Important New Guidelines Advise Couples To Try To Conceive Within Three Months After A Loss
For women who have suffered a pregnancy loss, the prospect of getting pregnant again can carry a lot of different emotions — fear, hope, excitement, and worry.
Many women who have had a miscarriage struggle with the worry that they have “done” something wrong or that their body has “failed” on some level and as a result, want to do everything possible to make sure the next pregnancy goes “right.”
It's so heartbreaking, but completely understandable as a mother, no matter if our babies are in our arms, bodies, or hearts, to want to do everything we possibly can for them. And many women may wonder when the best time to get pregnant after a loss really is. Is it better to wait a certain amount of time? Is it better to try again right away? Are there any risks to pregnancy after loss?
There are so many questions that go into conceiving after loss, but a new study has at least one clear answer for women wondering about conceiving after miscarriage.
The study, conducted by the National Institute of Health, found that couples who try to conceive within three months after an early pregnancy loss (which is defined as a pregnancy that is lost before 20 weeks), have the same chances of conceiving — and maybe even better chances — as couples who wait more than three months.
This is good news for parents who may be anxious to try to conceive again, or are worried about factors related to aging or infertility and hope to try to conceive sooner rather than later, or maybe even for parents who are concerned that it's “best” to wait a while after a loss.
And the advice is actually completely different than what most couples who had miscarriages have been told all along. The World Health Organization, for example, advises couples to wait at least six months after a loss before getting pregnant again.
But the study showed that not only was it perfectly safe to try to get pregnant within three months, but that it might actually have a better rate of success for couples. Compared to the couples that waited more than three months to try to get pregnant, more couples successfully got pregnant and stayed pregnant. The numbers were as follows: 69 percent of the within-three months group vs. 51 percent of women who waited pregnant got pregnant, and then 53 percent of the within-three group went on to have a live birth, while only 36 percent of the group who waited went on to have a live birth. The group who conceived within three months also didn't show any other signs of complications.
“While we found no physiological reason for delaying attempts at conception following a pregnancy loss, couples may need time to heal emotionally before they try again,” said the study's lead author. “For those who are ready, our findings suggest that conventional recommendations for waiting at least three months after a loss may be unwarranted.”