Trying again after a miscarriage

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.

Your doctor will be able to advise you about any medical reasons to wait for a while, otherwise it’s up to you when you want to start trying again. Some couples feel they need some time to prepare themselves emotionally and physically for a new pregnancy. You may need to allow yourself time to grieve for your lost baby before you think about the future.

Other couples feel trying again will help them come to terms with what has happened.

It is an individual choice and one you need to make as a couple.

When will I be physically ready?

Your doctor may suggest you wait until you have a normal period before you start trying again. The reason is your first menstrual period may be shorter or longer than normal, which could make it difficult to date the next pregnancy and cause you some unnecessary anxiety..

In some instances - such as molar or ectopic pregnancy, if you have an infection, or a late miscarriage - you should talk to your GP before you start trying again, who may advise you to wait.

If you’re being investigated for recurrent miscarriage, it’s a good idea to have all the facts to hand. Women with certain health problems may be prescribed medication to increase their chance of a healthy pregnancy.

When will my body go back to normal?

Your doctor will advise you to wait until your bleeding stops before you have sex again. This is to avoid infections

Some women also find it takes time for their hormones to adjust, so their menstrual cycle is disrupted for a little while. Even if your periods are irregular, if you do not feel ready to cope with the possibility of another pregnancy straight away, you should use contraception.

 “My periods took about six months to return to normal after a missed miscarriage. I wonder whether it was partly due to the anxiety and distress I was feeling. It made trying again difficult because I never knew when to expect my period – and of course, when it did appear, I was devastated I wasn’t pregnant. Looking back, maybe we should have waited until my body was back to normal before trying again but we couldn’t bear to wait any longer. I ended up having an internal scan to check everything was OK – I was so worried that there was something wrong with me. The scan was fine and that month I got a positive pregnancy test and went on to have a beautiful baby boy.”

When will I ‘feel’ ready to try again?

It’s impossible to say when you will feel ready again – this is something you and your partner will need to talk over. It’s such an individual choice.

Some people dread the thought of getting pregnant again and having to cope with the worry it might bring. Other couples see a new pregnancy as the best way for them to heal. Trying again can become part of your recovery.

Everyone is different. There is no right or wrong.

How long will it take to get pregnant again?

There is no simple answer. Some people get pregnant immediately after a miscarriage. Other couples take a bit longer. Try not to worry if you’ve conceived quickly in the past and it’s taking longer this time – it may just be your hormones and body need time to readjust.

Will I miscarry again?

No-one can answer this but we can give you some positive statistics. If you have experienced a miscarriage, or two miscarriages, or even three miscarriages, it is still most likely that you will go on to have a healthy pregnancy next time.

The risk of another loss is around 20 percent after one previous miscarriage, 28 percent after two previous miscarriages, and 35 percent after three previous miscarriages.

If you find statistics comforting, the Miscarriage Association’s leaflet “Thinking about another pregnancy” includes a detailed table of statistics for the percentage risk of another pregnancy loss if you have had a miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy.

Pregnancy after a miscarriage

If you decide the time is right to try again, take a look at our section on preparing your body for pregnancy. It can help you feel more in control if you prepare yourself physically for a baby.                        

Many women struggle with anxiety in the next pregnancy. This is a completely natural reaction to what has happened. Your GP may be able to refer you for counselling or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in pregnancy, which can help you manage this anxiety or mild depressions. Don’t delay seeing your GP as there may be a waiting list.

Alternatively, you can find a private therapist near you here.

You might want to request an early scan to see how your pregnancy is progressing. Although this doesn’t guarantee anything, it can make the first trimester more manageable.

Try to break down the first trimester into days – or, even sections – so instead of thinking, ‘How am I going to get through the next 8 weeks?’ concentrate on just getting through that morning. Take one day at a time.

Be kind to yourself. It’s totally understandable if you’re not enjoying trying again, or if you are overwhelmed with sadness, anxiety or denial during your next pregnancy. Talk to your GP or midwife, if you feel you need some help managing these feelings.

Don’t feel that you have to keep your next pregnancy secret, talking to your friends or family, might really help. You can also join BabyCentre's supportive pregnancy after miscarriage group to chat to other women in the same situation.

Our midwives are at the end of the phone if you need to get advice or information on trying again after a miscarriage. Call 0800 0147 800.

More on miscarriage support

  • health professional.

    Getting more support

    If you need support, please don't suffer alone. We have details of organisations who can help.

  • Sad man comforting his partner.

    Your partner’s feelings

    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.

Read stories of pregnancy after loss

Sources

  1. The Miscarriage Association, Trying again: http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/support/trying-again/ [accessed 28 February 2016].
  2. The Miscarriage Association, ‘Thinking about another pregnancy’ http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/wp/wp-content/leaflets/Thinking-about-another-pregnancy.pdf
  3. Regan L, Braude PR and Trembath PL 1989 Influence of past reproductive performance on risk of spontaneous abortion BMJ 299, 541-5
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Last reviewed on August 1st, 2016. Next review date August 1st, 2019.

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