Miscarriage can be a traumatic experience, a time when the world seems to come to an end. Yet everything is not lost as a miscarriage does not necessarily indicate that a woman cannot conceive again. It is just a matter of time, but it is important to know when the right time is. Should you wait for some time to get the body back in rhythm or should you go for it sooner as you might be pining to get over the loss? Are there chances that you might miscarry again? What can you do to prevent it from happening again?
Countless questions may come to your mind and leave you anxious and confused about the decision to time the subsequent attempt. The decision becomes all the more crucial for couples undergoing Assisted Reproductive treatment for male or female infertility. Here is all that you need to know about timing the next pregnancy after miscarriage.
What could have caused the miscarriage?
Miscarriage refers to a woman losing her pregnancy spontaneously before the 20th week of gestation. These are so common that as many as 20% of women with established pregnancies suffer from them, though the actual figure is much higher as many women miscarry without even knowing that they are pregnant; in fact, they might think of the miscarriage as a heavy period.
The causes of miscarriage are diverse, and sometimes the actual reason remains a mystery. Most of the time, it happens when nature takes over, as the fetus may be chromosomally abnormal and would not grow into a healthy baby. In other cases, there could be a maternal health condition such as unmanaged gestational hypertension or diabetes or structural problems with the uterus. It is important to find out the exact reason for the miscarriage to follow the right approach for success in the subsequent attempt.
Scary as it may sound, miscarriage is a one-time occurrence in most cases and women go on to have healthy pregnancies later on.
When to “Try Again”?
The biggest question that needs to be unraveled by a miscarriage victim is when to “try again”. Though there is no rule of thumb to answer this question, it is feasible to wait till you feel ready, physically and emotionally. A couple is advised to abstain from sex for a period of 2-3 weeks after the miscarriage to avoid infection, while the menstrual cycle would return to normal after two to three periods.
Though a woman can go ahead with the conception attempt after this, it is better to wait for a few months (most doctors recommend a six month period) to make sure that their body is recovered and healthy. It is better not to rush because a weak body will be unable to sustain a healthy pregnancy and this elevates the risk of another miscarriage.
For those who have undergone repeated miscarriage, it is vital to consult a specialist to find out the reason and get proper treatment before going ahead with the next attempt to conceive. Similarly, women of advanced maternal age and/or those who are suffering from serious conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and female infertility, need to see a specialist first to maximize the chances of safe pregnancy the next time.
Getting ready for conception after a miscarriage
Though most women experience uneventful pregnancies after they miscarry once, recurrent miscarriages (two or more) ring warning bells and it is necessary to see a doctor and identify the exact reason. Certain diagnostic tests and procedures are used to identify the cause and eliminate it in the next attempt. Blood tests and chromosomal tests of the couple can give an insight into the hormonal and genetic issues that might have caused the unfortunate event.
Structural abnormalities in the uterus can be detected using diagnostic tests such as ultrasound scan, hysteroscopy, and hysterosalpingography. Similarly, the woman’s medical history is evaluated to know more about chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Depending upon the abnormalities detected on the basis of these tests, the specialist will recommend a treatment plan for maximizing success in further attempts.
How to improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy after miscarriage?
Most of the time, there is nothing that can be done to change the fate of pregnancy; miscarriage is inevitable if the fetus is chromosomally abnormal. However, you can improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy (after miscarriage or otherwise) by following a healthy lifestyle and staying stress-free. In case you have been through multiple miscarriages, the pregnancy has to be monitored carefully as a precautionary measure.
It is easy to be prepared about the physical implications of a pregnancy that follows a miscarriage, but most couples struggle with handling the emotional aspect. It is normal to feel overwhelmed with joy or feel scared that this pregnancy may suffer a similar fate. Support of family and friends can go a long way in coping with complicated emotions, while your doctor may also guide you.
Gaudium IVF is the top IVF clinic in India and is renowned for offering the best in advanced fertility and gynecological treatments for diverse conditions that women of reproductive age come across.
Contact for a free second opinion and expert advice from Dr. Manika Khanna, the top infertility specialist in India.