No need to delay pregnancy following a miscarriage

Around one in five pregnancies ends in a miscarriage before the 24th week of pregnancy. The risk increases with age, especially after age 35. Some clinical practice guidelines recommend waiting at least six months before trying to conceive again. To couples who are impatiently awaiting the arrival of little one in their family, six months can feel like an eternity. They can take heart, however, as a new study has found that women can usually safely conceive again soon after a miscarriage.

Around one in five pregnancies ends in a miscarriage before the 24th week of pregnancy. The risk increases with age, especially after age 35. Some clinical practice guidelines recommend waiting at least six months before trying to conceive again. To couples who are impatiently awaiting the arrival of little one in their family, six months can feel like an eternity. They can take heart, however, as a new study has found that women can usually safely conceive again soon after a miscarriage.

Researchers looked at the patient files of approximately 30,000 women who, between 1981 and 2000, suffered a miscarriage before becoming pregnant again. The findings show that those who conceived again within six months of the miscarriage were more likely to get pregnant again. They were also less likely to have another miscarriage, terminated pregnancy or ectopic pregnancy. The women who conceived within six months also had a reduced risk of having a caesarean birth, premature delivery or low-birthweight baby, compared with those who conceived between six months and a year after their miscarriage. The exact cause of these differences is unknown, although possible reasons could include that fertility issues only worsen over time, and also that women who wish to become pregnant again in the short term are more motivated to stick to a healthy lifestyle.

The authors feel that there are no physiological reasons to justify a six-month delay for conceiving after a miscarriage, except in certain special cases. In women over the age of 35, the odds of a successful pregnancy become slimmer with each passing year. Waiting six months or more could further reduce their likelihood of a full-term pregnancy. For these women in particular, it would be reassuring to be able to conceive again as soon as they are emotionally and physically ready.

If you’d like to bring a new member into the family, don’t hesitate to consult a healthcare professional beforehand. Put the odds of delivering a healthy baby on your side by getting a routine medical exam prior to conception, taking supplements and having a healthy lifestyle.

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