How Soon Can You Get Pregnant After a Miscarriage?

The return to a normal menstrual cycle can often vary

Young couple at doctors office.
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After experiencing a miscarriage, it is not unusual for couples to want to try again. In some cases, they may want to wait a few months. At other times, the couple may feel strong enough to want to start again immediately.  By and large, there is nothing really barring a couple from doing so. The simple fact is that most miscarriages are a once-off incident with fewer than one percent of women likely to experience a second.

The only real limiting factor, therefore, is when ovulation will occur. This can vary from person to person with some women able to conceive within two weeks of a miscarriage while others taking significantly longer.

Predicting a Return to Normal Cycles

In most cases, a woman will return to her normal menstrual cycle within three months. While there are no hard-and-fast rules, a woman who has had a first-trimester miscarriage will typically start ovulating sooner than one who had had a late-term miscarriage or stillbirth.  

But it’s not always the case. The bottom line is that it is near-impossible to pinpoint an exact time when you and your partner can start. This is especially true for women of older maternal age, who have abnormalities of the reproductive tract, or who have experienced complications of a miscarriage.

With that being said, there are a number of things you can do to prepare for conception if your goal is to have a baby sooner rather than later.

Tracking Ovulation After a Miscarriage

To being preparation, you will need to begin tracking your ovulation with a daily ovulation predictor test which you can purchase at your local pharmacy. The tests work by detecting the presence of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. A positive result is reached when the LH reaches a certain concentration.

You will see this right before you ovulate when your LH levels will suddenly surge.

Depending on which test you buy, you will either have to urinate directly onto a test strip or dip the strip in urine for an allotted amount of time.

When testing, you need to be aware of certain factors that can undermine the accuracy of the results. Chief among them is a hormone called the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) which is produced by your body during pregnancy and can remain elevated following a miscarriage. Ideally, you would allow this to drop to an undetectable level before testing. If you don't, the test might return a false-positive result.

Other women may experience a false peak in the LH hormone before it fully peaks, commonly seen in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Choosing the Right Time to Start

Deciding to when to get pregnant after a miscarriage is a highly individual choice and one you should consider with the input of your doctor and people you trust.

Your doctor will be able to tell you if it is medically advisable to conceive and what obstacles, if any, you may be faced with. If the doctor recommends that you wait for medical reasons, you should use some form of contraception until you are given the A-okay to start.

Once you are physically and emotionally ready, there are no obstacles to prevent you from starting anew. Although many doctors will standardly tell you to wait three or even six months before trying again, there is absolutely no evidence that delaying improves pregnancy outcomes.

In the end, you need to make an informed judgment based on full information — not only to give yourself the best chance to have a baby but to protect your overall good health and well-being.

Source

  • Bhattacharya, S. and Smith, N. “Pregnancy following Miscarriage: What is the Optimum Interpregnancy Interval?” SAGE Journals: Women’s Health. 2011; 7:139-141.

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