The Risks of Getting Pregnant Too Soon After a Miscarriage
byTamara Van HooserApr 08, 2014
Miscarriage stirs up a mom's heart with a swirl of emotions and questions that only someone who has been there can truly understand. After a miscarriage, women often ask how soon it will be safe to try again. Although the physical effects of a miscarriage usually present little delay in the possibility of conception, the risks of getting pregnant too soon after a miscarriage are not only a matter of physical preparation but also of putting your emotions in order. Allowing yourself the time to grieve and explore any possible medical explanation before embarking on another pregnancy ups the odds that you are physically, mentally and emotionally ready to nurture your new little precious bundle of joy with all the care and love in your heart.
Although most fetal developmental problems that result in miscarriage are a one-time anomaly, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center, working with your health-care provider to explore possible causes can help ease your mind regarding a recurrence with the next pregnancy. Testing to determine the cause of miscarriage before trying to get pregnant again is a wise move, advises the California State University at Long Beach Health Resource Center. Medical testing can rule out or address any challenges in your own medical condition before another pregnancy soon after a miscarriage and alleviate any identified risk, however small, of a repeat occurrence. However, even with testing, doctors may not be able to fully explain the cause. Looking into all the possibilities however, can help with the emotional processing as you decide on the right time for you to try again.
From a medical standpoint, once a woman's normal menstrual cycle returns, generally within four to six weeks after miscarriage, it is usually safe to conceive, says the Mayo Clinic. However, the length of pregnancy also factors in, reports California State University Long Beach's Health Resource Center, giving a recovery time range of a few weeks to more than a month. They add, "Some pregnancy hormones remain in the blood for one to two months after a miscarriage," which will interfere with conception until the body filters them out. The physical risk of getting pregnant too soon would be in causing your body additional stress before it has time to fully heal from the trauma of miscarriage.
Although your body may bounce back relatively quickly from a miscarriage, your emotions are probably not quite as resilient. Hormonal fluctuations can wreak emotional havoc on you. If you add another pregnancy to the mix, your feelings can run the gamut from joy over the new life growing in you to anxiety and fear of a recurrence to grief over the previous loss and self-imposed blame or confusion about being happy for the new baby while still mourning the loss of the first. If you don't allow yourself the time to grieve the loss properly with your spouse, friends, a support group or counselor, the risk lies in allowing yourself to fall into a cycle of depression that inhibits your ability or desire to properly care for yourself during pregnancy and take care of your baby after birth. Looking after your mental and emotional health after a miscarriage is just as important as your physical health in determining when you are ready to try another pregnancy, reports the California State University at Long Beach Health Resource Center.
According to the World Health Organization, couples should wait for six months after a miscarriage to try to conceive again. However, there is some disagreement on this point, and the Mayo Clinic reveals, "Women who conceive within six months of having a miscarriage in their first pregnancy have fewer complications than those who wait longer to conceive." The decision of how soon is too soon is a question you and your health-care provider need to explore together, taking into account your individual risk factors, such as medical conditions and pregnancy and miscarriage history. Once your body is physically strong enough to handle a subsequent pregnancy, the question of when to try again is really in your hands to decide when you have grieved your loss and achieved the emotional stability you need to nourish and enjoy a new pregnancy.