How soon to try again after a miscarriage?
February 29, 2008 4:33 PM   Subscribe

How soon to try again after a miscarriage?

My partner and I are going through a miscarriage. We both want a baby asap, so we'd like to try again. The conventional wisdom we've been given is to wait 3+ months before trying again, but it's unclear whether this is for emotional or medical reasons. Emotionally, there isn't much of a question for us, but getting straight answers from the OB doctors/nurses has been difficult. How long do we need to wait before trying again?

So please medical mefites, how soon can we try again? (time frames from folks that conceived after miscarriage appreciated.)
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm so sorry for your loss. I just went through this, too, so feel free to email me.

I was told by my regular OB that we could start trying again "right away" - that there was no reason to wait. My surgeon, who performed a D&C, said that we should wait until I have a period. He explained that this was mainly because "trying" any sooner was not likely to work, and would be confusing and emotionally hard. Allowing the body a full cycle would make it easier to know when we were pregnant, when we'd be due, etc.

I was 11 weeks when I found out I had miscarried; and as I said, had to have a D&C, so YMMV.
posted by dpx.mfx at 4:44 PM on February 29, 2008

My mother miscarried and was told (in the 1980s) to wait 6 months or so, and also told that her period might not return for some time. She went on the pill dutifully.

A month later, mishaps occurred leading to my conception. Because she was not expecting the return of her period, and because she knew her hormones would make her feel odd for a while due to the miscarriage, she did not know she was pregnant until she was six months along.

I turned out okay. I think.
posted by InnocentBystander at 5:04 PM on February 29, 2008

I'm sorry to hear about your miscarriage. Gosh, if you're having trouble getting a straight answer, maybe it's time to find a new OB--I know nothing about your medical history, so it wouldn't be appropriate to give you any medical advice. Yes, three months is what's generally quoted and thrown around in my experience, but again--you should really be asking your doctor who knows you for medical advice, not strangers on the internets.
posted by gramcracker at 5:37 PM on February 29, 2008

Man, sorry to hear about that. It sucks.

Another anecdote: I lost my first pregnancy at 12 weeks, in September (and had a D&C, like the above poster). We waited about a month before trying again, and I conceived the end of November. My daughter's now 2 1/2.
posted by leahwrenn at 6:26 PM on February 29, 2008

I have seen and heard the "three months" advice thrown around without ever seeing any evidence for it, and I can't think of a possible physiological reason for it, unless of course the mother was actually ill at the time of the miscarriage and her health was not stabilized. I have also heard it said that you should wait for three months after going off birth control pills to try to conceive, which again is baseless information as far as I can tell. Three months is also the recommended waiting time between receiving a live vaccine and attempting pregnancy (even though the risk of receiving live vaccine is theoretical and it has not been proven to cause birth defects). Three months is also often cited as the time when folic acid supplementation should begin before conception.

Three months seems to be a magical time period that obs recommend to get things out of or into your system before conception, and I don't think you need to wait to try again from a physical risk perspective. However, I do think western societies tend to downplay the emotional response to pregnancy loss, as well as grief responses in general. You might feel like you are "over it," but make sure you have given yourself adequate time to grieve this loss before you become pregnant with your next child. It will enable you to heal, and help you to enjoy your next pregnancy more. It might take three weeks or it might take six months, or more, but please give yourself that time. All the best to you.
posted by tuff at 7:42 PM on February 29, 2008

oh, sorry, forgot to add - of course if you needed to have a D&C or other medical interventions during the miscarriage, you would need to wait to have sex (protected or not) or even use tampons, usually for a period of about two weeks afterwards.
posted by tuff at 7:47 PM on February 29, 2008

I'm so sorry for your loss.

We were also told after my first miscarriage to wait three months, and we didn't. We started trying again right away, and I got pregnant again immediately. That pregnancy had some complications, though - I had marginal placenta previa because the new placenta couldn't implant where it was supposed to due to the previous pregnancy, and I had a rough birth and lost a lot of blood. My daughter is now 7 and perfectly healthy; I had another miscarried pregnancy after that and a healthy boy a few years later with no complications.

In hindsight, I think I should have listened to the medical advice I was given, because at least in my case, there was a reason for it. But you know what they say about hindsight.

Good luck.
posted by streetdreams at 8:06 PM on February 29, 2008

I am just guessing here, but it seems to me that a pregnancy, even a brief one, will cause some hormonal upheaval which might take a while to settle down, and maybe make things harder or cause complications in some way. Ask your doctor properly.

I had two friends who both had miscarriages around the same time. While I don't know the details of either, one was able to try again soon and one, not for 12-18 months. The first now has a 7 month old, and the other is 5 months pregnant. I imagine there were specific reasons for the advice, such as what the doctor thought might have triggered the loss.

I wouldn't just ignore or dismiss this, though; it is medical advice, after all.
posted by Riverine at 8:48 PM on February 29, 2008

My heart goes out to you both. My husband and I had a miscarriage in October 2007. Our doctor never gave us a time frame to start trying again, he said we would discuss it at my follow up appointment, which was a couple weeks after the miscarriage. We got pregnant again in January. So it did take us about 3 months. I don't know if thats because it took my body that long to heal or what. Your in my thoughts.
posted by Snoogylips at 9:36 PM on February 29, 2008

So sorry for you two. We went through the same thing. Miscarried 10 weeks in, had D&C. Our doctor said that after the D&C Recovery (~2 weeks) we were free to start trying again as soon as we were emotionally ready. That was April, we were pregnant by September and now have a wonderful 21 month old daughter!
posted by stew560 at 10:46 PM on February 29, 2008

First, my sympathies. I've been through this several times myself, and it's never easy, no matter how early it occurs, and even moreso when it was a very wanted and sought after pregnancy. Because there was no ongoing condition which caused my miscarriages, I was always told that we could try again as soon as we felt up to it. We always chose to wait for several months, but that was personal preference.

Also, for what it's worth, my best friend is 32 weeks along with a baby conceived three weeks (somewhat accidentally) after miscarrying last year. The pregnancy has been wholly unremarkable and all expectations are for a healthy baby girl to arrive in late April.
posted by Dreama at 8:13 AM on March 1, 2008

I had a miscarriage--after four years of trying and finally resorting to fertility medication. It was a devastating ordeal. First I couldn't get pregnant, then I couldn't stay pregnant. I was convinced that was the end of my chance to be a mom. The doctor said to wait one full normal cycle, but even that short amount of time was too long for me to cope with.

Two weeks later, my daughter was conceived. Normal pregnancy. Healthy, awesome baby.

I say do what comes naturally, and I wish you the best of luck.
posted by lisaici at 11:11 PM on March 1, 2008

I'm so sorry for your loss.

I've had two miscarriages at 8 weeks, and two D&Cs. Both times my doctors told me I could try again after I had one regular cycle (meaning once I'd gotten my period again).

I wish you two speedy healing and good luck.
posted by stonefruit at 10:24 AM on March 2, 2008

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