Getting pregnant after miscarriage is a decision that entails physical and mental preparation.
Most couples who deal with the spontaneous loss of a baby before the woman is 20 weeks pregnant (that's, de facto, a miscarriage, which affects 10 to 20% of pregnancies), go through a grieving process full of mixed feelings. What went wrong? Why did this happen to us? When will we be able to try again? These are just some of the common questions you may ask yourself when such bad news hit you unexpectedly.
If you are one of these people and need some advice on getting pregnant after miscarriage, this is the ideal post for you.
Getting pregnant after miscarriage: Healing your body
No matter what the cause of miscarriage is (wrong foetal development, chromosomal problems, implantation failure or ectopic pregnancy, among others), your body will need to heal for a little while. Everything has to fall into place until you get your menstrual cycle back, which probably won't happen until a month or a month and a half after the miscarriage. You should expect to have bloody discharge during this recovery time, in which you won't ovulate and during which you should avoid having sex to prevent any infections.
Depending on how advanced your pregnancy was, you may need to undergo a surgical procedure called curettage, so that the remaining material is removed from your uterus.
How soon after a miscarriage can I get pregnant?
Technically, you can get pregnant during the first menstrual cycle after a miscarriage, but the best timing to do so is controversial. While the World Health Organisation recommends waiting at least six months before trying to become pregnant again, other studies find no reason to postpone conception. What's more, some have proven, through different tests, that conceiving within six months of losing a baby spontaneously can make you less likely to have more complications than those who wait for longer.
In case you've had a molar pregnancy, which happens when tissue that is meant to become a foetus turns into an abnormal growth in your womb, you might have to wait between six months and one year before conceiving again.
However, it doesn't matter how physically recovered you are if you haven't mentally moved past it. Dealing with miscarriage can be very hard, because the initial shock usually leads to deep sadness, anxiety and fear about having the same problem when getting pregnant after miscarriage. That's why you first need to feel confident to try again, without necessarily thinking that getting pregnant will help you move forward. Of course, it's a good way to cope with such a loss, but make sure you take your time to grieve.
Getting pregnant after miscarriage: Do I need any tests?
Most women who have a miscarriage end up having a healthy baby afterwards.However, around 5% of them deal with two consecutive miscarriages, which can be devastating, so they need to be tested before attempting pregnancy once again. Usually, they need to have a blood test to figure out if there are hormonal issues or another kind of problems affecting their immune system. In addition, couples may have their chromosomes tested, just in case.
If your care provider suspects that there may be uterine abnormalities you could undergo procedures such as an ultrasound, hysteroscopy or a sonohysterogram, aimed at looking for problems in structures within the body.
Will I have any problems to get pregnant again?
In general, having had a miscarriage doesn't pose any impediment when it comes to becoming pregnant and succeeding in giving birth. That said, if you happen to suffer from three consecutive miscarriages, that could be a sign of an anomaly regarding your fertility that will have to be professionally evaluated.
In short, getting pregnant after miscarriage goes beyond the physical ability to do so. Sometimes, women who have a miscarriage want to respect that loss and wait for a while to get over it and avoid some sense of replacement, while others can't bear not being pregnant and need to go for it as soon as they can. Whatever you decide, make sure to follow your heart and don't feel forced, because that may not help you move on.