What to Know About Pregnancy
After a Miscarriage

What to expect when trying to get pregnant after a miscarriage

If you're considering pregnancy after miscarriage, you might have a lot of confusion and anxiety, which is understandable. There is hope following a miscarriage and it helps to understand what to expect when trying to get pregnant again.

We’ve gathered the answers to some of the frequently asked questions regarding pregnancy after having a miscarriage. If you have further questions, please reach out to one of our specialists at our All About Women offices.

How long until you can safely get pregnant again?

A question many women have is:

Why is it taking so long to get pregnant after my miscarriage?

Going through a grieving process after a miscarriage is normal and may include sad feelings, guilt or anxiety. Never try to rush yourself through the bereavement process.

You should refrain from intercourse for at least 2 weeks to reduce your chances of developing an infection. Ovulation and subsequent pregnancy can happen as soon as 2 weeks after your miscarriage.

Always discuss pregnancy with your doctor if you feel it's time to try to conceive again. Many women who have only had one miscarriage might not need to wait to conceive. However, second or subsequent miscarriages might be cause for your doctor to recommend testing.

What are the risks of getting pregnant after a miscarriage?

The risk of another miscarriage after a single one is low—around 20 percent. Recurrent miscarriages (defined as 2 or more back-to-back miscarriages) only happen in an estimated 1 in 100 women.

Causes of repeat miscarriages include:

  • Blood clotting

  • Autoimmune disorders

Is another miscarriage more likely?

In most cases, a miscarriage will only occur once. Repeated miscarriages have about a 1 percent chance of happening. The majority of women who have a miscarriage will be able to conceive a healthy child.

The miscarriage risk is 28 percent for women who have had 2 miscarriages. When women have had 3 miscarriages, the risk goes as high as 43 percent, underscoring why doctors recommend testing.

Does pregnancy after miscarriage feel different?

It's not unusual to say that pregnancy after miscarriage feels different. There is likely to be some anxiety, along with the excitement that you'll feel about becoming pregnant. Depression and anxiety could continue even after you've safely delivered a healthy baby.

Talk to your partner, family and friends about how you're feeling. Be honest and don't hold back on how you feel. Reach out to a counselor or other mental health professional if you find yourself having trouble coping.

How can I improve the health of my baby?

Healthy lifestyle choices are among the most useful tips to get pregnant after miscarriage. Folic acid supplements or prenatal vitamins (especially if started before conception) can contribute to your health as well as the wellbeing of your unborn child.

During pregnancy, do not use illicit drugs, smoke or drink. Also, be sure to limit your caffeine consumption. It’s recommended to drink 10 cups of water daily and increase your daily calorie count by 300 starting in your second trimester.

Get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. Pilates and non-hot types of yoga, swimming, jogging or walking are all excellent choices. Avoid activities that increase your dehydration risk, which might lead to falls or contact sports.

Special considerations

Miscarriages happen more often than you may realize. Out of known pregnancies, 8 to 20 percent will result in a miscarriage. The number of actual miscarriages is unknown because of the number of women who miscarry before becoming aware of their pregnancy.

When women miscarry, the actual circumstances often vary. Some women only discover they've had a miscarriage when they go for an ultrasound. In other cases, there is bleeding, similar to a heavy period.

In many cases, the miscarriage has an unknown cause. When the fetus is not developing normally, this will often result in a miscarriage. Chromosome problems may account for as much as 50 percent of miscarriages that happen at an early pregnancy stage. Uterine issues, including sexually-transmitted infections, have also been known to play a role.

Your doctor might recommend tests or procedures if you've had 2 or more miscarriages that have occurred consecutively. These tests or procedures to discover the cause of your miscarriages include:

  • Chromosomal tests. These tests might involve tissue from the miscarriage, if available, as well as blood from you and your partner to determine if either of you has chromosome issues.

  • Blood tests. Blood samples can determine whether you have hormone or immune system issues.

  • Abdominal or vaginal ultrasounds. Imaging using sound waves can detect fibroids or other abnormalities.

  • MRI. Magnetic imaging will provide detailed images of the uterus.

  • Hysteroscopy. A lighted scope will provide detailed images of the intrauterine area.

  • Sonohysterography. An ultrasound-assisted by saline injection provides detailed images of the uterus and Fallopian tubes.

  • Hysterosalpingography. A procedure using contrast dye provides details about the Fallopian tubes and uterus.

If you’ve suffered a miscarriage, know that you’re not alone. While it may be scary to try conceiving again, there is hope for a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Reach out to one of our North Florida pregnancy doctors in the Gainesville area if you have any concerns about trying to conceive. We’re here to help and answer your questions.