Tommy's news, 30/11/2016
A new study from researchers at the University of Aberdeen suggests that there is no need to wait before trying to get pregnant again after suffering a miscarriage.
World Health Organisation guidelines recommend waiting at least 6 months before trying again. Dr Sohinee Bhattacharya told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland that these guidelines need changing.
Dr Bhattacgarya, a senior lecturer in obstetrics at Aberdeen University, and her colleagues found that pregnancies were most successful if convinced within 6 months of a miscarriage.
Professor Andy Shennan, Director of Tommy's Prematurity Research Centre at Imperial College London, says that these findings are reassuring for women who want to start try again soon after a loss.
‘These findings are significant as it is contrary to the current practice and common belief that a couple should delay conception following a miscarriage. It is important that we always try to find the reasons for miscarriage as the advice may be different for different women. This is positive new information and women should be reassured that it's ok for them to become pregnant again soon after a miscarriage if they wish, following advice from their consultant.’
Dr Bhattacharya and colleagues conducted a study in 2010 that found conceptions within 6 months of a miscarriage were less likely to result in another miscarriage or a subsequent preterm birth.
Today the meta-analysis that supports their previous study was published in Human Reproductive Update.
Dr Bhattacharya says there is now enough evidence to change World Health Organisations guidelines that state couples should wait.
‘This review of all the published research to date shows categorically that conceiving within 6 months after a miscarriage is best…It is not clear why this is the case – one explanation might be that if somebody has had a miscarriage they might take particularly good care of themselves, be more motivated and may even be more fertile –but that is just speculation at this point.’
If you want more advice about trying to conceive after loss you can read our information pages about trying for baby after miscarriage here.
If you’ve been affected by this article and want more information about trying again, you can call our free pregnancy information line on 0800 0147 800. The phone line is manned by our midwives who are trained in bereavement support and available 9 – 5, Monday – Friday to give you any support, information or advice you may need.
If you need support, please don't suffer alone. We have details of organisations who can help.
You and your partner have both experienced a miscarriage but you may react to it very differently. Everyone has their own way of grieving and it helps to accept and respect those differences.
You might be eager to try again, or not quite ready to think about the future – here are some things to consider when planning your next pregnancy.
Today, we are thrilled to announce that we are opening the UK's first national centre dedicated to miscarriage research!
Leading clinicians at the Tommy's National Centre for Miscarriage Research
1 in 4 women experience a miscarriage in their lifetime. This is a quarter of all mothers-to-be, a quarter of all families affected by loss. Tommy’s believes that the current situation can and must change – so in 2016, we opened the UK’s first national centre dedicated to miscarriage research.