Short-Term Birth Control After a Miscarriage

You Can Consider These Short-Term Options After a Pregnancy Loss

If you've decided to wait to conceive again after your miscarriage, or if your doctor has suggested you wait, you may want a short-term form of birth control until you are ready for a new pregnancy.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, you may have an increased risk of another pregnancy loss if your body isn’t ready to support a pregnancy yet. Both the uterus and the endometrial lining need time to recover and restrengthen.

Many doctors recommend that women wait two or three months to conceive again after a miscarriage. This is so they can recover physically and emotionally from their loss. Some doctors may recommend waiting even longer if the couple needs more time to heal.

As you decide if and when to try to get pregnant again, remember that the odds are good that this time it will be successful. Most women - 85 percent - will have a successful pregnancy the next time they get pregnant after their first miscarriage. If you've miscarried two or three times, you have a 75 percent chance that your next pregnancy will be successful.

The following are good options for short-term contraception if you wish to wait three or fewer menstrual cycles before conceiving again. 

If you will be waiting more than three months and don't want to risk an earlier pregnancy, discuss your options with your doctor.

Our Guide to Contraception also has a wealth of in-depth information on all forms of birth control.

Source:

After A Miscarriage: Getting Pregnant Again. American Pregnancy Association. August 2015.

1
Condoms

Torn packaging of wrapper containing a condom
Getty Images/Andrew Brookes

In terms of short-term birth control, male condoms are probably the simplest option until you are ready to try to get pregnant again after your miscarriage. Male condoms are worn over the penis during sex, and they can easily be purchased in most grocery or drug stores. With proper use, condoms are between 85 and 98 percent effective.

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2
Female Condoms

Female Condom
Getty Images/Keith Brofsky

Female condoms are worn inside the vagina during sex, and they work by catching the sperm before it can enter the female reproductive tract. This is similar to male condoms. With proper use, female condoms are 75 to 95 percent effective. A drawback to female condoms is that they are somewhat more expensive than male condoms.

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3
Spermicides

Human sperm, artwork
Getty Images/SCIEPRO

Spermicidal products are usually foams or jellies that are placed in the vagina before intercourse. They work by killing sperm before it can proceed through the cervix. Spermicides are 71 to 85 percent effective when used as a primary form of contraception.

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4
Today Sponge

Birth control sponge
Birth control sponge. Getty Images/Peter Ardito

The Today Sponge is another good short-term birth control option for women who want to wait a few months before getting pregnant after a miscarriage. It contains spermicidal agents but it also serves as a barrier method that keeps sperm from entering the uterus. The soft, plastic foam sponge is worn inside the vagina over the cervix, and can be inserted up to 24 hours before intercourse. The Today Sponge is 68 to 91 percent effective, dependent on whether a woman has given birth in the past. It is more effective if you have never given birth.

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5
Withdrawal

Couple crossing fingers and looking at pregnancy test
Getty Images/Hill Street Studios

The withdrawal method is when a man simply avoids ejaculating in the vagina and "pulls out" before experiencing an orgasm. Though pre-ejaculate fluid can contain sperm, research suggests that when performed correctly, withdrawal is 82 to 96 percent effective for preventing pregnancy.

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