How Soon Can I Get Pregnant After a Miscarriage?
Suffering a Miscarriage
If you have suffered a miscarriage, I am very sorry for your loss. I know how it feels to lose a baby that you very much wanted. A lot of women wonder how soon they can get pregnant after a miscarriage and the answer to this can depend on a number of factors.
For some people, it takes time to be able to think about trying to get pregnant again after a miscarriage. You need to assess whether you are both physically and mentally ready to try. For others it is a no-brainer to start trying again straight away.
Although any miscarriage is deeply upsetting, the physical aspects of miscarriage can be different for everyone. It may also depend on how far along in your pregnancy you were and whether the miscarriage was natural or medically managed.
Can I Try Straight Away?
For some people it is important to start trying again as soon as possible. If you do want to start trying to get pregnant again straight after a miscarriage it is worth first of all talking to your doctor about this and whether s/he thinks that it is a good idea physically.
There can be issues that prevent you from trying straight away. For example, you may need to wait a while if you had a D&C because it may take a few months for the lining of the womb to build up again to a level high enough to sustain a further pregnancy.* If you try and get pregnant before this then this may lead to another miscarriage if your lining is not thick enough.**
You may also not be able to try to conceive straight away if you went through the medical management option and took a drug such as Misoprostol. If that is the case, then your doctor will probably tell you to wait one or two cycles before trying to get pregnant again.
In terms of your body being ready to try again, you need to take medical advice and your doctor is best placed to help you with this. In terms of your mind then that is something you need to address yourself (and with your partner). It may be the case that you need some time to process the miscarriage before attempting to get pregnant again. In some situations it may be the case that you need to mourn the loss of your child without having the complication of another pregnancy.
* Study by Davar R, Dehghani Firouzabadi R, Chaman Ara K. Dilatation and Curettage Effect on the Endometrial Thickness. Iran Red Cres Med J. 2013; 15(4):350-5. DOI: 10.5812/ircmj.9863 - concludes that dilatation and curettage has a significant effect on the endometrial thinning.
** Many studies that take place use the general assumption that a lower endometrial thickness (i.e. lower than 7mm) will lead to a less successful pregnancy outcome. This is why doctors recommend freezing of embryos in IVF procedures if the lining is at this level.
When Will I Ovulate After a Miscarriage?
So, assuming that you have the all clear to try to get pregnant again after your miscarriage, and you are mentally ready to try again, you may want to get straight back into it. However, this is not always possible for some people if ovulation does not happen straight away.
Many women will ovulate straight after they have had their miscarriage, perhaps even without having a normal cycle in between. For them it is actually possible (and does happen) that they can get pregnant before they even get another period.
However, for some other people they may have to wait until their period shows up before their body decides to ovulate again. The first 'cycle' after the miscarriage may be an anovulatory one (i.e. one in which they do not ovulate).
If you do wait for your period to return then you may have a better idea of where you are in your cycle.
Ovulation May Take a Few Months
The wait for your next ovulatory cycle could be any time from a few weeks to a few months depending on your body and it is really impossible to tell what will happen with each person unless they are being monitored with ultrasounds to see how the follicles are growing.
It can often take some time for your body to get back to normal after a miscarriage. Even when you do start ovulating again it may be on a different day in your cycle to what you are normally used to before you were pregnant. Your cycles should eventually get back to normal but it is possible that this may take a number of months.
A good thing to do to see if your body is returning to normal, is to take your temperature each morning. I have more info on another article if you have not used a basal-body thermometer before. It will give you a good idea of whether you are ovulating—you will see a steep rise in temperature if you are.
You can also use ovulation tests to see if you get a positive indicator, but as your cycle may not be back to normal you may need to keep using these for a few weeks until you get a positive. It can be a good idea to be prepared with a box of as you may have to test for a bit longer than normal. I found these ovulation tests are really easy to use and there were enough of them to test for a while so that i could figure out what was happening with my body. 50 ovulation test strips
If you don't ovulate in the cycle after a miscarriage, then don't panic, this is very common and your cycle should right itself in the next month or two.
Getting Pregnant After a Miscarriage
Although some people may not be mentally ready for trying to get pregnant again straight after a miscarriage, for me it was a case of not having any time to waste. I also have heard many stories that say you are more fertile for the 3 months following a miscarriage so I wanted to take advantage of that.
Although it is frustrating to be waiting to ovulate after a miscarriage, you need to have a little bit of patience to wait for your body to right itself. You may be one of the lucky ones who ovulates straight away and maybe even gets pregnant, but if not, just keep trying and keep monitoring your body.
The (possibly only) positive about having had a miscarriage is that you know that your body can get pregnant. Although this is really no consolation, it does give reassurance that things are working as they should be to a certain extent and you can rule out certain problems (assuming that was your first miscarriage).
Don't underestimate the feelings you may have after the miscarriage, regardless of if you get pregnant again quickly. If needs be, seek out some counselling either from a professional or by chatting to others who have been through the same situation. You are not alone.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2012 Jackie Grant