18th January, 20226 min read

Getting pregnant again after miscarriage

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Overview

This article answers some of the questions you might have about trying for another baby when you may be dealing with feelings of loss and emotional ups and downs after a miscarriage.

How soon after a miscarriage can you get pregnant?

If you want to try for another baby after a

miscarriage
, it’s fine to do this as soon as you feel emotionally and physically ready. If you do try again, it’s possible to get pregnant within weeks.

But how long it takes you to feel ready to try again will be unique to you.

Miscarriage can be a traumatic experience, and you may have feelings of loss, sadness,

anxiety
or
depression
. These feelings don’t always happen straight away and can appear days, weeks or even months later.

There’s no right or wrong way to feel about getting pregnant after a miscarriage. You may feel exhausted at the thought of trying for another baby. Or you may be determined to try again. Whatever your

feelings after a miscarriage
, don’t be afraid to ask for help from family, friends or your doctor.

Your partner may also have feelings that they’re struggling to deal with, which they may find hard to talk about – especially if they feel their role is to support you. It’s important to discuss how you’re both feeling.

If you and/or your partner aren’t ready to become pregnant again, you should consider using birth control (

contraception
) as soon as possible.

Read more about

coping with early miscarriage
.

Your menstrual cycle after a miscarriage

Everyone is different, but you can expect your

periods
to return within 4 to 8 weeks of a miscarriage.
Ovulation
usually happens before that, so getting pregnant after miscarriage is possible within weeks.

Once your periods have returned, there’s no medical reason to delay trying for a successful pregnancy after miscarriage. However, doctors usually recommend that you avoid sex until any miscarriage symptoms, such as bleeding or pain, have stopped completely.

Are you more fertile after a miscarriage?

In the past, people were sometimes advised to wait 6 months to improve their chances of getting pregnant after a miscarriage. However, it’s safe to try for a baby whenever you feel ready, as long as miscarriage symptoms have stopped.

Many people go on to have normal pregnancies, even after a number of miscarriages.

There are also some ways you can help boost your fertility and prepare your body for pregnancy if you’re trying again, including eating the right nutrients. Read more about

nutrition for pregnancy
.

Am I more likely to have a second miscarriage after a first?

While miscarriage is common – it affects between 10% and 20% of pregnancies – most people will be able to have a healthy pregnancy after a miscarriage.

Multiple miscarriages are quite rare, and less than 1 in 100 people loses 3 or more pregnancies in a row. If this does happen, you may be sent for tests to find out why you’re having miscarriages. However, the cause of recurrent miscarriage is unknown in about 50% of cases.

If you’re worried, talk to a doctor, especially if you think you have any risk factors for miscarriage. These can include:

  • age – as you get older, your eggs drop in number and quality, and problems with sperm can also increase with the age of your partner
  • lifestyle factors – such as
    stress
    ,
    obesity
    and
    smoking
  • working with heavy metals and some pesticides
  • working with high-dose
    radiation
    . Ultrasound scans, medical X-rays and airport X-ray machines don’t fall into this category and are safe during pregnancy

Age-related risk of miscarriage

The latest statistics suggest that your risk of miscarriage by age is as follows:

  • 45 years and older – 93%
  • 40-44 years – 51%
  • 35-39 years – 25%
  • 30-34 years – 15%
  • 25-29 years – 12%
  • 20-24 years – 11%
  • 19 years and younger – 13%

How to lower your risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy

In early pregnancy, the most common known cause of miscarriage is genetic problems (chromosomal abnormalities) that stop your baby (foetus) from developing properly – and these can’t be prevented.

Often, the reason for a miscarriage isn’t known – so again, there’s nothing that could have been done to stop it happening.

But there are some things you can do to lower your risk of miscarriage, including:

  • going to antenatal and other medical appointments and following any advice given to you by doctors or midwives
  • making sure you’re a healthy weight before you get pregnant – ideally, your
    body mass index, or BMI
    should be between 18.5 and 25
  • managing weight gain if you become overweight or obese while pregnant – speak to a doctor about how to do this safely in pregnancy
  • avoiding
    smoking
    ,
    drinking alcohol
    or using recreational drugs during pregnancy
  • eating a
    healthy, balanced diet during pregnancy
    and before trying to conceive
  • avoiding certain foods during pregnancy
    , including some cheeses and raw or cured meats
  • exercising regularly
  • avoiding infections that can harm your baby, such as
    rubella
    – you can protect yourself from rubella by getting vaccinated before you get pregnant
  • managing any medical conditions that increase your risk of a miscarriage, such as
    diabetes

When to speak to a doctor after a miscarriage

You can speak to a doctor about any fertility concerns you may have after a miscarriage. You may be offered tests if you’ve had trouble getting pregnant, or if you’ve had 3 miscarriages in a row.

A doctor will be able to advise you about treatment options for any

fertility problems
, as well as how to take care of yourself if you’re planning another pregnancy.

Read about

how to improve your chances of getting pregnant
.

Health questions answered

  • When should I take a pregnancy test after miscarriage?

    You may choose to wait 7 to 14 days for the tissue to pass out naturally if you’ve a miscarriage in the first 3 months of pregnancy. If the pain and bleeding has decreased or stopped completely, this usually means the miscarriage has finished. You should take a home pregnancy test after 3 weeks. If the test shows you're still pregnant, speak to your doctor for further tests.

  • What is a ‘rainbow baby’?

    Some people use this phrase to talk about a baby born after a miscarriage or loss of pregnancy. Other people avoid using it, as they don’t feel it reflects their loss. However you feel, remember that support is available to help make things easier to manage.

  • Will I be able to have a successful pregnancy after a late miscarriage?

    It’s much less common to have a miscarriage later in pregnancy, and less than 2% of pregnancies end in late miscarriage (between 12 and 24 weeks). If it does happen, your doctor will do tests to try to find out why. This information can help you understand the chances of it happening again. But you’re likely to be able to have a healthy pregnancy in the future – particularly if the tests are normal.

Key takeaways

  • a miscarriage can be traumatic, and may affect different people in different ways
  • you may not find a reason for your miscarriage
  • if you feel ready, there’s no need to delay trying for another baby after a miscarriage
  • miscarriage can have a delayed emotional impact. It’s best to speak to a doctor if you're struggling
  • there’s a good chance that you can have a healthy pregnancy after a miscarriage

Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.