Is It Easier To Get Pregnant After Miscarriage?

Reviewed on 3/28/2022

What is a miscarriage? 

A miscarriage is broadly defined as any spontaneous loss of a pregnancy. It may be best to try to get pregnant in three to twelve months after a pregnancy.
A miscarriage is broadly defined as any spontaneous loss of a pregnancy. It may be best to try to get pregnant in three to twelve months after a pregnancy.

Doctors and health organizations offer a wide variety of recommendations about when it’s best to get pregnant after a miscarriage. Typical answers can range anywhere from three to twelve months to whenever you feel ready to try again. 

A miscarriage is broadly defined as any spontaneous loss of a pregnancy. It can be more strictly defined as a loss that happens within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. 

An estimated 23 million miscarriages occur per year worldwide — though this is likely an underestimate. This means that approximately 15.3% of all recognized pregnancies are at risk of ending in a miscarriage. 

Certain risk factors make it more likely that you’ll have a miscarriage. Examples include:

  • Being younger than 20 and older than 35
  • Sperm contributed by a man 40 years or older
  • Having a body mass index (BMI) that is either too low or too high
  • Previous miscarriages
  • Smoking 
  • Alcohol use
  • Frequent stress
  • Certain chemical exposures, including pesticides  

A single miscarriage isn’t necessarily a reason for extensive medical tests to determine the underlying cause. But you should consult your doctor if you have had two or more miscarriages or have been diagnosed with an illness or condition that makes it hard for people to get pregnant in the first place — like diabetes.  

When is it physically safe to get pregnant again after a miscarriage? 

The amount of time before it’s physically safe for you to get pregnant again depends on the nature of your previous miscarriage or miscarriages. 

You want to be sure that your uterus has recovered and your endometrial lining has had time to strengthen. Otherwise, you risk repeating the miscarriage. But — since some studies show highly successful pregnancy rates within the first three months after miscarriage — this process can happen relatively quickly. 

Sometimes — particularly in the case of multiple miscarriages or if your doctor suspects an underlying medical cause — you’ll need to undergo a variety of tests to figure out why your miscarriage happened. You should wait until all tests are completed before resuming any attempts to become pregnant. 

There may also be physical complications that follow a miscarriage, including bleeding and infection. You need to resolve these issues to confirm that it’s safe to become pregnant again.  

Your period may also take some time to return to normal. In general, barring any other complicating factors, it’s considered medically safe to become pregnant after three or more normal menstrual cycles after your miscarriage. 

When is it best to get pregnant again after a miscarriage? 

Even if it’s physically safe for you to get pregnant again relatively soon, only you and any partners will know when the time is right to try again. 

People can have very different emotional responses to miscarriages. Some women report reactions of extreme distress and feelings of loss. In contrast, others seem to feel only mild irritation at the complications and are eager to keep trying. You need to be honest with yourself and understand how you feel after your miscarriage.

Possible psychological effects that are associated with miscarriage include increased risks of: 

You need to address all of the psychological concerns that your miscarriage caused before it’s healthy for you to move on to your next pregnancy.   

On a positive note, around 85% of people who have experienced one miscarriage end up having a successful pregnancy from their next attempt. This is also true for 75% of women who have had two or three previous miscarriages.

Contraceptive use and family planning after a miscarriage

Multiple studies have shown that everyone who experiences a miscarriage can benefit from discussions about family planning regardless of whether or not their previous pregnancy was planned. 

For example, in one clinical trial with 244 participants, researchers found that it wasn’t infrequent for a miscarriage to cause people to change their pregnancy intentions. Some women decided to begin taking contraceptives even when their original pregnancy was planned. Other women with unplanned pregnancies decided that they now wanted to try again. 

Overall, this study found that women whose original pregnancies weren’t planned were twice as likely to begin taking contraceptives. But all women can benefit from understanding their options.  

Considerations for handling your next pregnancy

After experiencing their first miscarriage, some people may want to change their strategy for preparing for their subsequent pregnancy. Changes that you may find helpful include: 

  • Having both yourself and your medical provider carefully monitor this next pregnancy
  • Managing when and with whom you share the news of your next pregnancy — some people even choose to delay their baby showers until after the birth 
  • Preparing to handle feelings of loss along with the feelings of joy for this new baby — you may experience feelings of grief even after the new baby is born
  • Understanding and trying to manage possible feelings of over-protectiveness and even panic over the health and wellness of your next baby
  • Recognizing that a complicated emotional response is normal 

You may also find comfort in a support group or from talking to a counselor. Your medical provider can help recommend services like these.  

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References
SOURCES:

American Pregnancy Association: "Pregnancy After Miscarriage."

Contraception: "Pregnancy intentions and contraceptive uptake after miscarriage."

Lancet: "Miscarriage matters: the epidemiological, physical, psychological, and economic costs of early pregnancy loss."

Obstetrics and Gynecology: "Family Planning and Counseling Desires of Women Who Have Experienced Miscarriage," "Interpregnancy Interval After Pregnancy Loss and Risk of Repeat Miscarriage," "Trying to Conceive After An Early Pregnancy Loss."

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