No Wait After Miscarriage

It was traditional to tell patients to wait three months after a miscarriage before trying to conceive. There was no scientific evidence that the wait was beneficial and for a long time I have been telling patients that they can try to conceive after their first period following the miscarriage. After the emotional disappointment from a miscarriage it’s very difficult to wait three months for many women. Now their’s scientific evidence that there is no reason to wait.

One miscarriage doesn’t necessarily increase the risk of another, and counseling women to delay conception after a pregnancy loss may not be warranted, a recent study suggests.

Researchers found that women participating in a larger long-term study who conceived within three months of a pregnancy loss had the lowest likelihood of another miscarriage compared to women who waited 6 to 18 months.

“We observed that the advice doctors give to women about when to start trying to get pregnant after experiencing a miscarriage varies significantly,” senior study author Digna Velez Edwards told Reuters Health in an email. About 17% of clinically recognized pregnancies end in loss, the study team writes online November 3 in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Most women who experience a miscarriage want to know if they can prevent another miscarriage and may ask their health care providers how long they should wait before trying to conceive again. The Right from the Start study included almost 6,000 women in North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas who were pregnant or planning a pregnancy between 2000 and 2012.

When the study team compared interpregnancy intervals, they found that women with intervals of less than three months had about a 7% risk of repeat miscarriage, compared with a 22% risk for women who waited 6 to 18 months weeks after the miscarriage to get pregnant again. “Although our study demonstrated that getting pregnant within three months of a previous miscarriage was associated with the lowest risk of a subsequent miscarriage, when to start trying is specific to each woman and depends on when she is ready to start trying again,” Velez Edwards said. Women who are emotionally and physically ready to try to get pregnant after a miscarriage may not have to delay getting pregnant to reduce the risk of miscarriage, said Velez Edwards.

The doctors at Reproductive Partners are experts in the evaluation and treatment of recurrent pregnancy loss. When repeated losses are thought to be the result of a high proportion of chromosomally abnormal pregnancies, IVF with preimplantation genetic screening may be helpful in preventing another miscarriage.

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