After losing a baby you might want to be pregnant again quickly, or not sure if you can cope with it right now, or ever. You may be somewhere in the middle. Here are some things to consider if you’re thinking about getting pregnant again.
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Do I want to get pregnant again?
This isn’t always a simple question to answer. You may need more time process what has happened and come to terms with it.
You may really want a living child, or another one, but feel scared about being pregnant again and unsure how you would cope if something happened. Pregnancy after a loss is often a very different experience, however much you want it.
You may see a new pregnancy as the best way for you to heal. Trying again might become part of your recovery.
You might feel as if your partner and/or family really want you to be pregnant, but you are not quite ready. Or you might feel worried about the time it might take you to conceive, or your/your partners age, and feel pressure that way.
Talking to your partner, and other people you trust may help you find a way forward. This could be a parent, friend or sibling. You don’t always have to make a definite decision either way immediately.
Will I have another miscarriage?
It’s completely natural to worry about this. Sadly, there are no guarantees that things will go better next time. But most early miscarriages are one-off and there’s a very good chance that your next pregnancy will be successful.
If you have had a second trimester loss (late miscarriage) or recurrent miscarriages (3 miscarriages or more), you and your partner should be seen by a specialist health professional. Your doctor should talk to you about your situation, tests you may be offered and your likelihood of having another miscarriage and successful pregnancy.
It is worth remembering that most people will have a successful pregnancy the next time, even after 3 miscarriages in a row. Our Miscarriage Support Tool can help you understand more about your individual risk of miscarriage as well as giving advice and guidance.
If you had an ectopic pregnancy, your chances of having a successful pregnancy in the future are good. Even if you have only 1 fallopian tube, your chances of getting pregnant are only slightly reduced. For most women, an ectopic pregnancy is a one-off.
Having a molar pregnancy doesn't affect your chances of getting pregnant again, and the risk of having another molar pregnancy is small (about 1 in 80).
Read more about what you can do to help reduce your risk of miscarriage.
Sex and periods after miscarriage
It is best to wait to have sex until all your miscarriage symptoms, such as pain or bleeding, are gone because there is a risk you may get an infection.
If you normally have regular periods, your next period will usually happen around 4–6 weeks after a miscarriage. You may ovulate before you have a period, so you might be fertile in the first month after a miscarriage. It’s best to use contraception until you’re ready to get pregnant again.
It can take a few periods for your cycle to return to normal.
Some women find their first period difficult because it may bring back some feelings of loss. You can talk to a Tommy’s midwife free of charge from 9am–5pm, Monday to Friday on 0800 0147 800 or email them at [email protected].
When can I start trying again?
If you’ve had 1 miscarriage, you probably won’t have any follow-up appointments. But you can make an appointment with your GP if you want to talk about trying again and ask any questions you may have. It’s important to feel as ready as you can, both physically and emotionally.
Your healthcare team may advise you to have at least 1 period before you start trying for another baby. Having a normal period is a sign your body is ready for pregnancy again.
Some healthcare professionals might tell you to wait until you have had a period because this makes it easier to check if the size of your baby matches the dates of conception in a new pregnancy.
Pregnancies are dated from the start of your last period. If you have not had a period since your miscarriage, it will be unclear what the right dates are. You may find uncertainty around dates in the early stages of a new pregnancy difficult to cope with. Or you may feel that conceiving again as soon as possible is more important to you.
Don’t worry if you get pregnant before having a period. This does not increase the risk to your pregnancy. There is even some evidence that conceiving in the first 6 months after a miscarriage lowers your risk of miscarriage next time.
Talk to your healthcare team if you’ve had a second trimester loss or recurrent losses. If you’re having tests or investigations, it can be helpful to wait until they’re finished before trying again.
If there are no medical reasons to wait, it’s up to you when you start trying again. You may need more time to heal and grieve for your lost baby. Or you may feel trying again will help you come to terms with what has happened. It’s a very individual choice. If possible, try to get to a point where you feel emotionally as well as physically ready, whatever that looks like for you.
Some people get pregnant immediately after a miscarriage. Other couples take a bit longer. Find out more about how long it takes to get pregnant.
Trying again after an ectopic pregnancy
You'll probably be advised to wait until you've had at least 2 periods after treatment before trying again.
If you were treated with methotrexate, it's usually recommended that you wait at least 3-6 months because the medicine could harm your baby if you become pregnant during this time.
This can be frustrating if you want to get pregnant again. It can feel a bit like you are in limbo and make it harder to move forward.
Read more about ectopic pregnancy here.
Trying again after a molar pregnancy
It’s best not to try getting pregnant again until all your follow-up treatment has finished. A new pregnancy will cause your hCG levels to rise again and this could prevent doctors from identifying if you need follow up from your molar pregnancy.
This can be really frustrating if you want to get pregnant again. It can feel a bit like you are in limbo and make it harder to move forward.
For most women and birthing people, follow up treatment will take about 6 months. For some it may be earlier or later. Let your doctor know straight away if you do get pregnant while you are still being treated. They will need to continue follow-up treatment after this pregnancy.
If you have GTN, you will need to wait for 12 months after you have finished chemotherapy treatment. This is because GTN can sometimes come back. This is rare and happens to around 3 in 100 women.
If you know you want to get pregnant again, having to wait a long time can feel really difficult. It can feel a bit like you are in limbo and make it harder to move forward.
Read more about molar pregnancy here.
How can I prepare for pregnancy?
If you decide the time is right to try again, take a look at our section on preparing for pregnancy.
A very small number of women may have a condition that makes them more likely to miscarry, such as diabetes or thyroid disorder. If this is the case, making sure your condition is managed well will help reduce the risk. Talk to your GP or specialist before you start trying for another baby.
Find out more about health conditions and planning a pregnancy.
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to fully guarantee that you won’t have another miscarriage. However, there are things that you and your partner can do now to improve your health that can increase your chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Try our Planning for Pregnancy tool to see what steps you can take.
Have a look at our information on things you can do that could reduce your risk of miscarriage.
Pregnancy after a loss
Losing a baby can affect how you and your partner feel during a next pregnancy. Be kind to yourselves. It’s understandable to feel anxious about trying again and it’s natural to feel worried about how a new pregnancy will progress.
Look at our info on being pregnant after a miscarriage.