Becoming pregnant after loss can be a very different experience from what you always dreamed of. We’re here to tell you that there’s no right or wrong way to deal with pregnancy after miscarriage, and you probably can expect a whirlwind of emotions. Grief for the baby you’ve lost, fear it’ll happen again, and excitement and love for the baby in your belly.
It’s totally normal to be experiencing mixed emotions.
If you’ve experienced a miscarriage and you’re pregnant, or thinking of trying to get pregnant again, we want to help you understand what to expect on the next step of your journey.
In this article: 📝
- What causes a miscarriage?
- Should I see a doctor before I get pregnant again?
- How long does it take to get pregnant after a miscarriage?
- What are the chances of having a second miscarriage?
- How can I have a healthy pregnancy after a miscarriage?
What causes a miscarriage?
In many cases, the cause of a miscarriage will remain unknown. Around 50% of miscarriages are due to chromosomal problems within the embryo’s dividing and growing cells — which is completely unpredictable, although risk factors like age can make them more likely.
Sometimes the chances of miscarriage can be increased by blood-clotting or hormone issues, an STD, or thyroid problems, which can be checked by your doctor.
While it may provide little comfort, it’s important to know that you are not alone. 1 in 4 women will experience the loss of a pregnancy.
And there’s no one-size-fits-all response to pregnancy after miscarriage, so you might need to take some time to acknowledge what you’re feeling, and seek support if you need it.
Should I see a doctor before I get pregnant again?
The treatment needed after miscarriage will depend on your exact circumstances, and will vary from woman to woman. After a so-called chemical pregnancy (we prefer the term “early pregnancy loss”) or a very early pregnancy loss, there might not be much, or any, medical treatment needed. So if you feel ready, there is generally nothing stopping you.
However, miscarrying later in your pregnancy may require some surgical or nonsurgical treatment. After several miscarriages, your doctor might suggest a blood test, chromosomal test, ultrasound, hysteroscopy, or an MRI scan to look for underlying causes.
How long does it take to get pregnant after a miscarriage?
Historically, doctors would have recommended waiting 3-6 months after a miscarriage to conceive again. It’s thought that this is mostly for the sake of the mental health of the mama-to-be, rather than a particular physical need to wait.
But really, there’s often nothing to stop you trying to get pregnant again right away if that’s something you want. Usually, it’s recommended not to have sex for 2 weeks after a miscarriage to avoid infection, but your ovulation can happen soon after a miscarriage.
Your doctor may suggest waiting until you’re in the right physical shape to conceive again. This might mean waiting to have a full menstrual cycle after a miscarriage to reset your hormone levels and let your uterus get back into prime condition. But each scenario is different.
However, it’s important to take as much time as you need to deal with everything from your pregnancy loss before starting the process again. For some women, feeling physically able might come before they feel mentally prepared. While many women and couples are hesitant to talk about miscarriage, it might be helpful to talk it through with a friend or therapist.
What are the chances of having a second miscarriage?
While the general risk of miscarriage stays at around 20% after 1 miscarriage, the predicted risk increases if you go through consecutive miscarriages — up to 28% after 2 consecutive miscarriages and up to 43% after 3 consecutive miscarriages.
Around 1% of women will go through repeated miscarriages, according to ACOG (defined as having 2 or more consecutive miscarriages). If you are in this 1%, you may feel like losing hope, but we’re here for you. And ACOG says that around 65% of women who have unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss go on to have a full-term next pregnancy.
How can I have a healthy pregnancy after a miscarriage?
Yes. It is absolutely possible to have a healthy pregnancy after miscarriage.
There’s no exact science to this of course, aside from cutting out the obvious things like alcohol, drugs, and smoking — plus all the other pregnancy no-gos. And it’s really important to remember that a miscarriage is never your fault.
It is also completely normal to feel anxious, sad, or guilty when you get that positive pregnancy test result after suffering a miscarriage. Becoming pregnant after loss is a decision to make as a couple when you are ready — not just physically, but emotionally, too.
Everyone’s pregnancy journey will be different, but the community on Peanut is here to help.