small mistakes within their DNA and there is a higher risk of birth defects and miscarriage.
- Miscarriage during the second trimester is often caused by the mother’s medical conditions. Infection, diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid problem, or problem with the reproductive system increases this risk.
- Lifestyle and environmental issues also play a role. Smoking, drinking, contact with chemicals can put you into risks of recurrent miscarriage.
When is the best time for pregnancy after miscarriage?
So do you have to wait three months after a pregnancy loss before trying to conceive again? The answer is no.
A study has actually shown a very short interpregnancy interval of fewer than three months has no detrimental effects on pregnancy outcomes. There is no difference in terms of live birth rate, another miscarriage, and pregnancy complications between women who got pregnant again within or beyond three months.
Another study showed women who conceive earlier after a miscarriage may even have better outcomes and fewer complications.
If your previous loss was due to a health issue, you should consult with your obstetrics gynecology doctor about when you can start again.
How do you improve the chances of a successful pregnancy?
It is not much you can do to prevent an early miscarriage. Keeping a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet is important. Do not be overly stressed out about the previous loss – it has nothing to do with your chance of having healthy babies again. Consider prenatal vitamins such as folic acid a few months before conception.
✔️ Medically Reviewed by Banafsheh Kashani, MD, FACOG
Banafsheh Kashani, M.D., FACOG is a board-certified OB/GYN and specialist in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Eden Fertility Centers, and has been treating couples and individuals with infertility since 2014. Prior to joining Eden Centers for Advanced Fertility, she was practicing as a top fertility specialist at Kaiser Permanente in Orange County and Reproductive Fertility Center. Dr. Kashani has received numerous awards throughout her years of study and medical training.
Dr. Kashani has conducted extensive research in female reproduction, with a specific focus on the endometrium and implantation. Additionally, Dr. Kashani has authored papers in the areas of fertility preservation, and fertility in women with PCOS and Turners syndrome. She also was part of a large SART-CORS study evaluating the trend in frozen embryo transfers and success rates.
Dr. Kashani is a fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. In addition, she is a diplomat of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and an active member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and Pacific Coast Reproductive Society (PCRS). She is also a member of the Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (SREI).